‘FLEXIBLE’ 

 

2/94th Battalion Update Number 8

 

Items to discuss

 

Battalion info

Reunion

AO Book

Personal Update

 

William (Bill) Hayhurst found the site and we want to welcome him.  Bill was with HHB from 71-72 and sent in some corrections for the guys he remembered and some new members to add to the HHB rosters.  Want to thank Bill for his efforts and his excellent memory to include remembering where these fellows were from.  Bill if you checked out our E-mail list you will see Ed Moore is on line up in Mass.  Check the HHB rosters again when you have time to make sure I added what you remember.  Thanks.

 

Glenda and I decided since we had some money coming in, finally; to upgrade the site to double what it use to be.  We had to do this in order to maintain our reunion pictures as the free sites she had worked with in the past were going away.  So, either lose all the work she had done or go to a larger site.  She is the process of changing the entire picture Lycos sites to our own 2/94th website.

 

I have updated the main website at http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/

to reflect these changes but more conversions are in the works.

 

We will have a new sign in directed at our 2/94th site as soon as Glenda gets it proofed out.  We have it already working as far as sign in; but she is trying to get it to the point that you can change your own E-mail addresses by your own password, as they seemed to evolve quite rapidly and quite often.

 

I also changed the main website to a link with reunion information of the past years and new link to the 2006 reunion.  Greg is working on an update for me as to what is firm, what is proposed (possible), and other things he is working on for the reunion.

 

We do know it will be at Fort Sill that is cast and the weekend of Armed Forces Day, 2006.  So, please plan accordingly.

 

I received an update from one of our fellows that has been diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera.  Going back in his records, it seems this was discovered at Walter Reed in 1997 yet no one seems to have told him.  He indicates they seem to think he also has CAD (Coronary artery disease now).  He goes to have his spleen checked out on the 22nd.  Want to wish him luck in establishing some kind of treatment plan.  He also has bad hypertension issues.

 

Pass on a "get well and hang in there" to Marine Sergeant Mike Hoskins C/1/12 who I heard through the grapevine is not doing well.  Sergeant Hoskins is suffering from many AO associated disorders.

 

Mike has his new 12th Marine Regiment website up and running at

http://12thmarinesassoc.homestead.com/index.html

 

There are also links to the Army units that were attached to the 12th Marine and 3rd Marine Division and a sign in.  Mike's C/1/12 was on Carroll and also fought up at Gio Linh when 2/94th B and D batteries were up there.  I also linked that on our front page.   Mike is an excellent writer and has put together many accounts of those artillery battles up there.

 

I did want you fellows that have heart valve problems or heart issues to let me know, if you would, if the doctors have told you it is in the “left” ventricular diastolic dysfunction.  On the other hand, if it is related to or diastolic function in general.  Increased left ventricular wall thickness (fibrosis) related to filling or similar.  Thanks!

 

The Korean study in their conclusions stated:  "In addition, ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease and retinopathy were "significantly associated with levels of exposure to Agent Orange", among Vietnam Veterans."

 

There were two other categories that were found significant between Veterans; and those were vasculopathy and peripheral vasculopathy.

Peripheral vascular disease is characterized by progressive atherosclerotic deterioration of peripheral arteries and coronary and "cerebral vascular" complications.

 

In addition, in the opening statements of this report they indicate that hypertension was found at an odds ratio of 2.29.  The odds ratio for diabetes is 2.69 which is covered.  So we have a disorder that is only .4 of point from an already associated disease and all of this is not even discussed by our government.  Except in the transcripts going back to 1995 and increased mortality known back to 1991.   Disorders found, but because they could not understand them they ignore rather than report.  Go figure why?

 

Included in these statements was an odds ratio for radiculopathy of 3.98.  Just incredible.

 

I wish I had some doctors that would work with me on this.  I am more convinced than ever that this is some sort of syndrome like lupus, maybe not testing the same, but similar.  Outside of the cancers and possible brain impacts. 

