The Republican, and reporter Jeanette DeForge, have carried news about this situation for four years, since C-123 veterans first filed a formal Inspector General complaint through the United States Air Force. That IG complaint was denied, as were all the veterans' complaints and requests for inquiries with the Department of Veterans Affairs, between 2011 and 2015.
But The Republican carried the story. The Republican saw the kernel of truth, and story after story, editorial after editorial, Deforge revealed the details of an intricate legal, historical, aeronautical, military and medical puzzle the veterans from Westover AFB, Rickenbacker ANGB and Pittsburgh IAP found themselves struggling through.
DeForge is due our thanks...not for her favoritism or special treatment, but because she and her publisher faithfully played their roles in fulfilling the Constitution's expectations of journalists, in its First Amendment guarantees of freedom of the press.
Thank God for that freedom, for The Republican, and for Jeanette DeForge. They make wearing our flight suits for these past decades worth it all.
• Westover Reservists exposed to Agent Orange, federal officials rule after 4-year battle
• Support grows for Westover veterans who served in planes contaminated by Agent Orange, but VA scandal stymies efforts
• Editorial: U.S. government needs to own responsibility for Agent Orange exposure at Westover as it does for radiation exposure at Chapman Valve
• Editorial: U.S. government's treatment unconscionable of Westover veterans exposed to Agent Orange
• Westover Air Reserve veterans exposed to Agent Orange file complaint with Department of Defense