2,100 Reservists Not Eligible For Agent Orange Presumptive

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Agent Orange

Last week, Veterans Affairs tossed out claims from 2,100 Reservists filing for disability from Agent Orange exposure on old C-123 planes with residue of the herbicide from the Vietnam War.

The Institute of Medicine recently concluded the Reservists were exposure to Agent Orange, but lawyers at VA concluded otherwise.

RELATED: What did VA, DoD Cover up with incomplete Thailand Agent Orange report?

VA Office of General Counsel stated, “You’re not veterans.” The statement went on, “Even if you were veterans for purposes of Agent Orange exposure unless you qualify as such during your Reserve tour.”

While VA has the authority to grant service connection, they decided to leave these sick veterans in the cold to tough it out on their own. The veterans’ attorney defeated the junk science used by VA only to be defeated by questionable legal loopholes.

Secretary Robert McDonald is apparently hiding behind the loophole despite having the authority to grant the benefits.

If we have learned one thing over the years, it is to never trust the government to do the right thing without enormous public pressure. Do you think the Agent Orange saga will ever be resolved?

Source: https://www.veteranjournal.com/va-turns-its-back-on-american-military-reserves-exposed-to-agent-orange/

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18 Comments

  1. This is really sad and also interesting because in the very exact same way, the Reservists and National Guard units of all branches that were “Activated” for tours in Middle East found that they QUITE OFTEN were pulled from duty **DAYS BEFORE** they would have qualified for VA Benefits, which is minimum of 24 Months Active Duty. President George W. Bush Admn. was notorious for this practice because I have talked to MANY Veterans that have been affected physically/mentally from the “fog of war” and were ONLY given so many months of VA medical benefits and THAT’s IT…if they did not serve “Activated Active Duty 24 Months…NOT eligible to make ANY VA Service Connected Claim….and I really question the legality of this because many of these same disenfranchised Veterans are now among the homeless Veterans in any given locality.
    My downstairs apartment/neighbor had her husband pass away from his Vietnam Agent Orange medical anomalies, and she has told me how it was only months before he passed away that he received *some* service connection BUT **nothing** relating to Agent Orange. As a surviving spouse, she had to fight and wait for lots of tangled red tape to actually receive her Surviving Spouse of Veteran Benefits, which was very slimmed down from what her husband received, and at least she can use Champa but they recently increased her costs so she started using Medicare instead because of the crappy care and long waits…she mentioned often she would have to schedule time for the whole day that an appointment that’s say at 9 a.m. because she would never be seen until AFTER all the VA employees went to LUNCH and thereafter and she said she always felt like she was treated like a subhuman surviving spouse because more often than not they would try to reschedule her appointment only after she had already spent HOURS waiting in waiting room.
    This Agent Orange debacle needs to be dealt with and most importantly the VA needs to follow the MANDATES Congress Approved regarding presumptive illness relating to Agent Orange.
    The VA is treating those exposed to whatever the collective causes of Gulf War Illness, exposed to Depleted Uranium, and all else.
    Why exactly is Sec. McDonald “hiding behind a loophole” rather than improving things as he repeatedly has promised in his “talking points”? Are they just that, talking points for PR reasons?

  2. I helped a Veteran who never left the United States win his Agent Orange Case, when he was exposed to Agent Orange at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas in 1966 and 1967. He brought that crap home every day to his wife! who now is very sick, where is the Justice for the family!

  3. The VA issued a list of Navy ships that were in Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange. One of those ships was USS Grasp (ARS 24) which was doing salvage work between January and April 1969 in some river near Danang and was exposed to AO. I was on that ship at that time. I submitted a claim and was rejected. What’s up with that? When my ship was quite plainly on the list yet I am rejected? I am 50% disabled but due to another event that happened to me during my time in the Navy.

  4. Having my dad just pass (2 weeks ago today to be exact) from his Agent Orange caused Cancer, I feel for all of the families out there.

