If You Could Teach VSOs About Burn Pits, What Would You Say?

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Burn Pits

I wanted to reach out to you, my readers, about burn pits and what you would like me to relay to a room full of County Veteran Service Offices (CVSOs) next week about burn pits.

The presentation is to the Minnesota Association of CVSOs at their annual training. What I am hoping to pull out of all the literature are the block and tackle tricks VA uses and how to move around them.

As we now know, the Burn Pit Registry was basically a joke on veterans who believed participation would result in sooner approval of presumptive conditions for those permanently injured after breathing the smoke. Sadly, it seems our government has turned this mess into a Kafkaesque quagmire to elude accountability.

Most recently, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, formerly OIM, issued a report in February that dispelled any hope the data VA gathered would be of any value beyond the following:

The best use of the registry and data it collects is to make it a means for the eligible population to document their concerns over health problems that may have resulted from their service, to bring those concerns to the attention of VA and their health care providers, and supply VA with a list of persons who are interested in burn pit exposure issues.

As some speculated, the registry was as useless as previous registries for Agent Orange and Gulf War. The organization went on to blast the registry and how VA implemented something that could have been an amazing tool for resolving ambiguities in favor of developing cases supporting presumptives:

Registries are a relatively quick and inexpensive means of collecting and maintaining data on a group of people with a shared health condition or exposure. However, those that rely on voluntary participation and self-reported data have several intrinsic limitations. These include potential biases in the collected data that result from selective participation, misclassification of exposures or diseases, faulty recall, and other sources of inaccuracy. Such issues make them an intrinsically poor source of information on exposures, health outcomes, and possible associations among these events.

The questionnaire that VA developed to collect information from AH&OBP registrants is subject to these limitations, which are exacerbated by flaws in the registry’s structure and operation as well as in the questions that are asked and the way they are asked. The cumulative effect of the flaws is evidenced by the high percentage (about 40 percent) of respondents who initiated but did not complete the questionnaire and the number of questions that had large nonresponse rates. It’s important to understand, though, that even a well designed and executed registry would have little value as a scientific tool for health-effects research compared to a well-designed epidemiologic study. (emphasis added)

You can expand this most recent example over the past 60 years, pause and repeat. The game playing our government engages in to save a buck on the back of soldiers and veterans never seems to end.

For the presentation, I plan to walk through the duplicity of VA’s historic position in cleaning up poor decisionmaking by the Pentagon when fighting our nation’s wars. In addition to some of these examples, I would love to get feedback from you on your experiences.

So how is VA doing when adjudicating and researching exposure to burn pits and other toxins manufactured by international chemical manufacturers creating a variety of dioxins and other horrific chemicals?

How long will our soldiers be victimized by the chemical industry? When will DOD or VA get serious about researching these exposures?

When will VA train its medical examiners in how to evaluate burn pit and related exposures?

Why are these organizations so fixated on their “case by case” review when so many soldiers were affected by the same plums over Balad and elsewhere?

Source: http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2017/Burn-Pits-highlights.pdf

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Nic Mach
Nic Mach

Don’t fall in em.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

These are my opinions!

1.) How many lawmakers, VSO’s, VA or other agencies have actually been in the position of inhaling or ingesting toxins?
2.) How long will it take for our lawmakers, VSO’s and VA to realize the chemical and/or biological weapons used during warfare, are actually detrimental to, NOT only the military, but the civilian population as well. Even after the wars are fought?
3.) How long will it take for our lawmakers, VSO’s and VA realize the population is awakening to certain facts, ie; That “IF” they were to admit to the ailments caused by these “toxins”, the government would then be held responsible for the civilian populations, in the war torn countries, as well “AFTER the war”?
4.) I believe the VSO’s, lawmakers and VA employees know full well these “toxins” ARE detrimental to everyone’s health! That IF they were to admit to it, instead of calling them “presumptive conditions”, ALL HELL would break lose on them!
IF one thinks $20 trillion dollars of national debt is staggering. Then – “IF” the VA, government agencies, VSO’s, etc., were to admit to the ailments, our national debt would be much higher!
Because, then the U.S. would owe other countries for their population’s healthcare ailments. We would also owe the “war torn countries” for the destruction of their “lands” as well, ie: Vietnam

Those questions have been raised in the past. Yet, no one seems to want to address them – WHY?

91Veteran
91Veteran

You answered why Crazy Elf…liability for the mess created.

Why do lawmakers pass OSHA laws requiring specific actions for medical care if civilians are exposed to say Benzene, but then allow the military to ignore the same law?

If a substance is dangerous enough for congress to pass a law to protect civilians, that danger does not go away by putting on a uniform.

Its amazing what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission required for any DOD civilian exposed to DU, but the NRC ignored the same exposure to soldiers. The Army tried window dressing where AR14-4 required medical testing for soldiers exposed to one tenth of a gram of DU if that exposure occured on a US Army base, but in the Gulf War where 697000 pounds were fired, that regulation was ignored.

