Vietnam Veterans

Big Win For Children Of Vietnam Veterans

Vietnam Veterans

Benjamin KrauseChildren of Vietnam veterans afflicted with spina bifida in connection with a parent’s exposure to herbicides lumped into the Agent Orange classification are eligible for new benefits. These children of Vietnam veterans will now be able to receive in-home care full-time to help with activities of daily living (ADLs).

These adults with spina bifida who are approved for care from VA are severely disabled have required full-time care for the majority of their lives. For decades, VA refused to provide this care. For that reason, at least one parent would need to stay home full time and forego a career in order to provide care for their child. It stands to reason VA should cover this need since it is the result of our country’s careless use of herbicides without concern of the long term impact on soldiers much less their ability to reproduce.

VA’s decision was announced two weeks ago to Ron Nesler, disabled veteran and founder of VA is Lying. Nesler has been fighting with VA about the health care his adoptive daughter (Honey Sue Newby) was entitled to due to her biological father’s exposure to herbicides during his 3 tours in Vietnam as a Marine sniper.

RELATED: Spina Bifida Program Blocks Vietnam Veteran

Nesler, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, was never unfamiliar with fighting VA over benefits. In the last 90’s, Nesler was almost killed by cancer when VA failed to diagnose and treat his condition for three years. His cancer was treated by a non-VA facility after he nearly died.

RELATED: Congress Turns Its Back On Spina Bifida Children

Since that time, Nesler picked up the torch to ensure his adopted daughter received the care she was promised following passage of statutes in 1997 for spina bifida care. In 2008, Congress passed a law to amend regulations to allow adequate care for Honey Sue. However, VA interpreted the law to actually restrict the care it was designed to allow.

RELATED: Congress Be Damned, VA Denies Health Care To Children Born With Spina Bifida

In 2013, after two more stints before Congress, VA finally approved paying for health care to assist these severely disabled children in the home via helping with activities of daily living (ADLs). Two years after that, VA approved 24/7 in home care.

Previously, VA only approved a few hours of this care each week, which placed an enormous burden on families.

RELATED: VA Approves ADL For Children With Spina Bifida

The timing is acutely important for Nesler and other parents of children with spina bifida linked to the Vietnam War. Most of these parents are getting old enough to require their own home care much less provide care to severely disabled children.

For the Neslers, their new peace of mind is priceless as they are now sure Honey Sue will be cared for after they are gone.

RELATED: Veterans Bypass Vet Orgs With Technology To Get Justice

I personally helped Nesler with this issue as a journalist while in law school. Our fight had some heated moments and included me being threatened by a VA employee linked to the Chief Business Office at Denver VA.

Nesler credits Emily O’Connor, Vietnam Veterans of America, and yours truly for helping him pressure the agency into helping children like Honey Sue get support from the agency charged with providing care.

You can track our experience by clicking on the links above.

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  1. I really hope the VA will follow through with this, I could sure use some help. I have a son with Spina Bifida who just turned 38, is in a wheelchair and on dialysis, so my days are full. My husband and I also have a son with Aspergers and severe depression. My husband was exposed to Agent Orange and passed in 2009 from said exposure. He had 6 100% service connected disabilities and I also was his caregiver for 14 yrs before he passed. He was my hero, now my sons are. I have been fighting for helpless child statis for my son with Aspergers since 2009. I’m 59, in ok health but have a bad back and osteoporosis but I will take care of our sons till I drop. This would be wonderful if I could get some help even for a couple days a week. There are a lot of people in my position that the VA is overlooking and don’t really care about. Thank you Mr. Nesler for your fight. This gives me a little hope.

    1. It’s a pity that our American media, majority of elected officials top to bottom, the elite class and clique crowds, college kiddies, all those special interest groups, many charities, vet groups, in many towns, complete states, flat out refuse to get involved or be more out-spoken about these issues. There are so many stories out there that I have tried to get noticed by a vast majority of people but those listed above, the medical associations to any attorneys and veterans groups I’ve talked with just don’t care, it’s not them or not in their cliques or country clubs.

