Archive for the ‘Agent Orange’ Category


The Dark Shadow of Agent Orange

Posted May 14th, 2014 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

spraying-agent-orange-vietnam

 

See the New York Times 2014 video on the legacy of Agent Orange. 

 

By this ill-conceived policy we provided the communists in Vietnam the moral basis to win, if even by default.  While my best friend Dr. Poff as we knew him and others worked to win the minds and hearts of the Vietnamese people, providing medical help to the Vietnamese, my leaders were spraying on all of us, a legacy of horror, for many in Vietnam and for the veterans who fought in that war.

 

(more…)



Important Update on C123 Aircraft Crews Exposed to Agent Orange

Posted April 8th, 2014 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

The March 31 Air Force Times, along with the Times for each of the other services, ran a full-page story about C-123 veterans’ exposures. In itself, such extensive coverage is indicative of the importance placed in the story by the publisher.

 

But they did even more: On page 36, (see editorial below) the editors detailed their support for presumptive service connection for these post-Vietnam veterans who flew the contaminated C-123 former Agent Orange spray aircraft.

 

(more…)



List of Navy Ships VA Presumptive for Agent Orange Exposure

Posted January 29th, 2014 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

USS-Alamo

 

The VA just recently added some U.S. Navy ships to the list where presumptive exposure to Agent Orange is recognized during the Vietnam War.

 

If you have already submitted a claim for disability due to the exposure while serving on board any of these ships, then the date of any approved disability will be retroactive to the date of that claim.

 

If you have not submitted a claim because your ship is not listed, I HIGHLY recommend that you do so as if in the future your ship is added, this will be the date of any retroactive assistance.

 

To access this list go to this link of Navy ships:



VA final ruling for presumptive Peripheral Neuropathy due to AO Exposure

Posted September 7th, 2013 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

The VA final ruling effective September 6, 2013 follows the Institute of Medicine recommended changes of 2010, as published in the VA proposal.

 

The ruling does note the veteran’s legal right to file after September 6, 2013 on a DIRECT basis rather than on the presumptive ruling.  There is nothing in law that prevents the veteran from making reference to the new ruling of a presumptive relationship between PN and AO exposure, as another substantiating fact to support their claim!  What this in effective does is negate the need of the veteran to prove in general that AO does cause peripheral neuropathy. (more…)



Agent Orange Exposure for C123 Veterans

Posted August 8th, 2013 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

C123 crew expoased to Agent Orange denied claims Dear Col Gene: Thank you for supporting our petition with your signature – we ask that you forward the request to your friends to help get more to sign!

 

Help Wes fight the VA with a solid legal cause by signing the petition.

 

To sign the petition to ensure the VA must care for USAF C-123 Aircrew Agent Orange exposed veterans  click here.

 

Summary of the current legal fight from Major Wes Carter:

 

Yesterday, while here in Washington DC, I submitted our C-123 Veterans Agent Orange Exposure Petition to the Clerk of the United States Senate, through the offices of Senator Merkley of Oregon and Senator Burr of North Carolina. Senator Burr is the Ranking Member of the Veterans Affairs Committee.

 

We are fortunate to have bicameral and bipartisan support for this effort to get the VA to follow the requirements of the 1991 Agent Orange Act and Title 38, and the 8 May 2001 Federal Register, in providing medical care for the aircrews, maintenance personnel and flight nurses who volunteered to fly these former Agent Orange spray airplanes, and were exposed to dioxin which had contaminated the planes. The law states that any veteran, exposed anywhere, to Agent Orange (“military herbicides”) will receive such care, but the VA disagree that the veterans were exposed.

 

We submitted our exposure question to the US Public Health Service, to the EPA, to the CDC/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and to the NIH/National Toxicology Program – all agree we were exposed and all have officially informed the VA. The VA, however, on 28 Feb 2013, informed the veterans that NO AMOUNT of other federal agency, university or physician evidence would be admitted because VA had already decided against the vets. (more…)



Agent Orange Continues Its Toll on Veterans

Posted May 14th, 2013 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

While this is not new information to the thousands of veterans of Vietnam and Korea and others who have suffered from the use of the toxin commonly referred to as Agent Orange, maybe someday a full understanding of these issues will finally be told and a sad chapter on our nation’s history will come to a close never to be repeated again.

 

Dr. Norman Latov, MD, PhD of Weill Medical College, Cornell University noted in his writings what a growing list of medical professionals now recognize, that chronic peripheral neuropathy is associated with the cancers and treatments for the cancers. (more…)



Does Agent Orange Cause Neuropathy?

Posted February 6th, 2013 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

This is one of the most often asked questions I receive. The answer to which is very important if you are a veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and is now dealing with the VA.

 

Simply stated the answer is yes.

 

For decades medicine and the VA claim that Agent Orange did not cause neuropathy or cancer or any serious illness whatsoever.

