In what may probably be the biggest scoop for us on jetguns, we owe member Sylvia Price a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. She spent thousands of dollars of her own money over the last decade in a desperate search for the Holy Grail of Jetgun Knowledge- What did they know and when did they know it?
Why- or better yet how- did such a filthy, unsanitary, non sterilizable inoculation device survive so many decades of military use in the face of this inexorable truth? Quite simply, it was speed, efficiency and a No deposit, No return mentality on the usage of human beings as an unending supply of disposable employees. That certainly should not come as a surprise to any of you Vets-especially combat ones. Freshly drafted 11 Bravo grunts for the new war in Vietnam were going to be cannon fodder all too soon. What difference did it make if they contracted a lethal, incurable disease or two in the process beforehand? Besides, if they survived and needed medical attention after service, there was always the VA as a last resort.
Sylvia Price, R.N is a fellow member of the Old Guard of HCVets. Once upon a time we lived on a small chat board called Delphi. The site still exists but is growing cobwebs. Harry Hooks, Patricia Lupole and a few others have been holding down the fort and providing support at HCVets.com as well as on various Facebook sites. I was the newbie in 2008. Her dogged pursuit of the magic nexus to the sure knowledge something was amiss is legendary. It should come as no surprise that she has finally unearthed the Rosetta stone.
THE HISTORY OF THE JETGUN
The CDC finally threw in the towel in 1997 and said the jetguns were unsanitary. The US Government, by and large, had ceased by 1998 and reverted (at great cost) to one-shot disposable syringes and begrudgingly accepted rational thinking on sanitary protocol. But let’s go back to the fifties and the Elvis era when this all began. Medical personnel could be excused for being ignorant on this when jetguns first made their appearance, right? Wrong by a country mile.
Here’s some of the now-released literature that shows the lack of training on this device. I doubt anyone ever saw a pecker checker grab the backside of their arm, pull the flesh back tight and administer the jetgun blast at a perfect 90° angle after carefully seating it against the flesh. All the ones I had were “hit on the move” or a half-hearted attempt to at least nudge the nozzle tip against the skin. Obviously, had the “technicians” used their off hand to hold the arm securely while tightening the flesh, the incidence of flinching would have been controlled for the most part and bloodshed would have been extremely rare.
Pretty damning so far. But wait. It gets worse. Lest we forget, many of us died. We must never allow this to happen again.
Think back on your jetgun experience, ladies and gentlemen. Do you recall hearing “1001, 1001, 1003”? Do you recall the technician gently swabbing the site with a clean cotton or gauze material to remove any excess vaccine? I recall “Keep moving! Stand perfectly still when shot. Do not flinch or jerk. Next?” There were forty four men in my Flight. It took less than five minutes for us to get our first round of immunizations on about Day six. The second round went even faster because we were smarter.
Chapter 6 page 6-20 begins the discussion on jetguns. You will find the Army Manual has a completely different idea on how all this was done. References to “sterile procedures” pepper the chapter. Everything written would indicate your experience was sanitary, sterile and risk-free if the procedures were followed.
HOW TO USE THE KNOWLEDGE IN A JETGUN CLAIM
The reason you can contradict what actually happened via your lay testimony is you can describe this in non-medical jargon. You do not have to say it was unsanitary. You merely have to recite what actually happened-the “wham-bam! thank you ma’m!” nature of it with the occasional twit who jerked and got blood everywhere. You can recite that, contrary to the accepted procedure in the book (below), your arm was not wiped following administration of the vaccine. The presumption of regularity that The Army was proficient in what they were doing is now rebutted. Sanitariness was no longer guaranteed because the operating protocols were not followed. You do not need to be a doctor to state this. Layno versus Brown (1994) tells us we can report what comes to us via our five senses. If we did not visually observe Bozo wipe our arm after the shot, what else did he forget to do? How about holding your arm with his non-jetgun hand?
The manual is not just a font of info for rebutting jetgun sanitariness. The manual also demonstrates many non-sterile techniques of the era and shows other potential paths to infection.