Why? Well, to admit it was a problem required admitting it will be a problem for any civilian on that land after the battle is over, and it would cost billions to clean up. Same with AO and Burn Pits.
91Veteran

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

namnibor,
Since you live in Ohio, here’s something I just ran across this morning.
From; “Crazy Clown”
Published on Sept. 7, 2017
Titled;
“JOHN CASICH GOV. OHIO EXPOSED (DACA)

(26:44 minutes long)
The “link” is:
“http://www.ojjpac.org/Ohio-illegal-al…”

Check it out. Also, read the comments section!
You probably are aware of your corrupt Govenor. Yet, this video sheds MORE light on Kasich’s illegal activities!
(Sorry about going “off subject”!)

namnibor
namnibor

Yeah, our Gov. yesterday invited every refugee and immigrant to escape DACA, come, all come to Ohio. Our Gov. has the same plate of crazy as John McCain.

Leatherneck
Leatherneck

namnibor John McCain should just retire between him and his wife they got enough money John McCain he 100 percent service connected employable he would not go to a Veteran Medical Center he said that .

91Veteran
91Veteran

Speaking of Crazy John Mcainiac, I wonder if his eye/brain tumor would have been caught earlier if he had an AO registry exam where the VA didn’t ignore the data.

Immigrant USMC Vet
Immigrant USMC Vet

Please educate yourself prior to commenting about refugees and immigrants. If you are 100% Native American then your comments “could” be appropriate, this is a nation of immigrants, Native Americans are the true citizens of this land, everyone else is an immigrant. Although DACA might be the current news in town, the United States Armed Forces actually do recruit citizens of other countries such myself, I became a U.S. citizen years after my military service, we are a nation of immigrants and like it or not this country can only be the best by having the talent that exists in other parts of our planet…

91Veteran
91Veteran

IUSMCV, Native Americans or Indians are not the true citizens of the country since they warred with and pushed out people already on the land, and is shown best by studying those who were in the West and Southwest before other tribes forced them out.
I, and I am sure others here, but they can comment themselves, are well aware of the military recruiting from other nations. I served along side many from other nations. As a Marine, I am sure you were taught to meet certain standards, or you would be punished. Same with laws. People figure out if they do not meet that standard (law), they can be punished for breaking it. These standards all flow from our Constitution, which you would have taken an Oath to uphold. The problem with DACA is that Obama’s lawyer who helped write DACA said it is likely unconstitutional and will not survive a court challenge. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals…a bullshit name if I ever heard one. You understand Deferred Action means Deferred Action against enffng existing law, right? Childhood Arrivals? Also bullshit because DACA covers “children” up to age 31. Why not younger? Why not older? Because 31 years ago, 1985, there were other laws passed governing immigration that Obama could not ignore with the stroke of his pen.
Our Constitution governs all citizens and was written to prevent a tyrannical government, a tyrannical government that results when a politician ignores our laws and takes action contrary to those laws. He is not a judge to decide on his own or a king.

If you believe otherwise, then you really did not believe in the oath you took.

91Veteran
91Veteran

One other comment IUSMC. I am happy that you have become a citizen and will have the ability to fully participate in everything this nation has to offer for citizens, but please be aware of something.

DACA is deferring action against those who have chosen NOT to become a citizen, yet take advantage of everything this nation has to offer anyway.

In my opinion, that is shitting on everything you have done in the Marines, your hard work to become a citizen, and everything else Marines stand for, and what it means to be a citizen.

Immigrant USMC Vet
Immigrant USMC Vet

I apologize for my comment and if possible I ask for Mr Krause to remove it as I think we are being distracted from the main subject of the issue. My opinion on immigration is a personal one which there is no right or wrong answer on such broad issue with a lot of history, we have provided legal immigration status to many that were involved in perfecting the Nazi holocaust that destroyed innocent lives which clearly didn’t conformed with our Constitution nor Values as a nation.

Immigration is not a topic in Veteran forums that seek to help us Veterans, Instead lets shift our focus on helping our brothers and sisters veterans that were harmed and the VA is looking the other way hoping the issue is forgotten.

We are a band of brothers that connects us in a way that no other entity can provide, we are the only ones that can provide the type of information that is not being considered by those that promised to care for our wounded Veterans.

Disabled Veterans are not just a compensation paycheck like the VA sees it, these are Veterans that have been impacted for life and have to cope unknown symptoms that affects their everyday life but can’t understand why is happening. Many Of out homeless Veterans which many have mental disabilities have no family support as many lose them thru the effects of their mental state, specially since their families are not savvy of the effects of the disability.

Again, in sorry for adding wood to the fire in regards to immigration, hope no one else responds to it the comment is not removed, I really hope instead we focus what was asked on the blog subject.

91Veteran
91Veteran

In some respects IUSMCV, it does pertain to veterans since it involves upholding the law, which we often see the VA failing to do.

I hope you stick around and continue to add your perspective.

NiteWish
NiteWish

Immigrant USMC Vet
Get educated: My experience w/Native Americans is that my uncle Chief Yellow Bow of the Pawhanton tribe of Ocali Nation was a drunk who abused, beat & divorced my aunt for not giving him children whom with his 2nd wife the only child HE could conceive was so severely disabled they institutionalized him. Don’t talk like the Native Americans are so special, they are not, they immigrated here too.

Apparently you do not live in an area where the MS13 gang became so violent & numerous the FBI was called in to implement a gang task force to bring them under control. These are the illegal immigrants I know & have animosity towards. Dreamers who have assimilate to the new culture, learned & speak the language, stay out of trouble & follow our laws etc could/should earn protection from deportation & citizenship when THEY take the Oath of allegiance to the Unites States.