 

If I take the information the Koreans found, what the Ranch Hand transcripts found, what the guys are seeing, then compare that to the neurological, cardiovascular issues, blood issues, lipid metabolism issues, neuropathy, chronic fatigue, diabetes and insulin issues, vascular necrosis in the spinal chord, myelopathy, brain atrophy, decreased cognitive deficits, etc  found in the lupus syndrome; it all adds up to a toxin syndrome similar to autoimmune Lupus. 

 

What is the root cause?  Who knows.   Maybe Alan, below, has hit on something as the root cause.  Maybe a response to this chronic damage creates an inflammation response with some sort of antibody similar to ANA, Anti-dsDNA, Anti-robosmal P.  I know my ANA 18 months ago was 1:80 but because I did not have some sort of nose skin rash it was ignored.

 

But then they do not know what the root cause is in many syndromes.  Does not mean the syndrome does not exist and defined in the medical codes after years of determining the testing characteristic and symptoms in the different medical areas of the syndrome.

 

I am also somewhat convinced that unexplained high triglycerides in the early 80's without the normal associated markers was  some sort of precursor to a lot of this toxin damage.  If a dioxin dose response was found to this marker decades ago and this was not the norm you see in medicine without all the other here-to-fore known markers; then I would suggest that should have been a key or at least one of them anyway.

 

I would love for a medical research university or such to get the data from the Korean study as to which individuals had what diagnosed.  Not by name just by a number.  Then have them put together a matrix just to see if this is indeed systemic multiple system impacts (syndrome) and not this single point end disease mandated by the VA and the NAS/IOM to some already predefined medical code.  In other words you have damaged systems with no single point end-stage disease.

 

As I have stated, I see no such work being done in these studies.  When it is clearly obvious, especially in the Korean study, that there does seemed to be multiple system impacts in individuals.

 

I would say our government studies, but they are so constrained (on purpose); the data overall as it applies to "all of us"  means nothing.

 

Have not had an update from Dennis Berg in forever, so I hope he is doing well and found some treatments in the civilian world of medicine.

 

Tom Jones sent in some FA articles on the 1st Battalion 94th Regiment (MLRS) which is deployed in Iraq under the 1st Armored Division.  Article shows a picture of some of the 1/94th artillerymen on night patrol in Baghdad.  Has a nice write up on SGT Jessy Carr of C Battery 1/94th and how these MLRS guys were trained as combat infantrymen.  And obviously were performing as such if they are conducting night patrols and sweeps.

 

Their website is http://www.1ad.army.mil/DIVARTY/1-94%20FA%20Bn/default.htm

 

Thanks Ed for sending that in.

 

I think 1/94th was also in the first Gulf War.

 

Also some discussions in the articles of 155mm Paladin being outranged by the 127mm Brazilian made rocket launchers with a 30 kilometer range.  Sounds like they could have used some of you old 2/94th fellows.  Ha Ha  Maybe the Army messed up when it got rid of the 175mm guns??????

 

Also some discussions of a new 155 precision-guided round with a range of about 40 kilometers and an accuracy of about 10 meters was discussed.  Obviously guided but it did not say laser or GPS or maybe both.  I would assume laser capability so a moving target can be tracked and destroyed at max range by arty.  GPS is great for fixed targets.  Course the technology has past me up by now, so who knows what they have out there??? The ultimate was contained target recognition but I do not know how far they are with that or if they gave up.  May not even need it any more but that eliminates most jamming issues.

 

We tried fiber optics in some smart bombs and could never get it to work decades ago.  Again with GPS being so small and cheap now you can put that on anything.

 

They could always call up Doug Beard for FO/AO accuracy.  Four Air Force jets make a bomb run on a bridge in North Vietnam.  No luck.  Doug operating as AO/TAC  gets permission to try some arty from Carroll, calls up, and four 175 rounds later - no bridge.  Cost delta is just incredible.  Ha Ha

 

If you think of all the improvements that the men who fired the 175's had suggested over the six years in Vietnam.  Designed a beefier chassis, new engine technology (off the shelf), and the same gun with improved munitions (dumb and smart) probably could have saved millions of dollars, I am talking huge levels here of research and development over the past 25 years.