Here’s the manual. I want each of you to think how many died without getting service connected because the VA and the military went out of their way to prevent it’s disclosure for a long, long time. It holds the recipe for success. It’s in .pdf and easy to download to your computer. Whisper “Thank you, Sylvia” when you do. It is she that made this possible. I almost can foresee HCV becoming a presumptive if enough of you get this into your c-files and before the BVA and the CAVC.
I encountered hep c from germany 1982-1983 which turned into cirosis and I am still fighting to show va affairs I have geno type 1 b only comes from germany and vietnan during the 1980’s
I have a doctor who will write your nexus letter for free in regards to it being a jetgun. However, I agree Geno 1B is (or was) unique to Europe at that time. Geno 3A was the big one in SEA during the war though. That’s what I got. 1A is more associated with jetguns and originating in CONUS.
Please give me info for dictor please
contact me at email@example.com
Sylvia Price is a soldier for the Veteran in their fight to show what devastation was caused by jet guns! She selfiously gives of herself to dig and document what the government was unable to destroy or change and put it in a format for all sick vets with Hep C to utilize in their disability claims! A true American hero! God has a special place for those rare crusaders of the sick and downtrodden…
They used those on us in 1975 when I did basic training at fort Polk. A lot of guys bled significantly if they flinched or moved their arm during the procedure. They could inoculate an entire company in nothing flat but definitely was not sanitary!! It’s a good thing they didn’t have aids in those days but I’ll bet a lot of guys contracted hep-c.
Please I need help. 6 times in hospital hospital last year. Nursing home 1994. Doctors say infections due to improper functioning of my liver. They said it’s the hep c. I’m 57 and my life has been destroyed. I’m a shell of what i feel I should be. HELP inducted 1980 wasn’t right.we were kids. Trusted the Army.
Brian, there is now medication that can cure hepatitis C in 3 months with few side effects. Have you talked to your doctor about treatment?
I went through boot camp in 1995 at Fort Leonardwood and I remember them standing us in lines with the guns on both sides of us and zapping us one after the other – some recruits with blood dripping down their arms. I made such a ruckus and kept refusing to get the shots – There was no way they could convince me the procedure was sanitary and it was my first introduction to what happens when you question an order in the military. I am amazed that even after the CDC acknowledged the issue, the military continued to use them.
Speaking about Army Medical,
Here’s a whole bunch of information provided by the Army.
Thank you, I’m having fun reading.
I remember that sometimes when a nurse wasn’t available that they would pick a ‘volunteer’ among us recruits and give him a 2 minute lesson in how to use the jet air gun and let him shoot the 200 recruits in line. Me and other buddies thinking that we would like to be a navy nurse and have fun with the airgun.
Also a violation of the guidelines which say anybody using the jetgun was supposed to receive EXTENSIVE training on the use, maintenance and cleaning of the jetgun and must be allowed to practice before using it.
I remember going through the line at Ft L Wood. 1975 we got 3 shots, 1 the right 2 on the left. The guy on the left was shooting 2 guns, so obviously holding the arm and pulling the skin tight wasn’t going to happen.
That’s right Don, that’s a violation of the guidelines.
I know all about the screw ups I had to wear my BDU tee shirts with the sleeves cut off because of the huge blisters and scabs that totally covered both my arms up to my shoulders.
I had a hell of a time after that my arm’s bled for the whole day and part of the night by the next day I had the scabs
Nothing you mentioned in the above rules ect Silvia, my dear friend, nothing like that happened to any of us they didn’t hold our arms, we were not wiped or given anything to cover or wipe up the blood, hold our arms, none of that happened.
The only time they stopped was to add a new bottle of meds to it
I have been trying to fight this since it happened but they said since I was med 200 out then I didn’t get any benefits and there way nothing they could do for me
Thank you so much my long time friend Silvia we have worked very hard on this for a long time I am proud to have you as my friend
Thank you all for your work I am here to help
That’s my 3 cents worth
It is stories like yours that make me want to continue.
