‘FLEXIBLE’ 

 

2/94th Battalion Update Number 51

 

 Members lost: 

Members Found:

MEMBERS UPDATE:

REUNION:

1/83 Battalion:

History:

AO OFFSPRING STUDY TO BE DONE BY AUSTRALIANS:

2/94TH TAG HOLDERS:

Disability Commission:

Hi to all:

 

Members lost: 

 

I think everyone is aware that Colonel Felix Muller passed away on August 5th.  He is interned at the National Memorial Cemetery of AZ, Phoenix, AZ and was given a military funeral – and he will be missed.

 

I just received word from the son of Herman Triche that his father passed away in 1984.  Sergeant Triche is buried

in the military post cemetery at El Paso.

 

Triche, Herman J. Jr. - SSG 66-67 (Original Member) (Passed away 1984  ‘REST IN PEACE’)

 


 

Members Found: Page, Randall K. - SP4 67-68 C Battery says he is alive and well.

 


MEMBER UPDATE:

 

Greg Smith will have AO related cancer surgery this week, I think it is, and we want to wish him a speedy recovery.

 

Gary Hinton has decided to seek cancer treatment out in Oklahoma; I think it was, at a cancer center out there.  We are watching to make sure he gets his presumptive cancer compensations in a timely manner.  I find little excuse for our guys to wait months for them to get the financial aid they need in fighting for their lives.  This does not require complex MEDICAL decisions but only the verification of three data points.  Only Veterans Affairs could make this decision a career endeavor.  In fact, I am going to argue in my write up back to the IOM and Disability Commission that the date of treatment commencement is not a requirement: only the date of diagnosis.  Especially in stage IV and above.

 


REUNION:

 

The reunion will be held in Branson, MO again on Memorial Day Weekend 2008 - not sure start and stop dates yet nor where the reunion will be held.  It seems for our old place, they think we have gotten too big to have it there.  More info to follow as it becomes available.

 


1/83 Battalion:

 

1/83rd now has a website for those that served in both units.

http://billtag.home.comcast.net/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html

 

One of their 83rd fellows was asking about a gun explosion on Carroll that might have been on of our guns in the 70 time frame.  I do not recall any loses on Carroll during that time fame from a gun incident and B Battery was the most frequent Battery to visit the new Carroll after it had been rebuilt and reestablished.

 

During that same time, at Barbara our A Battery (29 Apr 1970) Kosanke and Austin were killed in the breech failure out there.  Another 1/83, C Battery section fellow, would like to talk to someone that was on Barbara during that time.  Ted at fireman614@comcast.net

 

Ted recalls the wounded were serious; the powder man legs were torn off, and the #2 man had his hand injured, and a projo man had an eye injury.  Can anyone put names to those injuries for our history?

 

The only thing I can think of on the "Carroll Issues" there was a Marine 5 gun Battery on Carroll that B Battery relieved during that time and maybe they had the gun trouble.

 

If anyone remembers or knows something about Carroll, please contact me.

 


History:

 

History is going well and we should have a completed version in about six to ten weeks weeks.  LTC Swearengen has finished his write up on the 2/94th support role in the siege of Khe Sanh from the Army standpoint and it is incorporated into the 2nd Campaign.

 

You fellows are going to bust a gut at what they called the Volkswagen report in FDC.

 


 

AO OFFSPRING STUDY TO BE DONE BY AUSTRALIANS:

 

http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/Aussieoffspringstudy.htm

 


 

2/94TH TAG HOLDERS:

 

I had myself made from a specialty company a 2/94th black plastic tag holder with the words in red lettering

 

across the top:        Vietnam 1966-1972  175mm

across the bottom:     2nd Bn 94th Artillery

 

Trying to get the price down to $3.50


 

 

Disability Commission:

 

As you know about my attending the Disability Commission and the reports, I have already made.

 

Basic, already sent out, is located at:

 

http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/disabilityCommissionAugOverview.htm

 

Disability Commission Report Part 1

 

http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/disabilityCommissionAugOverviewpart1.htm

 


 I did send out e-mail after that - which I did not get out to you fellows as follows:

 

   Congressman Filner and IOM review

 

August Disability Commission Overview

Part 2  (Not posted yet)

 

Disability Commission Meeting

 

At the commission meeting I picked up the IOM prepublication copy of improving the Presumptive Disability Decision-Making Process for Veterans

 

As you know in the IOM power point presentation I thought this was an improvement but the more I get into the actual manual, I may have spoken to soon.  I guess I should have known my interpretation was based on some slight hope of fairness and not facts.

 

This will take some time to try and point out what is not fair to the Veterans and the widows as it applies to legal ramifications in even individual cases when BVA uses the VA announcements by the Secretary of not only what is presumptive but what disorders are not found associated.

 

These statements are used to override cases when even the BVA indicates a 50/50 tie of the evidence.  In other words, no matter how conclusive the Veterans evidence, VA overrides this by inclusive as well as exclusive mandates in medical disorders associated. 

 

This also applies to the pronouncements made by IOM as you see below. 

 

“The Board notes, however, that in May 2003, VA gave notice that the Secretary had determined that a presumption of service connection based on exposure to Agent Orange used in Vietnam during the Vietnam era “was not warranted” for a number of disabilities, including "chronic persistent peripheral neuropathy."  68 Fed.  Reg. 27,630 (May 20, 2003).”

