Five stunning DOD photos by future vets

 

Presented are one recent image from the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Army and Marines.  They each show great artistry in the way they portray the very different scenes they have captured.  

The curvy Raptor is almost Rubenesque–one can’t ignore it even though the background colors merge with the metal.   The Colorado training shot is Impressionistic but also has a colorful Sci-Fi glow.  Is this landscape and sky really Earth’s?

The Coast Guard rescue is the Realism style–a job is done with no drama on their  part.  Someone has lost a very expensive boat but not their lives. The Marine portrait is a fine example of  how lighting and composition can be used to show a person’s mood.  The last Naval scene is somber, sensitive and respectful in its depiction of a burial-at-sea.   

The photographs have a crisp cinematic look but unlike many films today, they are not computer-generated–they are the real deal.  They show human technological power and nature’s power on display yet the possibility of danger, at any moment, is implied.  There are many moving photos on the DOD Flickr account to marvel at.  Click any of these images to see bigger, more detailed versions, or to discover more by scrolling left or right.

Kiedove

“A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor assigned to the 95th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, flies over Iraq March 5, 2018. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter that incorporates the latest technological advances in reduced observables, avionics, engine performance and aerodynamic design. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott)” PD image

“U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams tanks with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division move into position for their night iteration during gunnery operations at Fort Carson, Colorado, March 19, 2018. Soldiers battled fog, flurries, and freezing temperatures to compete for ‘Top Gun’ while demonstrating their skills. Gunnery tables evaluate the crew on engaging moving and stationary targets using all vehicle weapon systems. Weighing nearly 68 short tons, the M1A2 Abrams Battle Tank is one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Micah Merrill) ” PD image.

“A U.S. Coast Guard small boat crew assigned to the USCGC Robert Yered (WPC 1104) arrives on scene with the sinking vessel La Bella, April 28, 2018 approximately 13 miles northwest of Cat Cays, Bahamas. The Coast Guardsmen rescued two people who remained aboard the La Bella attempting to make it back to Cat Cay. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Galan) “ PD image

“JORDAN (April 30, 2018) . U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Dylan Mangas, a maintenance chief assigned to Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, guides an AAV-P7/A1 assault amphibious vehicle into the well deck of the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) following the conclusion of Eager Lion 2018 April 30, 2018, off Jordan. Eager Lion is a major training event that provides U.S. forces and Jordan Armed Forces the opportunity to improve their collective ability to plan and operate in a coalition-type environment. (U.S Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Austin Livingston)

 

“U.S. Navy Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Nathan J. Nelson, right, renders honors after committing cremains to the sea during a burial-at-sea ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in the Atlantic Ocean March 31, 2018. The ship was underway conducting sustainment exercises to maintain carrier readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Hank Gettys) ” PD image.

Posted in Food for the soul, Food for thought, Future Veterans, General Messages, Guest authors | Tagged | 1 Comment

HADIT.COM RADIO SHOW THIS PM-5-17-2018

I apologize for such short notice. Blame it on a balky CITRIX VBMS connection. Trust ol’ VA to buy the Cheapo Depot™ computer program to underpin a huge national VBMS computer linking VACO to its 56 minions scattered across the fruited plain (not including the Appeal Resolution Center (ARC) formerly the Appeals Management Center (AMC)). But wait. Wouldn’t Cheeseville Evidence Intake Center surely be the 58th? Getting that fancy computer to mate to PIES, CAPRI, Virtual VA, VistA and a hoard of other computers like MAP 5 and VACOLS and you have the makings of a pretty cool fustercluck. Trust me. VBMS is like the old dial-up speed. Paint dries faster.         

Here’s a great intro brief to what we’re talking about (ILP).

https://asknod.org/2015/12/09/ilp-hang-in-there-we-need-guidance-on-this-nobody-ever-won/

The call in number for the 1600 PST (L) Show tonight is

347-237-4819 (push #1 to talk)

We’re gonna talk about ILP and VA and maybe IPAs. Who knows? Call in and ask about shit.

Posted in Independent Living Program, SVR Radio on hadit.com, VA Agents, VA Medical Mysteries Explained | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Bombs in your Back Yard” series by ProPublica

Frank has forwarded information to us about ProPublica’s series, “Bombs in Our Backyards.” (LINK)  This work sheds light on the dangerous environmental practices the DOD has been dealing with.  