    It only fuels my fire to pursue my legal education, and continue to pursue my own claims for GWI, for we never quite know what is to come in the future.

    I think this says it all “Secretary Robert McDonald is apparently hiding behind the loophole despite having the authority to grant the benefits.”

    The powers that be, COULD help, but they don’t !

  5. I don’t mean to clog up Ben’s blog, but when sorting out dads military papers I came across his 12 yr E-6 Medical retirement/VA disability paperwork from the early 80s. It still appalls me that he had to forgo his VA compensation back then because he was being paid Medical retirement.

    That rule right there speaks volumes, a soldier medically retired should also be eligible for his disability compensation. It’s just morally wrong to retire a man early (orig. 40% & 30% ratings from combat wounds, only to try to Reduce the 30% to 10% later! ) and deny him Full retirement compensation without paying justly for wounds.

    But… he did make history, the only one eyed Ranger to successfully re-enlist, and return to Vietnam for two more tours, and was asked to write a book about it, Cyclops in the Jungle “a One-eyed LRP in Vietnam” SSG David P. Walker Stackpole Books.
    But, I warn you, it’s a bit rough, not a candy coated fairytale. Amazon carries it.

  6. What happened? I thought everything was going to be peaches and cream from now on. McDonald needs to be fired.

      • Glen, I will say this, “it is very interesting how the new and improvedversion is nothing more than trying to cover up mistakes.Good Luck with that one! I wowouldn’t mind taking it to one who would say “later you two!” POTUS, YOU HAVEN’T HELPED, YOU ALLOWED A NEW BACKLOG THAT WILL TAKE ITS PLACE!

      • Covering up anything means more more in the DOD insurance coffers?
        The insurance companies invest what is not paid out in benefits into the stock market to give the insurers more to its top investors. Does that include the DOD as a top investor via AIG? As all are taxpayers who pay for the DOD & one who also pay insurance premiums, I would like to know.
        This is the insurance, all in a “nutshell” game. “GAMIN IT”

  7. In Downey ca, there was movie studio built on a former brownfield (toxic) site that was a former military/NASA ,Boeing site.. It was claimed to be cleaned up to a superfund site, thus the movie studio. What the public wasn’t told was that there were 250 deadly toxins, including depleted uranium, 2 agent orange toxins, hexeiium chlorate, radiation,…etc…. these type of deadly toxins. While movies were being made, many children were used as extras. When our own military can be so cavalier about not cleaning up or taking responsibility for exposing children to MANY deadly TOXINS, then why would it care about its own soldiers?
    It is this same disregard for human life in the civilian life as it is for our own vets. AND if the DOD can be so cavalier & disregard our vets, then nothing is held sacred in this country.. Limony snicket was a movie made there with all the little kids. There is also a kaiser medical complex there. AND state & federal offices INCLUDING Homeland Security.. Downey is a toxic dump but yet made into a city.
    You all look into what kaiser is & you’ll find that it is not health care & involved in many state & federal agencies & came up with the term “medical based evidence”, it’s, THE junk science to back up BS medicine to deny any/all claims, along with the CDC & the DOD..
    This makes me wonder why all of this happens to those who need care & their benefits that they earned and why they have to fight for those benefits? Haven’t our vets fought enough already?

    • Absolutely insane. Just visit Vietnam and see the harm AO had delt the Veterans and children of those who fought for the North. How this man, a Veteran himself can make scientific denials about AO baffles me and millions of other Vietnam Vets. We were treated badly, and in some cases still are, men like these should never be allowed to hold positions in the VA Healthcare system. Unfortunately the VA is so correct and powerful, it’s hard for Veterans to make a case. Gob Bless us, America, and All the men and women who defend this nation.