Remember the Oath you took: “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Definition of immigrant = a person who COMES TO LIVE permanently in a foreign country. I was born here, my parents were born here I served in the military, I am not an immigrant. My 3 sons served in the military, they are not immigrants. I grow weary with this Oxymoron crap about Native Americans & everyone else is an immigrant.

Oh and Thank You for Your Service, that too grows old with little to no meaning. Something you just say because it is politically correct.

Immigrant USMC Vet
Immigrant USMC Vet

Thanks, please read my response to my comment above.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Hey Immigrant,

Most of us here are born and raised in America. That makes us Americans, not immigrants. So when you come here citing talk of how we are not true citizens and we are a nation of immigrants. Followed by singling out races and even bringing up the holocaust.

Following that up with stating we need talent that exists in other parts of the planet.

Take your Globalist bullshit somewhere else.

As for your claims to have served it really isn’t very likely considering you have no knowledge of what it means to be an American.

Yo klearly
Yo klearly

Hey seymore…

“Most of us here are born and raised in America. That makes us Americans, not immigrants”

Haha you are correct, can you send your comment to the Trump administration so they can open the borders to Americans, o wait, I have a feeling that you don’t actually realize that AMERICA is in fact the entire continent and does not belong to the United States, perhaps you might want to consider why is called the United States “OF” America aka is part of the American continent.

With that said you also provided a good point about the DACA debate, most of those people were in fact born in America just like you said, and ultimately raised in America so I guess that makes them Americans and not illegal immigrants….

😉

cj
cj

Yo Criminal:

This is a nation of laws, if your here illegally your a criminal. If your the child of an illegal you are also a criminal. You and every other illegal, who thinks a law that was written to stop the deportation, of the children of slaves, was meant for you to use, then you are sadly mistaken, it was never intended for your use. It should actually be taken off the books as there are no longer any children of slaves, that would be subjected to deportation.

You illegals are the new slaves, you come to this country, you steel jobs and resources from hard working Americans, and you drive the standard of living of the entire country down. Why should an employer pay a decent wage, when there are 1000 illegals standing in line to do it at minimum wage? Your parents had no respect for the law and that follows through to the children, who also have no respect for the law. If a criminal robbed a bank, and there were no consequences for his actions, then he would rob even more banks wouldn’t he? So take your convoluted twisting of our system and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Do it on your way out CRIMINAL.

Ask me if I give a shit how many families will be torn apart, if your all rounded up and tossed back across the border where you belong. I care about American families, not a damn illegal, and his criminal family. We are suppose to feel sympathy for illegals? Where is the sympathy for American families, that are starving because an illegal stole his job?

Watch this all, watch what the answer will be to that last question, your about to see this criminals true colors show.

What we need to do is BUILD THAT FUCKING WALL.

To cj
To cj

I agree with you, where is the sympathy for American families…

Lol AMERICA is the entire continent, so the American families would include everyone in North America, South America and Central America you dumb ass!

namnibor
namnibor

Good Morning Dickhead!

cj
cj

Your calling me a dumbass? Easily anyone with half a brain could take the clue “BUILD THAT FUCKING WALL”, as to what part of “America” I was referring.

See? The criminal completely skated around the issue, of stealing good paying jobs, away from United States citizens, by taking that job for minimum wage. The criminal illegal, could care less if ANY United States citizen, and their families, suffer at all, because of the criminals actions. Yet the criminal will protest, carrying a flag of his own country, instead of the country he illegally invaded, that of the “United States of America”. The illegal will “DEMAND” special treatment out of one side of his mouth, while demeaning all those who he has harmed, by being here in the first place.

Harmful preferential treatment laws, such as, illegals do not have to have the same high scores, to qualify for medical school as the rest of us. Take your flag, from whatever country you originated from, and march your sorry ass home.

BUILD THAT FUCKING WALL!!!

cj
cj

By the way troll, your self serving rant, is taking away from the real issues that Veterans are trying to discuss. Way to go, making it all about YOU!!

For cj
For cj

Yes I called you a dumbass, clearly you have no idea who you are talking to, not only I am USMC Vet, but also hold dual citizenship, one of them bing from the United States of America.

Two, I don’t know what you are referring to in regards to taking that job for minimum wage, since all armed forces have the same pay scale, any United States Citizen can join the US armed forces and get paid the same so no one is stealing nothing.

Three, scores and skills are two different things, I am sorry that you are angry from failing to meet the requirements for medical school.

In my own experience, there is a demand for certain skills that in fact the United States benefits from since we depend on a worldwide economy.

Also let me burst your bubble about the low paying job I supposedly took from you, not only I was given the next rank at entry, but also special pay for being chosen to join the United States Marine Corps Aviation.

In regards to the economy and jobs I have taken, well clearly you have no sense on how the world operates and how jobs are created.

Let me tell you a little about the commercial aviation business and other countries “without mentioning specific countries”. many of those aircraft flown by commercial airlines worldwide are in fact leased aircraft from the United States. Once the lease is up the aircraft must return to the states in its original condition and abide with all FAA regulations prior to entering our airspace.