 

And still you guys are not obsolete quite yet.  Took 33 years  to get some artillery that would outrange the 175.  And I think they may have cheated by making it rocket assist.  Ha Ha

 

As I discussed at our last reunion with General's Trefry and Chelburg had they (Martin) listened to me in the 80's they would not be having this discussion in February of 2005; at least not for the 155mm round and the Navy 5-inch round.

 

Thanks to Tom for sending that over.

 

I was thinking the other day about the first time I saw the very 1st Battalion Operational report. The back page was a maze of solid blocks, dashed blocks, phantom line blocks with lines running to and from the blocks with the same format of lines.  What this was, was the chain of command the 2/94th reported to and what went where and to whom and so forth.  It was put together by General Trefry - I think in trying to figure out just who the heck the 2/94th "did not" report to.  Ha Ha  

 

I thought a good caption at the bottom of the page would be as the lines drop off the bottom of the paper:  If anyone calls - just shoot!  Ha Ha   

 

Received a CD from Perry Kneisel with pics of Nancy.  Good shots and I had no idea Nancy was that large.  Thanks to Perry for sending those in.

 

The 2/94th patch that is being made now, everyone knows I hope, that is not official Army.  The 2/94th never had a patch and this is just a recreation of the emblem we wore.  The only official combat patch for the 2/94th in order of earliest service 66 to the last in 72.

 

1st Field Forces

24th Corps

101st AMBL

196th LIB  - I think they were part of the Americal Division but the rest of the Division at that time had gone home.  At least that is what I recall.

 

Agent Orange, White, and Blue book is at the printer.  I think Ernie expects it to be ready to release in June.

 

Will it do any good after 40 years other than to let some veterans know that have never been told about some of these issues?  I doubt it.

 

The government's dye was cast 40 years ago in denial.  At least it might bring some questions back into the light of day that should have been answered 30 years ago.  Plus, I think veterans will think differently about our government in total.

 

Glenda wanted me to pass on that we are going to order a couple of cases in the original order and have no idea how many want books.  If you want a book from us then please let her know at gkelley951@aol.com

 

The timing of the release seems to be good. 

 

There is a recent book out called "The Dioxin War."  Not really about Vietnam but does mention some of it.  Mostly the environmental damages.

 

There is another book just released called TRESPASS AGAINST US: DOW CHEMICAL
AND THE TOXIC CENTURY.  This also includes some information on dioxin.  This book slams the government with a statement that our government believes DOW has "more right" to manufacture these chemicals than a baby has to live.

 

Thanks to Brenda and her network of Vietnam Vet wives for passing those on to me.

 

Brenda brought up a subject which I had read about and that is autopsy of Vietnam Vets.  I had read where the service organizations had recommended that if you can afford it, to be sure and have an independent autopsy done, "not a government autopsy."  Again, a sad state of affairs for veterans that even in death the government seems to be in question of their integrity.

 

Greg had put me in touch with a retired Air Force Colonel who has written many articles on what he called Agent Orange.  He is supposed to be on our side with the stand that service in Vietnam caused all of these issues, not just toxins.  In fact, his stand was toxins had nothing to do with harming anyone.  We argued all weekend.  He would send me an article he wrote and I would blow holes in it.  He would send me another one and I would blow holes in it.  I finally realized this guy has made his living off of this the last 30 years so his stand had been taken years ago.  Then I find out he had worked for the VA.

 

In reviewing the Ranch Hand transcripts of the late 1990’s, I had detected a noticeable bias against the EPA and I noticed the same thing in this Colonel as he referred to Linda Birnbaum and things like, regardless of what Linda says.  Dr. Birnbaum is the EPA’s dioxin expert.  In the book you will see this was not always the case and in the 1970’s – mid 1980’s or later the EPA was in concert with the chemical companies.

 

I then noticed a noticeable absence of the EPA in the oversight meetings that had the Ranch Hand management, the VA, and the NAS/IOM who wanted no congressional oversight at what they were doing the past 40 years.

 

The EPA is the federal agency that sets the toxin standards for our nation – not the Air Force, nor the VA, nor the NAS/IOM.

