Exposure CONFIRMED! Last hurdle overcome!
In a clear message to the VA and USAF, yesterday the Institute of Medicine dismissed any questions of C-123 post-Vietnam Agent Orange exposure with their press release announcing conclusion of a year-long investigation. IOM confirmed the post-Vietnam exposures of C-123 aircrews and maintenance personnel in their VA-sponsored research.
This is a game-changer as VA has stated, through Under Secretary Allison Hickey, that whichever way the IOM report recommended the VA would likely follow. VA executives were briefed on Thursday and the IOM released their C-123 investigation to the public, legislators and the press on Friday. Following the report's presentation, VA leaders said staff was already working on the implications of the IOM's finding and details were being resolved.
The VA has been hit hard this last year, which with justification will be remembered as the year of the scandals. This is a scandal resolved, through the efforts of the scientific community )to include IOM as well as the independent scientists and physicians who continued to reveal the basis for C-123 veterans' exposure claims,) and VA staff which opened the door and their hearts with determination to resolve this mess.
So the resolution is on its way. We should see changes in VA web pages, communication from VA to their staff, press releases from VA on its views regarding the IOM report, and we hope...claims being released from the current suspended status ordered for all such claims.
Let's hope this is as much as win-win as it seems. In my mind, it leaves all involved a solid justification for feeling their duty to America's veterans has been satisfied. Congratulations!