The entire aircraft is disassembled and some of it refurbished there and some of it back in the United States, but ultimately the entire aircraft must be rebuilt in the country of origin which the entire project takes from 6 months to over a year depending the shape of the aircraft.

Some countries don’t allow our government officials such those from the FAA to conduct business in their territories due to political reasons, for that reason some of us in this business are given the certification and license to conduct final inspections on other countries.

Your demand to go back to my country because I’m taking good paying jobs, well for one the services are paid from airlines based on other countries which that was not money from here yet is put into our economy, for two small minded people like you that think that other countries don’t matter nor help our economy can’t perform those jobs nor generate income on those countries that ultimately becomes part of our local job economy and tax revenue, ultimately people like you would make us not only lose those jobs but also politically put us in a worse position trying to demand on other countries to be treated as a privileged American with the mentality that you are doing them a favor.

I wish Krause could remove all these comments that are not part of the actual discussion of fire pits as there is no way for us to remove them.

Well unless you have a constructive comment, this will be my last comment to you and those responding to this subject.

Word of advise is to get an education and do something you love, being a victim and blaming others about low paying jobs is a choice, illegals didn’t create the housing market crash of 2008, the greed and fraud of the banking industry in addition to the irresponsibility of those purchasing homes above their means to portray the false illusion that they had achieved the American Dream are the true cause of your issue.

A good paying job is nothing but your own vision on how much material stuff you can achieve, a job is not a right, money is not a right, a house is not a right, the only right you have is to value and benefit from your own skills which in exchange you will get back something of value.

Not a single person is the same, how you educate, develop your skills, and market yourself is ultimately what defines your value so stop wasting your time commenting and do something with your career.

I am in my early 40s and unlike you, i actually can chose to work or just be happy with what I have for the rest of my life, but doesn’t mean that I will stop seeking knowledge about my passion.

Cheers mate and put a smile on your face, focus in your life and not the life of others, ultimately at the end the only one miserable is you, your excitement about building the border wall not only is just going to be a quick gratification but reality will hit that not only you are in the same financial position as before and probably complaint of higher taxes for the greater deficit in our countries debt to build a wall that history in our century has shown that walls don’t work except to sell pieces of it once it comes does as souvenirs like in Berlin.

cj
cj

Blah, blah, blah, like I said, all about you right? See how simple that was?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Say Yo Yo Troll,

Anchor Babies are not covered by DACA! Also, if you don’t know what it means to be American you don’t belong here.

You might want to join the rest of the varmints over at the new Hillary site at “Verrit.com”. I guess they love to roll around in the shit you are spreading.

namnibor
namnibor

@Crazy elf- Hope you and the wife and critters are hunkered-down for Irma. worry especially for the Homeless Population because it’s represented by a large proportion of Veterans.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Thanks nam,
We made it to Thomasville, Ga., a Days Inn, and it looks like Irma just might follow us up here, lol!
That’s ok. We’ll be safe!
“Katie”, our poodle/shih tzu mix, is sleeping. She be tired, lol!!!!!
Thanks again for the concern!

NiteWish
NiteWish

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services has posted a List of DACA approval by each state & by country of origin for 2016 these numbers have greatly increased. There are over 100,000 in CA now. Plus CA approved giving AB 60 Drivers Licenses where in 2015 830,000 applied for them.
Here is that DACA link.
“https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data/All%20Form%20Types/DACA/daca_performancedata_fy2016_qtr3.pdf”

And to top that off NY, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont & Virginia Filed a lawsuit to keep DACA. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra plans to file a separate lawsuit.

It’s the weekend let the protesting begin. Everyone be safe.

namnibor
namnibor

1) For visual aid, have on rollers as a visual aid for your presentation, a VA Telemedicine Booth, Plexiglas walls,
2) Stunt VSO steps inside, then tell the VSO if he pushes the big red button, the piggy trough will fill with $$$ in front of him for grazing,
3) But instead the VA Telemedicine Viewing Booth (VATVB) fills with toxic smoke of all nasty burn pit ingredients as well as blowing sand, and
4) Piggy now thirsty you say?
5) Push big orange button for a refreshing Agent Orange Julius dispensed by rodent habitrail water tube from above within booth
6) All while the VA Telemedicine Hack smiles indifferently on a large HD screen from a safe place in Pakistan.

7) Remember, the VA CARES.

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

Now you know they redefine telebooth tv to the GRN (gut rack network).
All you see is fat ass clinicians with their stomachs and pizza stain proof lab coats in the camera view.
You know the VA has a contractor that makes those well tailored, I am a fat employee, action wear.

namnibor
namnibor

“You know the VA has a contractor that makes those well tailored, I am a fat employee, action wear.”
That’s how the DOD field tests new forms of Kevlar Flak Vests, they are beta tested on the purple team members. However, be careful that you do not bump into any of them with much force because just like those pop-n-fresh canister biscuit rolls that *pop* when you unpeel them; same goes for purple team flesh breaking-out of yet another failed Kevlar Vest test.

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

Like Ball Park franks!!! LOL!!!

Peter Kreutzfeldt
Peter Kreutzfeldt

every where I went in Nam they had them 24/7. Medical waste as well as all refuse was burned to keep the kids out of the dump. I wonder what happened to those kids that scrounged in the dumps

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

That may an interesting venture for Ben to delve into, I am interested too see if the government of Vietnam would give information to any regular American soldier, sailor , marine or airmen.
I bet our government would try to shut that communication down
They won’t win, but it is a venture worth trying if you have resources.

