2006 Disability Commission 5-MINUTE presentation in Atlanta

 

My name is Charles Kelley and this is my second presentation before this commission.

 

When Veterans heard of this Disability Commission most of us were pleased.  We thought finally Veterans and widows had someone that would “listen” and not just hear us.

 

No different than President William Jefferson Clinton concluded in a speech on May 28, 1996 clearly stated:

 

For over two decades Vietnam veterans made the case that exposure to Agent Orange was injuring and killing them long before they left the field of battle, even damaging their children.

 

For years, the government did not listen.”

 

I submit our White House, Congress, and now this Commission is "still not listening" after four decades of arrogant and suspect government denials.

 

I offer my expertise at no cost to the Commission to hear our Veterans and widows side anytime - anywhere.  Yes, I raise questions and concerns but when I do, I have scientific facts, medical facts, statistical facts, and legitimate recommendations.

 

At my first meeting, Commissioner Grady took my data and references I submitted and reviewed that data the night I presented.  He then accordingly asked the “appropriate questions” of the NAS manager the next morning.  Unfortunately, Commissioner Grady did not have the background to interpret the NAS answer, which was as misleading as a direct lie.

 

One of the questions asked at the last meeting was, should the Department of Veterans Affairs still give the “benefit of the doubt” to the Veteran.

 

When I asked at what level it is given and where in the critical path decision matrix it is given, the answer was: The VA will just tell you they give it to you.

 

While our congress maintains the "vote getting" perception, the Department of Veterans Affairs indeed should give the Veteran the Benefit of the Doubt.  It is a congressional mandate from 1984 that says, “shall” give.  

 

Shall infers a command from Congress, and this benefit of the doubt must be quantified and audited to assure implementation.  

 

Where is the quantified proof that the VA even implemented this so-called congressional mandate?

 

NAS has been less than forthcoming in their initial reports on how to judge PTSD and the treatments, etc.  While they listed the appropriate medical regulations, they conveniently left out the most important part for PTSD differential diagnosis.  Specifically, NAS does not consider from the DSM IV:

 

“The first step in PTSD Differential Diagnosis according to DSM-IV under Diagnostic Interview Schedule should always be in differential diagnosis as whether the presenting symptoms arise from a toxicant substance that is exerting “a direct effect on the central nervous system (CNS).” …  the next step is to determine whether there is a relationship between it and the psychiatric symptomatology.”

 

To say that exposures to at least six major militarized herbicides that are neurotoxic could not and will not produce neuropsychological issues would be scientifically ludicrous. 

 

Ranch Hand found a correlation between dioxin exposure and neuropsychological conditions.  Other studies by prestigious research centers show neuropsychological damages and personality changes are associated to toxicants, and are specifically related to dioxins (plural) exposures.

  
The only difference between the Government studies and  statistically legitimate studies is the Government's elimination of data that could be used in determining health care decisions and compensations.  

 

It is no mystery why Veterans fail to trust VA when it operates based on data that shows a significant bias toward denying veterans the help they need.

 

NAS remains silent for our Vietnam Veterans as well as our environmentally damaged Gulf War I Veterans on the number one mandated differential diagnostic criteria:  The possibility that there was or is outside causation creating neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric disorders.

 

Neuropsychological - The branch of psychology that deals with the relationship between the nervous system, especially the brain, and cerebral or mental functions such as language, memory, and perception.

 

Neuropsychiatric - The medical study of disorders with both neurological and psychiatric features. 

 

My objective here is the truth for my Army brothers, my Marine brothers, and their widow and orphans.

 

New Zealand's First defence spokesman Mr. Ron Mark said the new (July 2006 Study Report) DNA test results were "a concern.”

 

Service personnel who were deployed to Vietnam were harmed.  They were genetically, irreparably harmed and that has been passed on to their children and will forever be carried by their families,”…

 

Even the VA contracted NAS Committee agreed with EPA's conclusion that dioxins are probably toxic to the human immune system… 

 

Yet, not one government official will admit Vietnam Veterans' immune systems have been damaged. Immune system damages creating multiple systemic issues that cause disability or death from degenerating neurological disorders and a multitude of cancer sites; not just the few VA has at the behest of our government concluded associated.

 

On mortality and disability from cardiovascular issues. 

 

In every dioxin study I have researched including Ranch Hand, Korean, Australian, Seveso, and the latest study by the New Zealand scientists also point out this cardiovascular/metabolism association.

 

Associations that are likely associated to the immune system damages agreed to by the EPA and finally even by the NAS, but no action has been taken to address these health issues for America's Veterans much less compensate them.

 

For Veterans, the once proud defenders of our nation, this government TRUTH seems to be impossible to get. 

 

Our government acts as if it couldn't care less. 

 

Instead of proper medical treatment, warnings to our nations doctors, and compensatory benefits for the now disabled or dead Veteran's; our government treats Veterans and their widows as used up obsolete “government damaged” assets. 

 

I welcome any and "all" questions either now or to be addressed later.