Ah, the Nexus… I’ll see you one, and raise you two 🙂 Excellent article and comments. All of our efforts have changed the VA when it comes to evaluating claims. I am honored to be part of such heart-felt group of friends that see a wrong and right it. No vet should ever have to prove how they got HCV. 1 in 10> Vets is as high risk as you can get. Let’s do this!
Please send me the case number or link please firstname.lastname@example.org or 7864594394 nelson
Thank you so much,Sylvia I am in the middle of my fight as I type
To Wilson and Sis:
It was the least i could do to thank you for your service. Best of luck with your fight.
I now have a new fight to go back to the date of incident rather than the date of filing. I have since been awarded a 100 percent , SC. On 4/26/2018 I had a double transplant (Liver & Kidney) all stemming from Help.
Thank you so much for your tireless efforts in bringing this truth to the forefront. I am one of the thousands victims.
I remember all the blood when we lined up at Ft. Benning to get the shots. Some of the guys got infections in their arms from the shots. Which were the worst shots? If you flinched or pulled away from the shot you would get cut. I think we got cut anyway. Many tee shirts were ruined with blood. I had had my share of shots before but never a bloody mess like that. What a great way to transfer hep C or any other blood born disease. We are lucky we survived Basic.
Nursing guidelines are set in stone. In other words, if the hospital I work for has guidelines and I don’t comply with them and someone ends up getting hurt because of it, then both the hospital and I are liable.
The above nursing guidelines say that …
1. Your arm must be supported while they give the vaccine.
2. The jetgun has to be placed against your skin at a 90 degree angle, kept there for 3 seconds after pulling the trigger.
3. The area must be wiped with a dry cotton or gauze.
4. Lacerations or bleeding at the site of injection is an indication of faulty maintenance, faulty operation or faulty injection technique.
5. Improper maintenance and assembly of the jetgun damaged the device, caused faulty operation and resulted in contamination of the vaccine.
6. Anybody giving the shots was supposed to receive extensive training on the use, maintenance and cleaning of the jetgun and must be allowed to practice before using it.
Flinching and pulling away….that’s a clear violation of the first guideline because if they had supported your arm you wouldn’t have been able to pull away. Many of the pictures from the training books show they failed to support the arm. Some of the pictures show people giving injections with a jetgun in each hand. Clearly a violation of the guidelines. You can’t support the arm if you’re holding two jetguns.
You also mentipned lacerations and bleeding, which according to the guidelines is an indication of faulty maintenance, faulty operation or faulty injection technique and it resulted in contamination of the vaccine. The guidelines say so.
By the way, would you happen to have any scars?
If you click on my profile you’ll be able to see great pictures showing nursing guidelines violations.
Thank You Sylvia for the many years of relentless determined dedication, research, and study to find and reveal the truth.
Also, a huge Thank You to Tricia, for many years of relentless determined dedication, to the research, study,
and spreading the truth far and wide via radio interviews, conventions, and the numerous social media venues.
And Thank’s to the numerous others that contributed so much over the years.
This is such a fantastic find! Very exciting. Also, in the intro., 6-30 it says that the gun will reduce to potential hazard of transmitting serum hepatitis through needle and syringe. It does not say, END the transmission, merely reduce it. The word “plausible” can be understood better with this sentence. They were well aware of the hepatitis transmission risks via medical interventions.
Would be terrific if we could get the background on the needles and syringes as modes of transmissions in military service.
It would be really cool to find versions of this handbook from the 40s and until the jet guns were withdrawn.
All of these documents getting digitized is tremendously helpful.
The section on STDs talks about blood transferring viruses to uninfected people. I also noticed something very interesting. The sections that talk about giving injections with syringes say to uncap the needle, draw the medication into the syringe, cap the needle again and get the patient ready for the injection. Recapping is, of course, a big No-no because of the potential for contamination and needle sticks.
The section on “isolation” talks about exiting the isolation room and washing your hands either under running water or if no running water was available then using a basin with water they were supposed to change every couple of hours or more frequently if the water got too dirty, which is, of course, .a great way of contaminating your hands.
Being of simplistic mind, I see it like this…..an instrument cannot possibly be sterile when it is stored in the same case as the foot pedal. A fact that seems to have escaped recognition.