APB/duck
APB/duck

Hand them my buddies lungs.

cj
cj

…-!ii!-…

Armygirl
Armygirl

The problem besides burn pits is, I was stationed at camp spearhead in Kuwait and we had air quality briefings about the quality of the air because all you could see around us was factories and refineries. Your lungs felt heavy all the time, if you were lucky to go to Doha or somewelse you would feel the heaviness go away and you could breathe normal! We were told the air was safe and their were no problems! After a year we returned from our deployment and were given a piece of paper listing all the chemicals we were breathing in depending on which way the wind was blowing and if we feel like there is a medical issue later on to contact a phone number! It is ridiculous the things we were exposed to! One question I wonder is did these chemicals I breathe in affect my kids, who I had years after? They both have developmental problems!

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Armygirl,

The full study can be accessed at “http://nap.edu/23677”. On the right hand side of the page there is a link to download as a free PDF.

I am not far into the study yet but note that there were three additional studies already performed here is a quote of the primary results of one of those studies which suggest there may be a link.

“the strongest finding was that there is sufficient evidence of an association between combustion products and lung cancer. The committee also found limited or suggestive evidence of an association between combustion-product exposure and cancers at several other sites (oral, nasal, laryngeal, and bladder), incident asthma, and two reproductive outcomes after exposure during pregnancy: preterm birth and low birthweight or intrauterine growth retardation. (p. 6)”

You can find that full report at: “https://www.nap.edu/download/11180″

Numerous other studies on the subject of Gulf War Illnesses and their consequences are also available from the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine can also be found at:

”https://www.nap.edu/search/?term=the+association+between+exposure+to+fuels%2C+combustion+products%2C+and+propellants+present+in+the+1990%E2%80%931991+Gulf+War+theater+and+health+outcomes+%28IOM%2C+2005%29.+&x=0&y=0“

91Veteran
91Veteran

Your kids being affected would depend on the chemicals you were exposed to. Some chemicals are expelled from the body over a short period of time, while other chemicals take much longer, and some are never expelled because they settle in various parts of the body.
91Veteran

NiteWish
NiteWish

Pictures are more powerful than Words. I would show them the YouTube videos burn pit veterans have posted.

91Veteran
91Veteran

First off, my comment may be long, but I hope you would read it all Ben.

To your question first, why are organizations fixated on case-by-case reviews? Simple. It makes it much easier to tell the vet that they are the ONLY ONE reporting the problem, and gee, they can’t figure out what’s wrong, which discourages vets from filing claims, or makes it easier to deny a claim.

Now, what good did an Agent Orange registry do for speeding presumption of conditions for medical problems in Vietnam vets? Brain lesions and ALS in Gulf War vets? Any condition reported by Burn Pit vets?

Nothing. It did nothing because in each instance, registry exams were put in place to make it look like the VA is doing something, when in fact in every instance, the VA ignores any data gathered. If that were not the case, you would hear researchers citing data gathered in their studies.

Registries are a snapshot of what is going on with a specific population. Comparing it to formal, controlled research is wrong. It should be used as a snapshot to inform researchers what to look for, and for presumptive legislation until the research catches up. Demanding formal research results and conclusions immediately is wrong and a serious disservice to veterans suffering because a conclusion may take years. Also, demanding formal research first excludes a huge majority of vets exposed because they are not lucky enough to live close enough to where the research is taking place, which means conclusions are going to be made based on a small sample of those exposed. This ignores variations in toxins exposed, variations in exposure time, variations from human to human, all of which will be used as excuses to ignore illnesses.

How to fix this? First some history. I participated in the Gulf War Registry when it first started. The VA had a protocol that each examiner was supposed to follow in the examination. As is typical of the VA, doctors were poorly trained if at all, and very few followed the protocol, even if the veteran provided a printed copy. Another problem was that although the VA stated if other medical conditions were found AFTER that registry exam, those new findings were supposed to be added to the registry. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. Several years after my registry exam, I found out that new findings were supposed to be added to the registry, so I submitted a FOIA for my registry exam results. I got the records, and found absolutely nothing was added after the initial exam in late 1992. If the VA is not adding to a registry record as they learn of new problems, the registries will remain useless snapshots that help nobody.

How to fix it? The VA has spent billions on IT equipment. If a vet claims a specific medical condition as service connected, you can bet your ass the VA can research your records to try and deny it was service connected. In addition, the VA has a proven track record on flagging vets as Disruptive, and seems to know exactly when a vet will be on VA grounds for an appointment.

If a vet from a specific conflict reports on their first VA appointment that they were exposed to a Burn Pit, their records should be flagged as Burn Pit. If a vet was exposed to a chemical agent, the vets records should be flagged as WMD. If a vet was exposed to DU as I was, and have the test results to prove it, then those records should be flagged as DU.

All of this can be done electronically on the VAs billion dollar IT system. That flag would be permanent and present no matter where a vet goes. It would also be used by any researcher to be able to quickly pull up all Burn Pit vets, Agent Orange vets or DU vets…and their medical histories. By doing so, any first year med student could then see what medical conditions are common among each group.