 

He said he was fighting for veterans to get these medical issues associated to service in Nam.  Well that is fine; except the government is the one that has made the fight for compensations and death benefits related to what they call Agent Orange when they really only mean dioxin.  We need to make that clear to anyone that discusses Agent Orange.  There has never been a government study that studied the herbicide Agent Orange; only dioxin.  Including that VA magazine called Agent Orange Review.  Should be “Dioxin Review.”

 

I finally said you are going to fight your way; and I will fight my way.

 

Do not think he liked the idea of me saying criminal charges should be filed if it is proven that federal agencies were involved with misleading information and changing medical conclusions.

 

However, I cited Congressman Burton during the FDA and CDC oversight review of the autism/inoculation issue in 2002.

 

Burton has proposed bringing criminal charges if it's proven the government agencies were involved in a cover-up.

Burton clearly said: 
“Look, I don't think it makes any difference whether it's a private company or a government agency,” Burton said.  “If they know they're harming somebody and they continue to let it happen, then they should be held accountable.”

 

Government accountability is something that parents of autistic children have been asking for years.  This had gotten personal for Burton as his grandson was diagnosed with autism nine days after being inoculated.

 

If it is good enough for a "Congressman" then it is good enough for veterans. 

 

Unless, like always for veterans, there is a double government standard.  That statement should apply to our issues.

 

After reviewing the statements of Dr. Linda Schwartz of Yale in the 2000 oversight committee.  Dr. Schwartz had just returned from Vietnam and stated that after meeting with the Hatfield Corporation out of Canada they had told her that many of the old sites were still contaminated and the fish, fowl, and beef were still at 65 ppt of dioxin alone.  The Hatfield Corporation is an environmental damage investigating and assessment corporation that has been in Vietnam since 1969.  Our government does not like to mention this fact.

 

Now if it is still at 65 ppt in 2000 since the spraying stopped in 1971 lord only knows how high it was in say 1966 when the battalion first arrived.  Considering I have seen the half life estimated from five years to 11 years depending on moisture conditions.  Although the heaviest sprayings seemed to have occurred between 1967 and late 1969.  That would very possibly put the average up to ppb and in some ppm.

 

Anyway in the book I wanted to issue a challenge as follows to all those in the government (presidents included) who have covered up and debunked this issue, including the chemical company's medical directors and all of their scientists, the VA officials, and so forth.   Since these men and women are too old to see any long-term effects if they would be willing to put their data and their professional stands to the test.  A very simple challenge of having their 18-25 year old daughters and sons; or their 18-25 year old granddaughters or grandsons to the test of:

 

Drinking three 8 oz glasses of 65 ppt of dioxin laced water a day for a year.  With a pinch of hexachlorobenzene, a dash of nitrosamine, 50 ppt of 2,4-D, a smattering of picloram, and since they are drinking water anyway a Dapsone pill at least once a day.  At 65 ppt there should be no worry if they believe what they have been preaching for 40 years.  Dioxin has never harmed anyone.

 

Showering and bathing would be in the same toxin cocktail.

 

All food would be prepared in the same toxin cocktail.

 

Once every six months a fine mist of Malathion would also be necessary for exposure comparisons.

 

I will leave out the pentachlorphenol since that would only be for the men in the bush for the most part.

 

If they did want to do this then explain why the billions of dollars were spent in cleaning up dioxin sites such as the Love Canal, Times Beach, the Great Lakes area, Anderson AFB on Guam, many other areas around the country.  Or was this just some congressional pork because some members of the executive branch own stock in some environmental clean up company.

 

Ernie did not think this was a good idea so it did not make it into the book.  Ha Ha He said too much anger and I guess he is correct.  Damn sure would have made the point.

 

But as you can clearly see there is a big difference (a double standard) in civilian concern and veteran concern.  This primarily is because of the Feres Doctrine which says;  you once wore a uniform therefore you are no longer a viable citizen in the courts of our land; and no longer can challenge anything the government says.

 

Now that the book is done I will have more time to work on the history and the website.