  

“In accordance with the law, this determination took into account scientific studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  See 38 U.S.C.A. § 1116(b)(2).  The initial NAS report, "Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam," was issued in July 1993.  A number of subsequent reports followed, with NAS issuing its fifth report in January 2003.  NAS found that there was inadequate, or insufficient evidence of an association between exposure to Agent Orange, and chronic persistent peripheral neuropathy.  Taking into account the available evidence and the NAS analysis, the Secretary found that the credible evidence against an association between Agent Orange exposure and chronic persistent peripheral neuropathy outweighed the credible evidence for such an association and determined that a positive association did not exist. See 68 Fed.  Reg. 27,630, 27,636-7 (May 20, 2003); 38 U.S.C.A. § 1116(b)(3).”

 

The VA goes to great lengths in detailing what a study must have to meet their standards of “proof” and what protocols are needed in proving associations to Agent Orange.  The EPA’s conclusions do not meet the VA’s protocols since their (EPA) conclusions are overruled by the VA secretary’s arbitrary ruling.  The VA board states that scientific studies done by the NAS prove no associations.

 

Now remember in this same case the statements were:

 

“While noting that he was not an Agent Orange expert, the VA examiner said that neuropathy is typically associated with Agent Orange exposure by ruling out other possibilities.

 

Where, as here, there has been a completely negative work-up, and there is exposure to Agent Orange, it is presumed that Agent Orange is the cause.  The examiner therefore concluded that "it is at least as likely (50%) that the [veteran's] peripheral neuropathy was related to Agent Orange" simply because there was no other identifiable agent to which to attribute it.  However, the examiner also noted that there was no objective evidence as to the cause of the peripheral neuropathy, although there was much evidence of the presence of peripheral neuropathy.” 

 

This same unjust fraudulent scenario is perpetrated many times a day against Veterans and their widows in many disabling and mortality issues that ‘data points’ and facts point to at least as likely as not associated without determining the actually etiolgy causation.  This goes on daily in the medical field yet Veterans are held to a higher standard of proof.

 

Want to know why we have 600,000 outstanding claims – well there you go.

 

If one compares two groups of Veterans that sprayed the herbicides in different areas of the world and finds cancer X at a significant statistical increase in accordance with recognized world wide scientific statistics in proving probabilities and associations.  A study based on serum dioxin levels and factors in smoking, alcohol, age, race, body mass index, and rank.

 

Then one finds another study comparing Vietnam Veterans with Non-Vietnam Veterans that were not associated to spraying but served in I, II, and III Corps and the same cancer X is found statistically increased with significant associations found to levels of exposure.  A study that also factors in age, smoking, alcohol, body mass index, education, and marital status.

 

Then another study is found that in mathematical quantitative analysis of four different civilian cohorts that were exposed and an SMR of Cancer site X = 1.41 and the SMR for all cancer sites was 1.46.

 

Then we have another study of Vietnam Veterans to Non-Vietnam Veterans that finds dysregulation in the homeostasis of B and T cell regulation in Vietnam Veterans  - that in any medical field and book is suggested as causation for many cancers.

 

In any court in the land, outside of VA courts that is, this is slam-dunk that it is at least as likely as not.

 

Especially since the victim, the Veteran, spent X amount of time in unprecedented levels outside of Seveso and even that is not the same as the Veteran with all the other toxic isomers found as recent as January of this year in Da Nang.

 

Congress needs to tell us (Congressman Filner and Senator Akaka) how in the world can we fight a federal agency such as the VA with this kind of scenario.

 

The bottom line is we cannot; and I think of course congress knows it.

 

Since I copy some commissioners, also, I got the idea they think this 177 days or whatever is some kind of VA resolution of a claim.  In fact, it takes that long just to get a denial and then it is insert Veteran or Widow in the VA hamster wheel for at least a couple of years.

 

Anyway, I spoke to soon and this will take some time to address this manual.

 


I have read most of this presumptive manual now and will be posting that in the next week as to where I think it needs work.  Some of this addresses the issues I have been pointing out for five years now but it is still not quantitative or measurable enough for Veterans to pose any kind of challenge for a specific disorder.

 

This is what we are fighting:  and I quote: “Transparency in decision-making is critical to the perception of fairness.”

 

We have had enough government perception of fairness based on opinions, subjectivity, what someone might have thought 30 years ago, VA budget control, government interference in pivotal studies, etc.

 

We need pass/fail criteria at four levels if that is what they are going to do - is categorize four levels.

 

Interesting enough I had suggested we need data that not only demonstrates how we go up in category but also how we go down in category and the IOM actually said that.  So I think we are starting to at least make them listen as our judge and jury.

 

In fact, when I read this the IOM says VA went to far in approving diabetes.  Now do I think AO or any of the other herbicides directly caused diabetes?  No, I do not.  However, the data is there that proves exposures to the dioxin, TCDD is associated significantly statistical increases to diabetes Type II no matter how the dioxin exposures did it or caused it – maybe even through autonomic nerve damage.

 

That is where one of the major issues is as far as IOM and VA apply:  in example.  There are trying to only presumptively approve that road salt only damages the left front fender only, or the rocker panels only, or regardless of the shape of the car road salt cannot damage other areas of the car - when in fact the road salt process can and will damage the entire car in many different areas depending on many many scenarios and conditions and time.

 

In the end. it is still the road salt process that is the culprit and the systemic causation not the various individual outcomes.    

 

So there is a lot of controversy here to get fixed and is certainly not what I thought the IOM Power Point Presentation was presenting and proposing in DC – not when I get into the nuts and bolts of this manual.

 

…more later on this issue as I get it done in part 2.

 

Kelley