Would it be a fix for all? No. But it would be a damn site better than the VA acting ignorant and ignoring vets for years until a veteran finally forces the VA to admit to a problem.

Think of the eye cancer reported a few days ago. How long was the VA aware that it is a prevalent medical problem? And it was a vet getting a FOIA response to force the VA to admit to data they already had. Same with ALS, or any other common condition in specific veteran populations.

If the CDC were examining an outbreak of Ebola, they look for commonalities. They don’t look for whether that person got Ebola from eating at Popeyes like the VA would do.
91Veteran

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“VA Surgeons Accidentally Embedded A Piece Of Plastic In A Veteran’s Artery”
Jonah Bennett National Security/Politics Reporter Daily Caller
11:21 AM 09/08/2017

“Department of Veterans Affairs surgeons accidentally embedded a piece of plastic tubing in a veteran’s leg, which later had to be amputated.

Memphis VA physicians were supposed to repair the blood vessels of a veteran suffering from diabetes and poor circulation in 2016, but instead they stuck 10 inches of plastic tubing in his leg, USA Today reports.

Doctors only discovered the mistake three weeks later when they amputated the veteran’s leg and found 3 inches of the tubing as they made incisions. Later, once the leg was fully cut off, they dug in and found the other 7 inches of tubing.”

“http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/08/va-surgeons-accidentally-embedded-a-piece-of-plastic-in-a-veterans-artery/”

91Veteran
91Veteran

Seymore, I don’t know which news article is correct, but the USA Today article I posted yesterday on this says it was plastic packaging embedded in the vets artery, not plastic tubing.

It might be nitpicky, but it makes a big difference in my opinion.

A catheter (plastic tubing) breaking off in a vein is a possible known hazard with catheters.

Plastic packaging over the plastic tubing is not a hazard if it is removed prior to inserting the catheter.

If it truly was the plastic packaging that broke off, it is even worse than just the catheter breaking, because it says whoever inserted it is too stupid to know how to remove packaging, use a catheter and is damn dangerous.

The USA Today article says 3 inches of plastic packaging was removed when the catheter was taken out, and the remaining 7 inches was found AFTER the leg was cut off…which means either whoever removed the catheter was stupid, or intentionally negligent in leaving the remaining packaging in his leg.

Either way, it shows just how shockingly incompetent VA providers are if they don’t even know the hazards of leaving packaging on a catheter, or how uncaring the bastards are if they just ignored it.
91Veteran

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Seymore and 91Veteran,
Betcha the article never mentioned the [witch]doctors name, nor what “third world country” the asswipe allegedly graduated from!

91Veteran
91Veteran

Crazy Elf, I never saw a name mentioned in either article.
Not surprised.
91Veteran

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Hey Elf and 91Veteran,

Although the USA Today article also excludes the Doctors name it does include the following information on just how bad the House of Horrors VAMC really is.

“Exclusive: Botched surgery, delayed diagnosis at a one-star ‘house of horrors’ VA hospital”
Donovan Slack and Jake Lowary, USA TODAY Sept. 7, 2017
At: “https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/07/memphis-va-botched-surgery-veteran-patient-safety-threats/637497001/”

“The error is one of a litany of patient safety issues at the Memphis hospital in recent years chronicled in a trove of internal documents obtained by the USA TODAY Network that provide a revealing glimpse of one of the worst of 168 VA hospitals in the country.

The Memphis VA scores only one out of five stars in the agency’s quality-of-care rankings and the documents show reports of threats to patient safety at the hospital soared to more than 1,000 last year, up from 700 the year before.

Among the other serious incidents investigated in 2016: The medical center mishandled a tissue sample resulting in a repeat biopsy, a provider perforated a patient’s colon during a colonoscopy, and a patient with abdominal pain and blood in his urine waited two hours in the emergency room before leaving for another local hospital where the patient “was deemed urgent and seen immediately.”

According to VA statistics, the hospital is among the worst in the country for patient safety and inpatient outcomes. Death rates following acute care or pneumonia treatment also are among the worst of any of the agency’s medical centers.

The VA quietly removed an array of top managers at the hospital in recent weeks, including the chiefs of surgery, anesthesiology, and research, according to internal documents.”

“Mary Davis says she knows first-hand just how bad care can be at the Memphis VA —and how tragic the consequences.

After her husband, Vietnam veteran Charles I. Davis, collapsed on the kitchen floor in their Atoka, Tenn., home in 2015, an MRI scan showed he had a tumor in his neck. She said when she asked doctors to check a scan taken at the VA the previous year, they found the tumor had been visible but VA clinicians had failed to diagnosis it.

By the time they caught it, the tumor had damaged his spine and he is now paralyzed.

“They should have caught it,” she told USA TODAY. “I am totally 100 percent disappointed in the care.””

“A “house of horrors”

“It’s a house of horrors,” said Sean Higgins, a former logistics technician at the hospital.

Then there was the botched surgery in September 2016. An internal report says VA clinicians inserted a catheter into an artery that supplied blood to the veteran’s right foot but could not get it past a narrowed portion of the vessel. They pulled it out and administered medications to try and lessen any blockages.

What they didn’t realize is that they had not removed plastic packaging on the catheter before inserting it. And the packaging stayed in his leg.

An investigation found that after the procedure he had lost complete blood flow through the artery. The amputation came 22 days later.”