On May 7, 2018, ProPublica’s Abrahm Lustgarten writes: Get an Inside Look at the Department of Defense’s Struggle to Fix Pollution at More Than 39,000 Sites (LINK)

“For the first time, the Pentagon’s internal database used to track its environmental problems is available to the public.”

The interactive, searchable, zoomable, ProPublica maps may aid claimants support their cases (LINK)

CLICK ME!

For example, in 2017,

Veterans Law Judge (BVA), Michael Lane, remanded a case of a veteran who believes his illnesses were caused by exposure to dioxins at the former Norton Air Force Base (1942-1994).

He instructed (LINK to Citation Nr: 1802858):

“The AOJ should undertake appropriate development to attempt to corroborate the Veteran’s alleged exposure to chemicals, to include dioxin and/or dioxin-contaminated soil, while stationed at Norton AFB between November 1967 and September 1971. The AOJ should specifically consider the Veteran’s contentions he was exposed while performing duties as a security police augmentee, to include guard duty.”

Norton Air Force Base is now San Bernardino International Airport Authority (LINK).

The ProPublica map breaks down the 204 remediation activities there–just click & scroll:

Looking at the dates, in the interest of the backlog crisis and justice, why couldn’t a staffer at the Board pick up the phone or email agency’s (CDC, EPA, etc..) who could easily provide the information?   Or at the San Diego RO?  Or the veteran’s attorney?

“…These matters come before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal from a January 2009 rating decision. These matters were remanded by the Board in December 2016… …In March 2017, the Veteran testified at a videoconference hearing before the undersigned Veterans Law Judge.
The decision was 1/12/18.

Norton AFB did not get on the Superfund site overnight (LINK).

Click to see free full text for basic information from AF, not detailed scientific studies.

An official document from 1990 indicates that closure studies had been in the works for years prior to publication. (LINK)

I think part of the value to toxin-afflicted veterans and their families is to research, with the aid of  ProPublica maps, all the bases they served on.  It’s possible that known toxins may have caused or contributed, (“more likely than not”) to certain conditions.

Thanks to Frank for spotting and sharing this brilliant resource and to ProPublic for creating it.

Kiedove

Posted in Agent Orange, All about Veterans, AO, BvA Decisions, DM II, Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, Military Madness, research, VA BACKLOG | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Camp Lejeune–private doctors are unaware

My old Marine got the poison-toxins double-whammy during his military  service–Agent Orange and at Camp Lejeune . We know AO has caused damage;  CL has been on our radar due to posts on Asknod, various news reports and the registry.

A urologist he saw this week commented on the failure of the VA to acknowledge the association between AO and bladder cancer.  But he had not heard anything about Camp Lejeune and the bladder cancer nexus.

The 2015 VA Fact Sheet IB 10-449 (LINK) CAMP LEJEUNE: PAST WATER CONTAMINATION is obsolete after recent developments.

Image: PD, Pixabay

The Camp Lejeune Water Contaminated Veterans rule in 82 FR 4173. has an effective date of March 14th, 2017 and no earlier.

As Ryan Spencer, a Veterans Disability Benefits Attorney, (LINK) sees the final rule this way:

“It is good because it expands the scope of coverage to include National Guard and Reservists who otherwise would not be eligible for benefits. Additionally, it adds some diseases not allowed under the prior 2012 Act.

However, it is troubling that older cases that have been denied and appealed are barred from using this rule in upcoming decisions. As it stands, current Veterans who have appealed prior claims have no right to use the provisions of this new and favorable rule solely because their case was already denied. Essentially, it is as if the rule was never passed into law.”

He is being polite.  This is the same type of strategy the VA used to hurt veterans who would have benefited in the Staab (LINK) case concerning Emergency Care.  It helps veterans and community hospitals only after the date of the (delayed) favorable ruling.

Posts about  Camp Lejeune on Asknod began 2012.  In descending chronological order (newest to oldest):

(Kiedove on 2/8/17)  Lejeune final rule: March 14, 2017 (LINK)

  • Article link from Frank.

(Alex on 4/3/16)   BVA–THE NEW PRESUMPTIVES FROM CAMP OF THE YOUNG (LINK)

  • (BVA ) An depth must-read about Jane Vet’’s CL breast cancer, who in 2010, represented by DAV, led her to proceed without an IMO.  Her VA cancer doc hedged but was supportive.  Another VA doc threw her under the bus because she didn’t have male breast cancer, the more studied concern. 
  • The judge found the medical evidence was in equipoise and found in Jane Vet’s favor in this case.