 

The research findings of the Environmental Protection Agency and others were ignored as these agencies stated that it did cause neuropathy and was a dangerous toxin. (1969 to 2000).

 

As it slowly became difficult to deny what was obvious, the reasoning continued that if dioxin in Agent Orange does cause neuropathy, it must only be the acute and subacute types.

 

When it was known that toxins including dioxin from Agent Orange are stored in the teeth, fat and bones of the body for decades the ‘experts’ claimed that the residual dosage was too low to cause an illness or chronic neuropathy decades later.

 

In the 1990’s it was claimed Agent Orange did not cause cancer (wrong again – thousands of veterans died without help – and the VA spent millions fighting their law suits in the 1990’s) until research in 2007 showed the VA wrong.

 

Meanwhile thousands of Vietnam Veterans, exposed to Agent Orange with cancer decades earlier, died. Now we find out that cancer causes Peripheral Neuropathy and may be one of the early symptoms, let alone the fact that neuropathy is caused by chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

(more…)



Guidelines for Veterans -VA Law – “Agent Orange and Peripheral Neuropathy”

Posted January 31st, 2013 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

DISCLAIMER- The following suggestions and information is intended to be educational and informational in nature and NOT diagnostic or prescriptive. The veteran is encouraged to consult a service representative from the Disabled American Veterans (DVA) or The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or an attorney specializing in such VA disability matters as well as their own treating physician in this process.

 

NSNpdfCoverSmallNote: You may find all this information somewhat overwhelming. Therefore do not hesitate to give a copy of this document to a Service Officer from one of the veterans’ organizations. You will help educate them and give them more tools to help you.  One of the most important items in these guidelines are the references to substantiate certain facts regarding the difficulty with the ‘early onset’ requirement by the VA.

 

The Veterans Affairs Administration has implemented a new law on September 6, 2013 recognizing early-onset chronic peripheral neuropathy on its list of diseases presumed to be related to Agent Orange (AO) exposure. To see this law click here:

 

This means that the veteran exposed to Agent Orange, who can prove that they were stationed on the ground in Vietnam or Korea, who had symptoms at least 10% disabling as defined by the VA, within one year after exposure, would be approved for service connected compensation and treatment without having to prove the connection between Agent Orange and Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy.

(more…)



VA has updated Peripheral Neuropathy on Agent Orange List, BUT

Posted December 20th, 2012 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

The Veterans Affairs Administration has now updated their list of conditions presumptively related to Agent Orange exposure to include Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy. This is a change to the previous listing of only acute and subacute Peripheral Neuropathy.

 

However, the listing does not reflect the change from the Federal Register, but rather is a confusing statement about the VA proposal noting the proposed changes to the wording of the condition as noted in the Federal Register! A letter has been sent to the Disabled American Veterans to solicit their help in working with the VA to correct this list. Once we have received clarification, the NSN will proceed to publish the new guidelines.

 

The Neuropathy Support Network is developing guidelines to assist veterans in applying for disability and support under the Veterans Affairs Administration new law regarding presumption for Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange exposure.

 

For a full list of conditions related to Agent Orange exposure recognized presumptively by the VA, visit: www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/diseases.asp

 



VA – Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy is now Presumptively Related to Agent Orange Exposure

Posted September 6th, 2012 by LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

The Veterans Affairs Administration has implemented a new law recognizing early-onset chronic peripheral neuropathy on its list of diseases presumed to be related to Agent Orange (AO) exposure.

 

For a full list of conditions related to Agent Orange exposure recognized presumptively by the VA, go to http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/diseases.asp

 

This means that the veteran exposed to Agent Orange, who can prove that they were stationed on the ground in Vietnam or Korea, who had symptoms at least 10% disabling as defined by the VA, within one year after exposure, would be approved for service connected compensation and treatment without having to prove the connection between Agent Orange and Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy.

 

In the very near future NSN will publish new Guidelines for Veterans regarding the application for a disability rating and compensation under the new law.

 

Exceptions:  If your chronic neuropathy is secondary to any of the presumptive diseases VA has associated with Agent Orange exposure, then this change is not relevant.   You should submit a claim for Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy as secondary to one of the presumed diseases and/or treatments for that disease which are presumptive to Agent Orange.  Action: Obtain a statement from your doctor that your Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy is caused by type 2 diabetes, cancer, or radiation/chemotherapy treatments for cancer or for any other disease approved as presumptive by the VA and are known to cause Peripheral Neuropathy.

 

For veterans not falling under the above exceptions, the new challenge to the veteran will be to confront the requirement that veterans must show that their symptoms of peripheral neuropathy developed within one year following exposure to Agent Orange and at the 10% disabling level. This requirement is for a disease medicine could not diagnose or treat and symptoms were not often understood or recognized in the 60′s and 70′s let alone in 2012!  

 

Our new guidance will propose ways to address this challenge in the law.

 

Why this change is being proposed:

 

(more…)