  8. BS what is happening to these reservists. the horrors of AO effects and the history of VA’s handling of benefits for AO veterans is another horror story(s).

    here we are 2015, more VA hearings, more craziness at VA, and the VA will just wait everyone out i’m afraid…

    regarding the current hearings at the House Veterans Affairs Committee looking into problems in the Oakland and Philadelphia VA offices, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., the ranking Democrat on the committee, insisted the VA is continuing to improve service across the nation despite the problems at those two offices. she mentioned some numbers regarding the backlog among other comments:

    “…VA seems to still be on track to eliminate the backlog by the end of this year. In fact VA has reduced the backlog from a high of 611,000 claims in March 2013 to approximately 188,000 today. We are not there yet, but I believe we are on the right track, and I don’t want a few bad actors taking away the progress that has been made across the country for our veterans.”

    it’s that number 188,000 that i question. is that number reasonably correct? is that for the whole United States of veteran claims population? are those numbers for claims inclusive of appeal claims too? what of the claims found dusting away in Pittsburgh and Oakland, others? if that’s the real number then hats off to VARO across the country. but i’d like more clarification on just what those numbers really mean regarding the backlog of veterans claims across the country’s VARO.

    weekly standard article:
    https://tws.io/1DKWR7J

    florida newspaper article:
    https://bit.ly/1OpGMzz

  9. Again, what happens to civilians in workers comp happens with our vets. In 2005 (under the BUSH Administration), here in CA under Arnold Schwarzenegger, temporary disability was capped to two years, Prior to that most severely injured workers would only get 2 years of temp disability & then off to SSA/Medicare so the law was adjusted to what was being denied by insurance carriers since at least 1987. The two year temp rating started in 1987 with the afl-cio (federal unions too) & the SSA FOR employers. Most of these IW’s who got SSA/Medicare NEVER got total disability by the employer or even voc rehab. All they got was the lowered amount of SSI benefits.
    This was rigged by Congress. No matter how much we paid into SSA via FICA, out of our paychecks, it was all prorated to give us the least. I have the SSA’s own information form to prove this. & the The DOD is an employer too. but our vets are not employees, are they?. The insurance carrier for the DOD decides WHAT will be given to the disabled vet if anything because this is what insurance companies do….. but now our vets get SSA? Why should we, who get injured or ill through no fault of our own, have to pay for those injuries or illnesses caused by employers or the DOD, OUT of what we paid into SSA FICA/ but & STILL, WE do not get the correct ratings of our benefits?. IT APPEARS TO ME THAT THIS is an EPIC SHAM/SCAM THEFT going on ALL to deprive those that are injured or ill, any/all of their rightful benefits.

  10. If an affected veteran, know one, spouse or offspring add your statement in comment area too! All 18+ can sign!

    Our government needs to do its job and take care of the veterans as prescribed by law, Abe Lincoln and DOD regulations.

    Will you sign this petition? Click below to review the many comments and decide, ~4,500 have.

    https://signon.org/sign/equality-wrt-vet-dioxin
    Agent Orange and other Dioxin toxins.

    SIGN, Pass along to others too (family, friends and your email list), post link to group pages like FB every few days, and [SHARE] and re[SHARE] with everyone!

    https://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/serviceconnected/presumption.pdf
    = current VA Presumption.pdf and some presumed medical conditions

    https://www.veteranprograms.com/id1071.html <<<< Agent Orange Presumptive Disabilities

    https://www.vva.org/Guides/AgentOrangeGuide.pdf <<< Very good guide

    https://makeagentorangehistory.org/agent-orange-resources/background/health-effects-of-agent-orange-dioxin/

    https://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/ Contact congress

    https://www.veterans.senate.gov/chairman Contact form

    [email protected] Top of the VA, send your details
    (513) 509-8454

    Search BVA decisions https://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva.html

    To Contact your Members of Congress

    To Call your Representative: 202-225-2305
    To call your Senator: 202-224-3841 or 202-224-3553
    To call different members of Congress: 202-224-3121
    Toll FREE Number: 866-272-6622

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