(Alex on 7/18/13  BVA–HCV FROM CAMP LEJEUNE H2O (LINK)

Holy carcinogenic crap, Batman. Say it ain’t so. From the BVA archives comes this 2013 gemstone. With an attorney no less, this Vet may have a problem. Let’s recite this one more time for all the hard of hearing. HCV is caused by a v-i-r-u-s. Carcinogens cause cancer, not HCV.”

(Alex on 11/9/12)  CAMP LEUKEMIA BREAST CANCER IN MEN (LINK)

  • Title is self explanatory.

(Alex on 11/14/12)  CANCER AND CAMP LEJEUNE (LINK)

  • MSNBC.  Link dead now but NBC has published many reports on CL.

(Alex on 10/8/12)  CAMP LEJEUNE SURPRISE (LINK)

Link from Shawn & classic commentary from Alex.

VA rule #1– You lose (always)
rule #2— If it appears you are going to win, refer back to #1
We let a few win (15%) to keep the Congressmen off our backs.”

(Alex on 8/1/12)    CAMP OF THE YOUNG BILL PASSES BOTH HOUSES (LINK)

  • The Marines are going to take it in the shorts when they publish the list.”

(Alex  on 7/6/12)    CAMP LEJEUNE UPDATE 7/2012 (LINK)

  • Link to ABC News video; poignant comment from Debi.

(Alex on 2/23/12)    CAMP LEJEUNE DOCUMENTARY

  • Important background and remembrance of Jerry Ensminger’s little angel, Janey:

    Click image to view trailer.

(Alex on 2/18/12)       New Camp Lejeune Update (LINK)

  • Representative Miller,

“…If you have in fact discovered a 3 billion dollar coverage provided to the VA in their budget, why are you asking the Secretary to do something that you could make him do by passing HR-1742? You have had that bill sitting in your committee for nearly a year and you haven’t even allowed the HVAC to consider it!….Jerry Ensminger

Did I miss any? I’ll try to come up with a simple Fact Sheet myself to share with the urologist who may, who knows, share it with other staffers.  The older infographic below deals with health care for the afflicted.

Kiedove

 

Out of date but still has some striking information. Image: Camp Lejeune Toxic Water by VetsHQ Infographics & Research

Other resources:

Hadit.com  (keyword search “Camp Lejeune” brings up many useful articles.)  

CDC:  THE ATSDR PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT 1/20/17 (LINK)   202 pages-pdf.

Civilian Exposure–Focused on CL and other military installations toxic situations.

Posted in Agent Orange, All about Veterans, AO, BvA Decisions, C&P exams, Camp Lejeune poisoning, CAVC ruling, Complaints Department, Congressional Influence, Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, hepatitis, IMOs/IMEs, Inspirational Veterans, Nexus Information, research, Uncategorized, VA Agents, VA Attorneys, Veterans Law, Vietnam Disease Issues, VSOs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BVA–HAA HEPATITIS ≠HAV

Jez. Somebody call up the DAV at St. Pete’s pronto and tell this guy he’s a chicken dinner winner if he gets in touch with me. I read this one and just about choked on my coffee. Pretty sleazy rater with no medical acumen. Hepatitis Australian Antigen Positive, or HAA positive is our old friend Hep B.  Since when would the VA examiner say there’s no correlation between jetguns and blood transmital? It’s  in the M-21 for crying out loud.

https://www.va.gov/vetapp17/files9/1759916.txt

I think VLJ  Keith Parakkel reached an all time low on this one.

Posted in BvA HCV decisions, Jetgun BvA Decisions, Jetgun Claims evidence, VA Medical Mysteries Explained, Veterans Law | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

BVA–JETGUNS. ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON

We’ve come a long way, baby. I began teaching this exact procedure to win in 2007:

https://www.va.gov/vetapp17/files9/1760765.txt 

If your only risk was drinking beer and smoking pot, everyone would have it…

Posted in Blood info, BvA HCV decisions, HCV Epidemiology, HCV Risks (documented), hepatitis, Jetgun BvA Decisions, Jetgun Claims evidence, medical injections, Nexus Information, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

SUNDAY MORNING-FIRST YOU LOVE ME AND THEN YOU FADE AWAY

I wish to apologize to my readership for my absence. It’s springtime and things grow that need to be mowed. I can’t depend on the horses to do all the weed-eating. That aside, I’ve watched with building interest the Big Six VSOs walk back all their strident objections to VA Choice if only the HVAC and SCVA were willing to throw in SMC T for all Vets. Aruuuuu? How about the Remington Rand Corp. finding that VHA is the derniere cri in medicine? And last but not least, when are the Big Six going to throw a party for Shinseki and McDonald?