Full article is worth reading.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Regarding the management of the Memphis VAMC (House of Hoorors). Remember the interior designer at the Memphis VA Brittany Lowe who was convicted of her third DUI. Not only did they put her on paid administrative leave while she had to serve her jail sentence they then hired a driver for her since she lost her license for more than a year. That was so she could return to work. Her Sentence was 11 months and 29 Days.

See: “EXCLUSIVE: VA Employee Convicted Of DUI Three Times Returns To Work At Memphis VA Medical Center”, Jonah Bennett National Security/Politics Reporter Daily Caller
8:33 PM 05/17/2017
“http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/17/exclusive-va-employee-convicted-of-dui-three-times-returns-to-work-at-memphis-va-medical-center/”

And See: “State of Tennessee vs. Brittany Lowe” At: “https://www.scribd.com/document/341852015/Brittney-Lowe?irgwc=1&content=27795&campaign=VigLink&ad_group=1726779&keyword=ft500noi&source=impactradius&medium=affiliate”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Also worth noting about the management of Memphis VAMC is that Whistle Blower Sean Higgins was fired by them June 22, the day before President Donald Trump signed into law whistleblower protection.

Fucked Grunt
Fucked Grunt

I was exposed to biologicals and chemical weapons that the VA don’t recognize Leaks of Chemical weapons all the time for a year straight I can’t get any validation even with pictures and a medal for it. I can’t talk about any of it I have a Secrecy Oath and my medical records scrubbed.

Sad Sapper
Sad Sapper

I was in ballad as well as other fobs in the Sunni triangle. As part of a combat engineer company doing route clearance all over Iraq our assault and obstacle platoon was detailed to work in the burn pits because we had D7 bulldozers. I can tell you from first hand experience the crap that was burning in that pit was no where near safe to inhale some items I remember seeing, chemical gear like gas masks and chemical suits, medical waste, tires and chemicals like oils, and cleaning agents and so much more. The only thing you had to protect your self was a scarf and we know that doesn’t filter out anything. We were there at LSA Anaconda for about 6 mos out of a 14 month deployment. I was diagnosed with Asthma by the VA within a matter of years after developing a cough that wouldn’t go away so put two and two together. Now I made several visits to the burn pit directly as my company had a platoon working there pushing trash into the burning area. I know in the mornings there would be inversion so you’d have a black fog rolling through the fob and everyone in certain areas had no choice but to be exposed to the smoke. Will the VA ever cover vets with problems from inhaling all these different toxins? I doubt it but, maybe if they live long enough they will. But the DOD needs to admit to it first and open the door for the VA to be forced into seriously looking at the effect of the inhalation. Well, I think I’m rambling on here but I know what I experienced and it was in no way good for anyone.

Sad Sapper
Sad Sapper

Oh, and yes I completed the burn pit registry at the request of the VA. And I answered all questions.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I don’t mean to kill any hope, but from long experience the VA will offer all kinds of excuses to drag this out and delay.

The VA will ask is your condition service connected. You can say yes, I was exposed to X. The VA says OK, you have asthma. Over time, if that develops into something worse, the VA will ask you to prove X is caused by your exposure.

More time will pass, and you will find out you were exposed to A, B, C, D, and E, and the VA will claim there is no evidence exposure to those causes your condition.

It is only after a large number of vets can prove they have the same condition will the VA agree that condition should be presumed service connected.

They will never admit specific conditions are related to exposure, even when civilian research proves exposure to a substance causes a specific health problem.

Fucked Grunt
Fucked Grunt

This is true, I mean “Environmental Toxins” can’t possibly cause health issues there is always no casual link or evidence to support any such conditions

91Veteran
91Veteran

Well, there is no evidence when the VA puts their blinders on and only looks at their own research. There have been countless times where they claimed there is no evidence for exposure to something causes a medical condition, but civilian research going back years proves it.
91Veteran

Suzie Rottenkrautz
Suzie Rottenkrautz

How many of us would send a teenage son or daughter for a whole day to burn with a short tent pole stick to stir a bunch of tires, rubber&plastic like MRE wrappers, hazardous items with toxic paint, fecal matter, anything of your worst imagination’s conjuring and NOT expect some very bad results? The VA ignores the registry other than sending a friendly flier every 6 months.

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

When will VA train its medical examiners in how to evaluate burn pit and related exposures?[never]

When over half of the vet’s are dead,And then they will still deny you your claim hoping you will give up…………..FUCK YOU VA….I don’t give up
Another good one is your not diagnosed with that problem, so you don’t have it, but all your records and even doctors letters sent to you admit it along with MRI’S and medication list to prove it.
What a crime racket…
And can’t forget for the old timers on the shit burning detail stirring the honey pot with a stick,sure didn’t smell like mom’s cooking…..chitlins stewing in diesel fuel was more like it….LOL
Now back to working on my claim they tossed back to me asking me what I don’t agree with..I guess ALL was not a good answer…
And onto VSO’s I get a lifer jarhead and he comes up with the bullshit I was there and nothing is wrong with MEEEEEE..I guess he was standing beside me the whole time and I didn’t see him…

TaB
TaB

I thank you for your efforts Mr. Krause. I wish I had more to do/say.

All I can say is I have a friend who served in the middle east on multiple occasions and she has a horrible cough that gets so bad that repeated treatments such as antibiotics, etc. won’t clear up.

I told her jokingly that she’s a burn pit victim, but I want to cry as I am typing this because sad that she (a mother and wife) may be stuck with this because the VA and our government want to save a few bucks.

I haven’t told her how sad and upset this really makes me. I feel so terrible for her.

Paul
Paul

Operation northern watch had dumps continuously burning at incirlik airbase end of runway.many including myself in 1996 went to sick call with sinus and repiratory issues.this was left off of collection data.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Ben,

I think there is an ongoing problem with comments appearing here. On this column alone, I have gotten at least 4 email notifications of comments, but when clicking the link to go to the comment here, the comment cannot be found.

The most recent is:

“https://www.disabledveterans.org/2017/09/08/if-you-could-teach-vsos-about-burn-pits-what-would-you-say/#comment-90566″

Give them what facts you have, manufacturers warnings, studies, why not only do you burn etc, how such items are disposed of. Chemical makeup of products being burned including human waiste For instance do we cremate bodies here in open environment, or do we use closed excinerator. The reckless actions and lack of leadership in our own military killed or injured our own. Common sense etc etc”

No idea why it would be missing.

TaB
TaB

I had to mull over this to finally have an “aha” moment here.

You can bring all the evidence, proof, stories to the piggy VSOs, but you’re not gonna make any impact.

The VSOs receive “federal financial assistance” from the VA and are content on getting their wallets fat from tax exempt donations. So, the VSOs aren’t gonna upset the hand that feeds them (the VA).

So if the VA tells the VSOs to stand down when it comes to burn pit claims, the VSOs will stand down.

No offense, but trying to reason with piggy VSOs is a fools’ errand.

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

LIVE HURRICANE IRMA MAKES LANDFALL IN FLORIDA – LIVE STREAM COVERAGE 9/10/17 – YouTube
“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mguqotRlO6s”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“VA watchdog: Tomah staff failed to report rogue dentist”
CHRIS HUBBUCH, La Crosse Tribune, Sep 8, 2017
“http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/va-watchdog-tomah-staff-failed-to-report-rogue-dentist/article_c2b89dde-9941-5bb4-91df-d3cf98b22941.html”

The watchdog agency for the federal Department of Veterans Affairs says staff at the Tomah VA Medical Center failed to report a dentist who used improperly sterilized equipment for more than nine months and found surprise inspections could have alerted hospital leaders sooner.

The findings are contained in a report released Thursday by Office of Inspector General on its investigation into the lapse in hygiene, which could have exposed hundreds of veterans to bloodborne infections, including HIV and hepatitis.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

VSOs at work how sick is this>

“Activist fights state restrictions on assisted death for Veterans Home residents in Yountville”
HOWARD YUNE
“http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/activist-fights-state-restrictions-on-assisted-death-for-veterans-home/article_a447a892-1669-586c-91c6-bf00fd69e933.html”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

The American Medical Association (AMA) wants a bigger cut of the VA Budget!!!

“AMA joins brief seeking VA coverage of sex reassignment Sx”
September 10, 2017
“https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-09-ama-va-coverage-sex-reassignment.html”

“The AMA has joined the brief, which notes that the VA covers all medically necessary care for transgender veterans except SRS. The brief argues that gender dysphoria can result in clinically significant psychological distress, depression, self-mutilation, and thoughts of and attempts at suicide.

AMA policy supports health insurance coverage for treatment of gender dysphoria as recommended by patients’ physicians, noting that the financial cost of transgender individuals in the military is a rounding error in the defense budget and should not be used as an excuse to deny these Americans an opportunity to serve their country.”

“”Blanket bans on SRS—such as the VA’s ban—disrupt continuity of patient care,” the brief states. “This disruption of continuity of care runs contrary to the health care needs of transgender veterans, which the VA well understands.” “

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Of Course the AMA supports Lopitoffofme and AddADickToMe Surgeries.

“Transgender veterans have high rates of mental health problems”
April 1, 2016
“Among military veterans identifying as transgender, 90 percent have at least one mental health diagnosis, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, and nearly 50 percent had a hospitalization after a suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts. These study findings, from a single veterans’ hospital, will be presented Friday at The Endocrine Society’s 98th annual meeting in Boston.”

Leatherneck
Leatherneck

Rise and Shine Veterans call your Senators and Representative try to convince them to contact the Veterans Affairs Admistation so Disabled Veteran Affairs Committee in Washington, DC passed a New Disabled Veterans Benefit Law which is if a Disabled Veteran who is collecting 100 percent service connected definitely need to get G4 implants from a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist because their is absolutely not one works at a Veteran Medical Center plus they haven’t even one has a contract with Veteran Affairs Admistation but their is Private Clinics knows how to put G4 implants but unfortunate they want all the money up front my belief as a Concerned Veteran the money should come from the Federal Government so the Disabled Veterans collecting 100 percent service connected get the G4 implants for free because three quarters of Disabled Veterans who is 100 percent service connected can’t even afford to get a loan to get the G4 implants plus if a Disabled Veterans collecting don’t get the G4 implants it causes other Health Problems Issues remember without Veterans we would not be call United States plus who will Defend United States also Spread the Word. ..Semper Fi 👍.