Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy Update
Below is a letter sent to me by House VAC investigator Len Sistek addressed to the Secretary Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As you will see, it is signed by Congressman Lane Evans and Senator Daniel Akaka respectively ranking democratic members of the House and the Senate.
I was hoping for some direct challenges to the VA. This is a challenge to address the generic issue which of course is still a positive outcome.
Not exactly what I was hoping and praying for but I will say that Mr. Len Sistek was true to his word and that is worth a bunch in DC for Veterans these days.
I was told that the Republican majority leaders would be given the opportunity to also sign the prepared statement to the VA Secretary. As you will see, either that did not take place or they refused to endorse this request the VA specifically address this most "prevalent of all toxic chemicals (plural) issues.
If you read my book I cite reference after reference on this issue of even found correlations in the Ranch Hand study considered by many as either the "gold standard" or a "designed to fail government exoneration only study."
In giving any
prepared presentation and facts one has to ask themselves, what do I want the
listener to come away from in listening to that presentation and the evidence
submitted; in other words a set of behavioral objectives.
In that context I had presented and submitted evidence in DC on a few things I wanted the panel to at least question or ask themselves - is this logical without being a medical professional?
I had tried to present:
The Ranch Hand study is questionable as to crafting only for peer review. As some scientists as well as myself after reading the transcripts had concluded the data is there it is just not being used properly and is White House controlled in protocol and levels of protocol. In fact, history shows as the evidence grew the protocols changed. Not what you want to hear when you are the victim.
The overwhelming evidence, scientific as well as mathematical, going back to 1949 of neuron death and nerve (myelin matter) issues associated with exposures to the dioxins. There was no mention of time limits or resolution or even involvement of diabetes. Admitted that there can be diabetic involvement but there can also be two separate issues with even both causing different forms of peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral Neuropathy is an all encompassing disease description with many forms inclusive.
There is an overwhelming disconnect between what "congress had intended" and "what has and is being done by the VA" regarding these issues of peripheral neuropathy. This applies to other medical issues as well. These issues would be in the form of other cancers, paternal birth defects, endocrine, hematological, neurological, hepatic, and neuropsychological problems. This disconnect also applies to the district courts review and interpretation of what the court found the congressional intentions were and in fact the VA was "too stringent" demanding a "higher level of associations." It seems the NAS/IOM also continues this too stringent protocol. I believe clearly there is a difference between what our presidents directing the VA have wanted and the congress, at least on face value of the congressional actions.
Apparently my case and evidence submitted was not strong enough to at least offer a direct challenge.
I think Congressmen Evans, Shays, and Sanders hit the nail on the head six years ago when they suggested that the congress had the right to know and make the decision as to if "they choose" to compensate something in question given the proper data. This was in context of questioning as to why this major medical study "wanted no and never has had Congressional Oversight."
As a victim, I as well as any Veteran or Veterans family should not be real comfortable with that stance of any taxpayer paid for study that is being run by the executive branch, protocols mandated and changed by the executive branch, and in charge of a Branch of Armed Forces involved in the testing and use of such toxic chemicals; including charges of some Ranch Hand scientists of this military branch in "changing the concluding sentences" of their already cleared for publication medical facts that were found. Not what I consider a study filled with robust integrity.
The other issue the same congressmen pointed out six years ago was the lack of Veterans participation in the analysis and protocols and such. Yet, we still have no forum to challenge the VA findings and level of findings; other than contacting our congress. Which, with few exceptions will do little to challenge anything the VA does. They might ask but not challenge as you our I would with data and studies that clearly demonstrate at least a "significant correlation" or an "increased risk of incidence."
Obviously, my personal thanks and gratitude as well as your own should be extended to Mr. Len Sistek, Congressman Lane Evans, and Senator Daniel Akaka.
Anyway read the letter and we will see what happens but frankly I failed at what I wanted to accomplish.
Best to all,