VSO Sincerity ?

One subject at a time. The major VSOs  sold us pre-2001 Vets down the Caregiver River to get the young Vet millennials’ vote back in 2010 and now they see the backlash from my generation of Vietnam. Worse, our purported alma mater, the VVA, signed on-or at least held their water -and willingly allowed it to transpire on their watch without a whimper.  Why is an 11 Bravo who had the misfortune to eat a Bouncing Betty (before September 11th, 2001) no less entitled to a caregiver than the Vet after 9/11? He’s probably missing a few of those 2,000 body parts, too.  This intriguing conundrum seems to only now rear its ugly head in VSO bars Boardrooms across the Fruited Plain when the urgent need arises to lasso all those “conservative” Veterans (read potential members with $$$) from our era. They lost me in ’73 when the VFW told me I hadn’t actually been in a ‘war’. Boy howdy. It sure felt like one. Try telling that to the sons and daughters of those 58,318 friends of mine on the Wall.  Recognize that when I say ‘our’ I obviously mean us old Parkinsonian fogies from the Vietnam stone age.  Oddly enough, our ‘opt-out’ generation has come back to the polls with a passion and are surprisingly vocal and strident in their demands. Sometime during  the last 50 or so years, the VSOs finally noticed that their bar buddies were thinning faster than the hair on their heads. They need our participation to stay vibrant, alive and meaningful in a Facebook™ world. Gee, what better way than to proffer another dead olive branch?

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/05/04/vets-groups-back-congress-second-try-choice-caregiver-programs.html

Nothing irks me more than a nonsensical argument. Either you (VSOs) are for us and our strongest advocates or… you are not. Let’s get out the scales. VSOs are bound by Congress, written right there in their clear , concise -yep- Congressional charters, that their duty as Veterans Service Officers is to “help the VA in the adjudication of VA claims for Veterans.”  Reread that again and you realize your VSO is not your service rep. S/he works for the VA indirectly. Your dues support his/her wages. In essence, you are paying that jackwad to help screw you out of your benefits. Every signed VAF 21-22 POA each Veterans Service Organization submits to the VA is remunerated by the VA. Granted, $250 is a pretty small tithe to pay for buying off your client’s legal help but Courts don’t consider VSOs  to be much more than loud-mouthed mailmen. 

I have occasion to rub shoulders with some of them when my Congressman invites me over to VSO coffee Klatches to represent the NOVA side of things. Most come over and ask me who I represent. When I say I’m a nonattorney practitioner/Agent, I get the “What are you doing here, then? This is for Veterans’ Representatives!”  Rodney Dangerfield summed it up. We don’t get no respect.

On the other hand, we agents/attorneys are held to the highest legal standard and may be censured or lose our VA accreditation for the simplest violation of our client’s due process rights. It’s against the law for me to file for tinnitus @ 10% for each ear. VSOs do it all the time.  VSOs are rife with conundrums and paradoxes. How about this one.

VSOs insist we are getting cutting edge medical treatment and have no right to go outside of the system and seek private care. The argument being there are scarce VHA resources available as it is and any diversion of funds to VA Choice would reduce the quality of care of the remaining Vets who do use VAMCs and CBOHs. WTF, over? Now, suddenly, those same VSOs are amenable to this diversion to the private sector but we’ll have to ding Vets who use the VA Mortgage option when buying houses. The idea is to tack on a ‘user fee’ to a VA Mortgage Loan and artificially create $4.2 billion to fund VA Choice and all of us pre-2001 Vets who need SMC T/Caregiver $.  Somehow, they also want to shovel in SC for AO benefits for the 90,000 Blue Water Navy Vets on top of it. Guess who ends up sucking that hind tit? Yeppers, folks. All those newly-minted millennial Vets who thought they were going to get a VA mortgage benefit. Welcome to politics and politicians. We screwed the old guys back in 2010 so its only fair to screw the young ‘uns this time around. I’m sure they’ll understand and feel our pain. It brings back memories of Roseanne Roseannadanna saying “It always goes to show it’s something.