 

I am still finding stuff for research and did want to point out a few things I found on the Aussies.

 

Their VA also pulls crap on their Aussie veterans also. 

"When one looks at the complaints concerning the Department of Veterans Affairs and the files of people like "veteran 12" (in the report) where the departments conduct was life threatening and where documents were altered to cover the conduct. Or "veteran 11" (in the report) whose life might have been saved if the medical officers of the department were more active, it is difficult to see how Justice Evatt cannot be concerned about such conduct. Where the department was "caught out" the Commission says (Vol.7,p.xiv-227)

"The Commission notes that DVA frankly disclosed the falsification of the records. This is typical of the open way which DVA has accepted the investigations by this Commission."

"What is not said is that the veteran took copies of the file before the falsification took place - the DVA was caught out by documents showing the falsification. Nevertheless Justice Evatt seemed to believe admission of guilt excuses the conduct."

One that I thought was ironic and typical of what goes on here and it seems there also - was they called in Mr. John Bamford to testify for the chemical companies.  Mr. Bamford was a worker for the Victorian Land Department and was part of a chemical spraying team that used 245T and 24D.  This was proof that the toxins did not hurt anyone.  When asked about the health of the other team members; the answer was:  They were not available for testimony, they are all dead! (Transcript p.1035)

Shortly after his testimony - Tragically Mr. Bamford developed severe medical issues.  Company man to the end!

Of course, just as our VA does, all evidence supporting the Australian veterans' claims was without exception rejected.

Just as I stated in the book an Aussie Vietnam Veterans spokesman recanted:

"All that Australian Vietnam veterans seek from the government and the Department of Veterans Affairs is a "fair go". It is obvious from the lousy treatment in the past and the huge range of health problems faced by veterans and their families that we have not had that so far."

 

I knew that they had some issues with something that is called "Motor Neuron Disease."  I knew they had found it pretty well related to Vietnam Veterans but had no idea to this extent when compared to the normal Aussie population.  They found a 6,000 percent increase.

 

I did make contact with some 101st units and some fellows with the 1/83rd and have been trying to bring them up to speed.  Great bunch of guys and with many similar medical problems and deaths in their comrades.

 

Have not heard a word on my diabetes claim and signed VA hospital form from the VA, going on 5 months now.  I did have the VA neurologist sign the paper work for neuropathy and sent that in.  The VA neurologist said he would not sign the paper work as related to diabetes but did indicate, “may be related.”  He said in 50% of the cases you will never know and if the VA pinheads across the street had a problem with that, tell them to call him.  I did just that!

 

In two areas the VA hospital, including the neurologist, has admitted you have problems, we do not know what it is, we do not know what caused it, there is nothing more we can do for you; have a nice life.

 

I have one more appointment for the gastrointestinal people who suggested I take milk enzymes.  Not sure how that is going to fix anything except if I want to eat ice cream.

 

The testing for the swollen and enlarged  sides and lumps I have not heard a thing and the technician that did the test did not think it was the appropriate test for what I described and what he felt.  So, who knows on that deal?  Bout given up on this VA thing, totally. 

 

I did get a call from the primary clinic doctor that she wants to see me on the 6th of April.  What that is about, I do not know. 

 

I knew going into challenging this federal agency, I would more than likely lose but then I made it a fight anyway knowing it.  Lose not because of lack of evidence; but total bias against anyone that challenges this agency in anything.  There is only one out of five doctors that has any real interest and I think that one is legitimate interest.  You can tell if you observe.  This one even stops me in the hall to ask if any of the "other doctors" are helping me.  Which I found somewhat strange, but that happened three times now down in the clinic area.

 

Thank GOD, my Medicare B kicks in 05-01-2005.  When I told my family doctor, I had not heard anything he got furious (he thought it should be cut and biopsies taken NOW) and is set to go on testing and specialist doctors as soon as the Medicare kicks in. 

 

Although I did tell the diabetes folks since I am on the diabetes medication my stomach and digestive system seems to be improved somewhat.  Related or not?  Who knows?