      Military dot com may be useful for some trying to manage these horrible issues but many delete and censor such stories and complaints too. There are just so many activist and pro-VA workers plus their unions workers that seem to have more time and money than we do to play online, distract to attacking us while we are trying to get some truth and issues out to the public and big time. But even the propagandist and distractors like Fox and the rest keep turning their heads to these stories today. They are so picky and what they report has to serve somebody or to show some facade with their smiling millionaire faces. It doesn’t do any good to mention stories then move on to other distractions or making animal rights more important than veteran or human issues, just for one example.

      Blessing and prayers to you and hope you get some attention and needed aid from those who are responsible and paid to see to it you get what you need and the support we see some get on TV. Getting anything good or promised from out leaders and elected plus many others is like pushing my truck up-hill with a rope.

  2. Imagine what has happened to children in vietnam living in contaminated areas for decades

  3. I believe the VA will, somehow, skirt this law and do whatever they want. Which is, continue to defy all laws passed.
    Whenever a law is passed, as namnibor and others on here and elsewhere have noticed, VA upper managements continue to run each VHA as they fit. Basically letting veterans down.
    Each year Congress, the Senate and the President pass a “spending bill” for billions of taxpayers money. Then the VA miraculously spends it with impunity. With no accountability or transparency VA has shown they cannot be trusted.

    We have said, “VA is being run by the inmates!” This is no longer going to be the norm. Something has to give. I believe this next election cycle will be interesting to say the least!

    That’s my input for today brothers and sisters.

  4. This really is wonderful, but it’s half the battle. The VA routinely thwarts the will of our lawmakers either by using procedural loopholes or simply through noncompliance.

    There are two examples I can think of off-hand. Last year’s legislation designed to “fix” wait times for veterans has done little, if anything, to help. In fact, these secret wait lists still exist in some facilities and wait times have increased in others.

    The other example deals with presumptive conditions. I’m a Gulf War vet, and I’m still fighting for service-connection on several of these conditions. Legislators declared that if you were diagnosed with these, they are service-connected in the absence of clear-cut evidence of another nexus. I wouldn’t use just my own anecdotal evidence to support this if it weren’t for the HUNDREDS of other vets who I’ve either spoken to or interacted with on Ben’s website who have the same issue.

    1. Same here. For years they said they could diagnose our illnesses, then after Congress passed legislation service connecting undiagnosed illness using a like code, the VA magically diagnosed many overnight. There are illnesses that are now presumptuve, but unless a vet quotes specific law to them, those illnesses are still denied.
      ALS was denied, until someone leaked VA data showing they knew how high of a prevalence it was in Gulf War vets.
      I would bet any Gulf War vet would still be denied service connection for it.

  5. It’s great this issue has been resolved, and I’m sure the VA will fall all over themselves patting themselves in the back for doing the right thing, but the cynic in me requires I ask, which contractor friend of upper VA management stands to benefit?
    Will this actually be implemented as intended by Congress years ago? Or will this be another instance of contractors hiring barely literate flunkies while pocketing lots of cash while claiming they are providing a service?

  6. This is great news!
    However, with the VA’s past history of doing exactly what THEY want and interpreting passed Laws the way in which THEY see fit makes me think we are going to have to keep holding the VA’s head and eyes onto the very regulation and wording because they have not earned the trust to just think that they will not find some way of f*cking this up as they do everything else….plus, isn’t Ron in Indiana, where the Indy VAMC is a HUGE STORY just waiting to be exposed on all the BS going on?

    I truly think Ben and others need to take a magnifying glass to the massive incompetence at the Indy VAMC.

    My own brother has officially had to “divorce the VA Health Care” that’s becoming well-known as “VA Deathcare, Indy Location”, because they almost killed my brother this year from giving contraindicative meds that clashed so badly AND were even meds the FDA said that should NOT BE USED.
    The VA was basically giving my brother “heart attacks in amber bottles”, and it took an emergency visit at a civilian hospital (that the VA will not pay for BTW), my brother admitted to this hospital only to find out that he would not have been in his predicament had he used his intuition as ceased using the Indy VAMC a year or two earlier. The civilian Heart Dr. instructed him to throw ALL the meds away the VA had been RXing him….and now three months later my brother is feeling MUCH better….by getting competent medical care…and THAT was not available to my brother from the VA.
    He also stated that it was not uncommon to never get an appointment any sooner than 3 to 6 months out from the Indy VAMC and he said that at least HALF THE TIME he would make the 60 mile drive to Indy VAMC to only find out they had canceled his appointment or rescheduled it without even telling him and calling ahead makes absolutely no difference as they either rarely let you talk to whom you need to, always voice mail, or outright LIE over phone.