As for nonsensical, in 2014 45 Vets in the sunny southwest state of Arizona had the misfortune of becoming room temperature while waiting (futilely) for VA to schedule a new exam to replace the one surreptitiously 86’d. Turned out that was just the tip of the iceberg. So when did they decide VA medical care is the finest in America? Before or after that fustercluck? That sure pokes a hole in the Obamacare argument. Were VAMCs so cutting edge, why didn’t they  pattern the ACA after the VHA?  What does that say about a future single payer model? Worse, how could our 146 VSOs, chartered by Congress, with that knowledge continue to summarily advocate we all stay in such a flawed system that was, and is, deleterious to our medical health?  I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess these old boys don’t use the VA for their medical needs or they might be dead by now themselves. Just for shits and grins, it would be interesting to take a gander at FTCA/§1151 claims and see if they comport with a National norm for medical misadventure. But that’s a story for another day. I rely on you, my info point men/women to find these nefarious statistics and report back. So far, you’re batting a .1000.

While we’re on the subject of VSOs, I find it rather comical that some Vets come to me for advice on how to get started. Which VSO do I recommend? Who’s the best?  Friends, they are all birds of a feather. When your claim arrives at the BVA, assuming you had the misfortune to travel that far with a genuine VSO, they have teams of homogenized triumvirates handling this. Each team might consist of a VFW rep, a DAV rep and an AmLeg rep. It’s whoever is available to take it on. Their specialty is begging for the Benefit of the Doubt. It really makes no difference who represents you until you get that first denial. After that, it’s a conscious choice to keep using valeaglebeaglezoom.com.

Face it. Politics corrupts the soul. Vets, as a closed mathematical set, are considered as barter regardless of which VSO “represents” them. While I might have respected the Vietnam Veterans of America when they began, they quickly succumbed to the allure of the money. What is it about VSO advocacy that brings out the scalawags? In truth, the only way to obtain allegiance is to buy it outright. I guess that’s akin to what you get when you hire a VA agent. We’ll be your Huckleberry with a capital H for 20% with no annual dues! Money does talk. As I like to point out, 100% of nothing from free legal assistance is $0.00. At least we Shylocks are up front about it.

One last thing that really sticks in my craw. Imagine paying annual dues to a fraternal outfit like DAV so they can pay their top dogs hundreds of thousands of dollars each to sell your best interests-not to mention your VA claims- down the river. That takes a speschull kind of stupid, I guess. But they all do have those neatsy keen campaign hats going for them.

We need mo’ money, honey! We doin’ this fo’ you.

 

The Typewriter folks at Remington Rand

RemRand has come a long way since the Pentagon Papers. I see they’re back in the news.

https://www.rand.org/news/press/2018/04/26.html

Holy typewriters, Batman. What have they been smoking? How can you state in unqualified terms that everything is hunky dory at most VAMCs but in the same article contradict yourself and say there are some that are “underperformers”?  Here’s one of the highly-paid-for zingers that VA purchased…

“The variation among VA health facilities shows that veterans in some areas are not receiving the same high-quality care that other VA facilities are able to provide,” said Carrie Farmer, a study co-author and a senior policy researcher at RAND.

From the mouths of babes. RemRand says this is an “independent study”. My guess is the VA diverted some of those scarce bucks for VA choice to buy a reputable cheerleader. Here’s another chicken dinner winner quote:

“Congress and veterans’ groups have expressed concerns that access to care and quality of care in the VA system are inferior to the access and quality in non-VA settings.”

Ya think? I remember accompanying a group of my Vet buds visiting a few of their friends who ended up in West LA VAMC back during the  war, excuse me, conflict. We almost threw up from the stench of feces and urine on their paraplegic ward. We had to go buy towels at K Market, come back to give them all showers and change their sheets. I’m sorry to admit it depressed me so badly I could never go back.

Certainly, we could say our valiant VSOs who insist we utilize this modern medical miracle, are aware of the situation you and I actually face. That very same cutting edge VA medical care almost killed me in 2009-2010. In truth, I wonder how many of them use it? It’s certainly one thing to blindly advocate for it but another to walk the walk.

BLUE WATER VETS

This is one controversial subject at best. I might not be in the mainstream on this among my peers at NOVA but here goes. I am very familiar with AO and more especially A Blue. I might have encountered some of the other four flavors during my two years over there but I disremember it.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/05/05/lawmakers-launch-new-effort-provide-agent-orange-coverage-blue-water-navy-vets.html

First the chemical discussion. All herbicides basically consist of heavy metals. They sink into the soil after use and percolate into the water table. In soils with poor induration, they tend to collect at the surface. Think rice paddies and red clay. With torrential rains during monsoon, new soil migrates. Old soil generally follows gravity and ends up in the South China Sea. Any AO that accretes in migratory soils is naturally flushed (eventually) unless it permeates the water supply. This is what has happened in Laos. If one didn’t know any better, they would think the world shipped its entire supply of Thalidomide there. The number of children with birth defects is uncountable. Worse, it continues. We sprayed every different flavor in our inventory there from 65-71.  In fact, we sprayed more there than any other locale in Southeast Asia.