 

I watched the coronation on TV by the senate VAC of the new VA secretary and that is what was a coronation not a confirmation process.  The questions asked were the same and the same BS answers given.  Over 440,000 outstanding claims and yet despite the VA's claim to investigate why so many over the last six years the secretary had no answer, and had no answer to why the total outstanding has remained constant if not increased.

 

One Veteran wrote in and said maybe we should check the deaths of veterans and see if there is a numbers gate that "must die first," so the VA will move the next group into queue.

 

The senator from Illinois was upset with the VA because of the low ratings the Illinois  veterans are being given compared to the rest of the nation for the exact same disorder.  The VA secretary said he would find out and come to Illinois to explain it to the veterans of Illinois.  He did, he went into some rural area and had a meeting, told the veterans it was all the fault of the examiners as they were not trained properly.

 

The senator from Illinois is not happy.

 

Lets see a problem that has been ongoing for years "only" gets attention when a new senator demands an answer on national media.  The answer is - the evaluators are not properly trained.

 

Horse Hockey!  This stuff is written down in specifications that leave very little doubt for interpretation.

So all of sudden over the past years the Illinois evaluators ONLY have gotten to the point they can no longer interpret these specs and standards and have lost the ability for reason and logic.  Again Horse Hockey.

 

If it was this simple why did it take so long to identify the problem and why did it take a senator demanding an investigation on national media?  It is all hog wash.  Including the IG for the VA.

 

Now we have this new guy as VA secretary and the coup by the GOP on the house VAC.  You now have the number one veteran's enemy as chair of the house VAC and he is drum beating for all kind of changes.  Which I am working on an update now to give you an idea of what all this pinhead from Indiana district four wants to change.

 

Bend over and grab your socks the election is over and VA changes are coming or at least being proposed by this guy Buyers.

 

Thank heavens the Senate is standing firm "against all these VA changes" Buyers wants to make.  At least, so far they are standing fast.

 

In the Korean report, I found a condition under a family of liver disorders of PCT called Uroporphyrin.

 

Between Vietnam veterans and non-Vietnam veterans, they found this at p-value for difference of p = <0.0001.  Highly significant to the point of irrefutable, especially since this study has factored in all the issues such as age, smoking, drinking, etc.

 

I do want to point out again.  This is the only, repeat the only, study that was done that did not limit to MOS’s thereby by default has not limited the study to a single type of exposures.  This is the closest study there is that studies and reports facts of the men that were in the field.     

 

They also found that Coproporphyrin at a p-value of difference of p = 0.1628.  Not significant to the same level but should have some concern.

 

Obviously both some sort of PCT family of liver conditions.  PCT is covered by the VA if you were diagnosed within one year of Vietnam and totally cured within two years.  Two separate issues with PCT and one of them is not what you call curable.  In fact it can be ongoing and chronic. 

 

Alan Palkowski coincidently had just written in pointing out that a liver disorder called Hemochromatosis seems to be related to his issues and diagnostics.  One of the treatments of this disorder is to give blood to maintain a certain level.  Alan said he gave blood and had not felt that good in 20 years.  His suggestion is that maybe a sub-clinical level on going.

 

Low and behold, I checked and this Hemochromatosis and the Uroporphyrin seemed to be tied together in some of these iron disorders.

 

The long-term effects of this disorder are many:  Hemochromatosis can damage the liver, heart, and endocrine organs (such as the pancreas).  This condition can also cause heart failure and diabetes, in addition to other endocrine problems such as lack of testosterone.  Also this can lead to joint problems.

 

I did find for some of you that have increased liver enzymes such as AST and ALT this also may tie in especially if you have some of the symptoms above.  From what I read, the two do not go together entirely.  Only if your liver or billary system is starting to be damaged enough by the disorder would the increase show up.

 

Coincidently many of those issues including loss of testosterone are on the EPA list of symptoms associated with dioxin exposures.  In addition, the Ranch Hand found many of these same issues, including increased liver enzymes and then dismissed them because they could not find any overt disease.

 

I do hope Alan will follow through with the testing and keep us posted as to what they find. 

 

Best that way to all.

 

Kelley