    So with that said, I will truly only believe the VA will properly provide for Children Of Vietnam Spina Bifida when they actually make good on their “words” and do not loosely interpret the Law for yet another 10 years.

    Why is it when a Law is passed for the VA to actually simply provide for Veteran Care it more often than not requires a year or decade or more later to make yet another SAME LAW with “tweaks” to get these sociopaths to do what they are being paid to do…and that is to provide healthcare to Vets and Survivors??????!!!

    By the way, my brother has several fellow Veterans in Indiana that are even opting to pay for healthcare through Obamacare, not even telling them they are Veterans because Obamacare automatically assumes ALL “Qualified Vets” are to use the VAMC’s…so Benjamin, the hellhole called Indy VAMC needs an Investigative Enema…BIG TIME!

    You need only look no further than one of our posters on this blog, “Figure8Fan” (f8f) for a representation of what they are doing to Vets there.

  7. I left another post at a listed link above but, It’s hard for me to believe. Time will tell. It will take a nation wide crew to monitor this issue and all it concerns.

    A few months back a Marine home from the Mid-East fiasco was ‘by’ the VA in Indianapolis Indiana. He was gathering signatures for this issue and buddy of his he was serving with that would not take care of his sister, or allow him to claim her as a dependent. Some were paper petitions and then I signed a couple he had on his notebook using “Change dot Org.” There he just had a few thousand sigs at the time. All the other lefty communist Hillary supporters petitions had hundreds of thousands of signatures he showed me. Figures. Hollywood, stupidity, Youtube voyeurs seemed to be taking more support and thumbs up than those things needed for our vets and those serving, not all the other useless crap and kitty and puppy stories used for distractions.

    I have my hands filled with my own stuff to research and fight over. And am in the process of dumping all my VA care and I am 100% disabled. Who knows what will happen or if the threats from VA staff and psychopaths are true. Seen too much and have dealt with too much so I’d rather do without or die in the street rather than continue to deal the activist and haters and incompetent at this state’s clinics and hospitals who all stick together, spread the hate and their activism when their egos get bruised or some man asks a Feminazi questions, and it’s not “acceptable” for a old man to question some modern man hater. The VA and state, Feds, who defend this networking of filth and traitors, the corrupt, needs shut down and tax dollars used outside of government controls and stupid rules.

    The Marine walking around getting signatures and passing out his info packets he made was told to leave the property surrounding the hospitals. One huge area in that filthy liberal dangerous city. He was leaving and nothing was said, the people from Pink and about breast cancer stayed, along with the crap heads of the violent BLM thugs selling their T-shirts and signs. People really need to stop turning away from things they see, or get their ear buds out of their ears, pay attention to what’s going on around us or things will just get worse. Just walking away or shrugging our shoulders or being afraid to speak up just makes all the negative anti-America special interest junk worse. And damn sad to know there are plenty of so-called veterans working at the VA that support and defend this stuff, but swift to hate on us who dare to question or stand up to the … what I just call … communist and fascist pigs of all sorts. Too bad the media and those with fancy phones don’t put some of this stuff up on social media or sites like this.

    I guess it’s more reasoning behind why Indiana and it’s vast fascism, censorship, deep corruption is safe from investigative reporters, no real news out, none in. Why Indiana corruption or lefty VA antics isn’t allowed, and if those here know full well what happens to this state’s possibly “Whistle-blowers.” Their lives, lively hood, safety, families would be in automatic Political, employment, suicide. Been there done that, and know why the majority would rather bow and kiss than stand up to the networks of evil and corruption. Tax dollar bought Public Relations firms, activist, colleges, the corrupt, media, can’t shut us all up, or hide the truth from us all who’ve had the pleasures of learning about all the lying scum we live ‘under.’

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