Back to AO. If it’s a heavy metal, it sinks. If it runs off into the South China Sea which was easy to see with all the plumes of muddy water where creeks and rivers disgorged into the sea, it still sinks. It might screw up the fishing along the shoreline but the fish would exhibit the same disfigurements. This would ostensibly discourage eating them. The important thing to understand is that many US Naval Vessels had reverse osmosis filters for fresh water needs on board ships. If you were foolish enough to troll too close to shore in a Destroyer while sucking up water for filtration and conversion, the water would have that signature reddish-pink tint. No one in their right minds would suck this in for conversion-not with the entire South China Sea to draw from. Thus I take exception to the idea that the USS Kitty Hawk ‘s water filtration system managed to  pick up any picloram or dioxins at the Yankee Station racetrack. To date, no one can explain how Blue Water folks could get AO exposure at sea. No one. Congress and VSOs just want to give it to them. Period. No science. No investigation. Hell, you couldn’t even see Vietnam from Yankee Station. Explain that…

I had a Vet come to me and ask to file for AO exposure. He’s Blue Water so I asked if he had any paper showing R&R at Vung Tau-or Sydney Australia for that matter. I could win without it if he had buddy letters. How many kept their R&R TDY orders? Why would they? Face it, They didn’t fly from the Kitty Hawk to Sydney. They had to go through Tan Son Nhut which means a boot or two on the ground. Why this escapes VA is another one of those VA paradoxes no one can unravel. Back to the Kitty Hawk.

Paul Doumer Bridge 8/12/67

My Vet worked the flight deck and complained of working on A-4Js who returned with oily residue that “he was told was AO by the pilots.” Let’s analyze this. A-4s were busy destroying downtown Hanoi and the Paul Doumer Bridge for the most part. We were not running Ranchhand spray ops over downtown Hanoi. Having worked in FAC,  I personally know we controlled every aircraft in our area of operations. We didn’t have C-123s at 2,500 feet spraying AO while we were clearing in A-1s hot with ordnance free below 1,500 feet underneath them. What the Vet saw and probably smelled was jettisoned JP-4 (130 AVGAS w/ Kerosene). We often added kerosene, or, for that matter, any contaminated petroleum distillate, in a one-to-one mixture to AO. That was the prescribed recipe. To this day, we know categorically that no AO spray operations were conducted from carriers or any other naval vessels in the So. China Sea. Sorry, sailors. No sail.

This is why I cannot agree to granting  a blanket presumption to all U.S. Navy personnel who served out there on the bounding main. I do agree it would have to be on a case by case basis as a great number undoubtedly went ashore for R&R. But simply granting them a blanket AO presumptive “because it’s the right thing to do” doesn’t cut it. There are far too many who are truly disenfranchised with documented exposure in Thailand. They will never get that presumption while alive so why should it be a gimme to Blue Water Vets? Hell, some of the Air Force guys like me lived in barracks 50 feet away from where “tactical herbicides” were sprayed on the perimeter at Udorn. Where, pray tell, is the justice? I might buy this if they had weeds growing up out of the flight deck on the Forrestal.

The problem once again boils down to money. VA is broke. They spend money like drunken sailors (no pun intended in the instant case). Why would you pay a high-level GS 14 employee a bonus for simply doing his or her job? Aren’t they already suitably remunerated?  I made the mistake of using ‘bonus’ to a VA rater several years ago. I got a magnanimous five-minute lecture on how that went out with Shinseki. The operable phrase now is “incentive pay”. Gee, I’d think working at the VA would be incentive enough. Imagine helping your fellow Veterans. Wait… I already do. So does that mean I’m eligible?

And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

P.S. I updated this @ 1800 PST

Posted in All about Veterans, AO, Congressional Influence, Food for thought, KP Veterans, Medical News, NOVA Attorneys, Thailand AO presumptive path, VA Agents, VA Attorneys, VA Health Care, VA Medical Mysteries Explained, vA news, VAMC Scheduling Coverup, Veterans Law, Vietnam Disease Issues, Vietnam War history, VSOs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments