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H.R. 3491, The Thomas G. Schubert Agent Orange Fairness Act (2383 comments ↓ | 3 wiki edits: view article ↓)

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H.R. 3491 would amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a presumption of service connection for certain cancers occurring in veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam and were exposed to certain herbicide agents.

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A visitor to WashingtonWatch.com writes in about the tenor of discussion on H.R. 3491, the Thomas G. Schubert Agent Orange Fairness Act: With all due respect WashingtonWatch.com why is it that people are allowed to leave vicious & mean spirited com...

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Debe Crippen

August 3, 2009, 3:23pm (report abuse)

As the wife of a Vietnam Vet who is battling esophageal cancer, I am in support of this bill. Obviously there has not been enough research done or this would not even be an issue. What these men and women who served in Vietnam have had to indure, please make something worthwhile for them.

...

August 3, 2009, 3:30pm (report abuse)

NO!

Debe

August 3, 2009, 4:04pm (report abuse)

May I hear why you would be opposed to this? I am shocked.

...

August 3, 2009, 4:11pm (report abuse)

Why would you be shocked? This is just more welfare dollars for veterans.

You better get used to the idea that more and more people are getting tired of giving veterans and their families money they don't deserve.

Susan J. Hill

August 3, 2009, 4:39pm (report abuse)

My husband was only 57 years old when he died from esophageal cancer. He served in Vietnam (I Corp) 67-69 (USMC) and had heavy exposure to dioxins. He had no risks factors for this disease except Agent Orange.

It is impossible to understand how the IOM can conclude that BlueWaterNavy veterans were exposed to dioxins through drinking distilled waters but yet ignore any gastric cancers as presumptive.

It has now been FOUR decades and no new research has been done on gastrointestinal cancers....WHY?

LETS VOTE "YES" AND GET THIS BILL PASSED!!

Susan J. Hill

August 3, 2009, 4:47pm (report abuse)

Debe,

Ignore the idiot. He and many other ignorant posters will hound this bill with their unfounded and idiotic complaints regarding the very veterans who fought AND died for our country.

...

August 3, 2009, 4:53pm (report abuse)

Now the real reason comes out - "Pass the bill so I can get paid."

When will that generation finally admit that their lifestyles are to blame for their problems?

VNVetWidow

August 3, 2009, 5:08pm (report abuse)

Yes, "pass this bill so I can get paid" is exactly right honey. Our lifestyles had nothing to do with our VN veterans husband dying from exposures to TCDD.

You state "when will THAT generation...so you don't have a clue as to what when on during the VN war. I would advise you to keep you mouth shut, squirt! You are talking out of you A$$.

...

August 3, 2009, 5:12pm (report abuse)

At least I'm not here begging for a handout I don't deserve. Your "husband" was a victim of his own excesses. So why should my tax dollars go to pay for that, honey?

You should have a little more respect for the "squirt" you expect to pay for your continued good life. Sounds like your a$$ is overloaded as it is.

Clair DeYoung-White

August 3, 2009, 5:32pm (report abuse)

To the little squirt,

I personally have no respect for anyone who does not respect our veterans. From the quick posts of yours it is apparent that you have nothing to do but sit at your little computer so obviously you don't have a job which means you don't pay taxes which means you are living off the state so just who are you saying gets hand=outs?

I bet you'd be the first to scream

for a veteran if this country was at war on our homeland. What a sad

piece of crap you are.

JustTed

August 3, 2009, 6:20pm (report abuse)

My little brother served in Vietnam and died from stomach cancer. He was the only member of our family, 6 siblings, plus all relatives, who ever had cancer. It is quite likely, as his doctors state, that his exposure to dioxin was the sole cause of his agressive gastric cancer. I will vote Yes on this bill and hope that anyone with common sense will vote yes also.

Debe

August 3, 2009, 6:56pm (report abuse)

This ...person sounds very ignorant. For that I am very sorry. But since he can't even identify him or herself, I'll just pray for ... to open his mind. And for the record, most of our husbands did not drink and did not smoke. I'm still in shock over such ignorance. Good luck in your life ...

Ralph Kolb

August 3, 2009, 7:40pm (report abuse)

Just my opinion - it appears that most of you who are for this bill have a financial goal in mind. That does not sit well with me. And I was a bluewater veteran of Vietnam so keep your comments in check.

VNVetWidow

August 3, 2009, 8:06pm (report abuse)

Sir,

You are very fortunate to have not had a dioxin related illness. Yes, this IS all about money but to say financial gain would not be correct. There is no gain to be had here for any widow. Illness of any kind costs money and much more in some cases. As my name implies, I am the widow of a Vietnam veteran who did die from gastric adenocarcinoma and I strongly feel his cancer was from exposure to dioxins. Let me tell all here that if you think fighting any cancer is not costly then you are wrong. I not only lost the love of my life but our savings as well. We here who support this bill will find no glory if this bill passes..only continued sadness that no amount of money can ease. We are simply trying to regain stability which we lost because of this dioxin called agent orange. Bluewaternavy has been found to be exposed through drinking water. Does it seem logical that the gastric tract would not be affected? I ask that all here read the research before checking NO.

Ralph Kolb

August 3, 2009, 9:34pm (report abuse)

That's funny. One poster complains about a lack of research and another wants us to read research. As to the bluewater navy and dioxin, I can say that personally I never bought into all the hype. I have ersonal knowledge of some of the people who make these claims and I wouldn't trust them as far as I could push the Enterprise.

Financial gain is what I see as the point of all this regardless of how you attempt to camoflauge it.

JustTed

August 3, 2009, 10:09pm (report abuse)

Frankly there are always people looking to "make a buck" but I don't see this group as one of them. I would have to state "financial reimbursement" would be more like it.

Ralph, you will be the first in line if you happen to get any disease associated with dioxin and who's to say that is not in your future if you really are bluewaternavy, which I doubt. Don't judge someone until you walk in their shoes. Just because YOU never bought into "all the hype" doesn't mean a thing and I really doubt that you trust anyone!

Andy Johnson

August 3, 2009, 11:35pm (report abuse)

This is rediculous and simply an emotional plea for a free go at the taxpayers wallet. The IOM has found .NO. evidence of a link for EC to herbicide exposure.

ann - another VN Vet widow

August 3, 2009, 11:36pm (report abuse)

The bill will bring equity to an awful situation. Our husbands died serving their country. The govt and the manufacturers knew of the hazards of dioxins but still used and lied about it.

My husband served one full tour in Vietnam, numerous TDYs there over a 10 year period, and served short tours in other SE Asian Countries that were exposed.

He came from a very large family and before and after his death there has only been one other cancer in his family (and a different kind)

His doctor wrote that there was probably a link.

He started suffering from esophageal cancer 54 and died at 59.

Like the other widows who have posted to this site - our families have gone thru hell and have paid a high price for being good Americans.

Please support this bill.

JustTed

August 3, 2009, 11:51pm (report abuse)

Since you don't know me don't make any assumptions about what I will or will not do. Since you choose to doubt me I will ignore any further posts on your part.

As to trust I do trust those who have shown they should be trusted. So far you don't fit that description.

JustTed

August 4, 2009, 12:34am (report abuse)

The previous post was NOT from me. I believe ole' Ralph got confused.

I support this bill. He does not.

Silver Star widow

August 4, 2009, 3:02am (report abuse)

Okay, this is my input. I'm a Vietnam widow whose husband was KIA, so I have NOTHING to gain from this bill. I belong to several war widow groups though, so I hear many stories, and I am AMAZED at how MANY of them lost their husband to Cancer before their time. No way is it pure coincidence! These men were killed by the military just as though they were shot overseas. Watching a loved one die can not be easy, nor is Cancer treatment cheap. Many of these men made their wives promise to continue the fight they started. I definitely support the bill!

Rodger Young

August 4, 2009, 3:49am (report abuse)

Their is no medical or scientific evidence that cancers of the digestive system have any link to herbicide exposure in Vietnam. The plain fact of the matter is that cancer is on the rise in the U.S. and most cancer victims have never heard of Vietnam much less been there. Genetics, and chemical usage here in the U.S. are more likely the cause of cancer than military service. ...but then, no one is getting paid off if it is just the luck of the draw.

James Dicenzo-Alonzo

August 4, 2009, 5:30am (report abuse)

Rodger Young is mistaken. There is proof, but one has to read the volumes of resear. Rest asure, The USA would not grant any disability if there was no proof. ACertain cancers are not on the rise, as a matter of fact, some are declining. However the proof is in the pudding. The highest mortality of after war veterans are the Viet Nam Veterans exposed to agent orange. WW@ veterans are now dying off at a rate of 1,000 a day. But the nam vets have been dropping like flies, starting from 10 years after service. Take a trip to Viet Nam and check out the millions of victims of agent orange.

Rodger Young

August 4, 2009, 6:03am (report abuse)

"Rodger Young is mistaken. There is proof, but one has to read the volumes of resear."

Nonsense, the IOM has been unable to find authoritative research showing digestive system cancers are linked to herbicide exposure. Now I can find dozens of studies that show your elbow is connected to your eardrum but the problem with reading that kind of research is that it was never peer reviewed or that it studied a minute group. If there were any validity to your claim, no one would be looking to Congress for a political decision rather than a scientific one.

Judy

(logged-in user) August 4, 2009, 2:14pm (report abuse)

My husband was also a Vietnam Veteran with no risk factors for esophageal cancer except his heavy dioxin exposure. He died at age 52 after a 5 month battle with his cancer. These veterans are once again fighting for their lives from side effects they are receiving for their dedication serving their country. Our elected representatives need to support this bill to honor these Veterans for supporting their country ! They went to war for us now help them fight their personal war of illnesses brought on by their exposure in Vietnam. They stepped up for our country now our government needs to do the same in return and back these brave men and women as they struggle with their health issues. I wholeheartedly support approval of this bill and pray many support it.

Jennifer

August 4, 2009, 4:26pm (report abuse)

this is to ..... who doesn't even have the balls to put a name. Would you rather tax money go to Losers who sit on their lazy asses and won't work instead collect welfare? I'm sorry, I work hard for money and so should others.

Dennis Rick

August 4, 2009, 4:52pm (report abuse)

Well, I am a Vietnam Vet 1966-1967 25th Inf Div Cu Chi and I spray that junk.

So for you idiot left wingers out there, who ran when it came and comes time to defend and fight for our country. I'll give you my address and we can get this work out real quick (I have no fear, you all our cowards or would shoot someone in the back rather then face them, or make stupid posts like you have, nice to hid right?)

I have numerous problems connected to A.O. and am waiting on Congress to pass a few bills to collect "MY DUES" for protecting and fighting for my country. I'm already 50% disabled by the VA so maybe you will think I'm old and disabled so you can take me....all I can say is bring it on cowards.

Bunch of punk cowards that all you are.

Chumly

August 4, 2009, 4:58pm (report abuse)

Anything for the Veterans. If you don't think they deserve it go visit a Veterans Hospital and see for yourself.

Dennis Rick

August 4, 2009, 4:59pm (report abuse)

Jennifer,

Are you calling me a loser? Let me inform you, I'm retire military (CWO)38 yrs, 8 mo, 6 days. Retired Fed Empolyee (GS-12) 20 yrs of service. For part of the military I was Guard but had almost 18 active yrs. And I'm 50% disable Vietnam Vet and Gulf War Vet.

So calling me lazy and thats what you are doing is far from the truth, I see you have the time to read this article and post. So what are your doing? Jerking off at work? Or at home playing housewife? You surely cannot be working if you read and answer this thread...so who's lazy? Look in the mirror.

Old vet

August 4, 2009, 7:36pm (report abuse)

Dennis, I am sure Jennifer was referring to the person who call's himself ... not you. Read the above posts and you will see what I'm saying.

VOTE YES PEOPLE!!!

...

August 4, 2009, 8:09pm (report abuse)

Hey Old VNVetWidow,

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner but I just got up after a 16 hour shift at the coal mine. Gotta make enough money to pay those taxes so I can support you and Jennifer's lazy asses. Sure makes for a long day but I'm so glad I can help. NOT!

If this bill passes it will be just one more welfare program.

And Jennifer sometimes I would rather support someone like you describe instead of listening to this whine about diseases that have no proven scientific connection to any herbicides. In fact I think I would rather my taxes go to pay for some illegal's kid to go to school. At least the kid would be getting something he or she really can put to some good use.

Cynthia Campbell

August 4, 2009, 8:25pm (report abuse)

My husband passed away at age 59 of esophageal cancer with no other risk factors for the disease. He served in Vietnam in 1967-1968 in clearing jungles and building roads and physically in the forestry that had been sprayed by Agent Orange. This bill needs to be passed for the benefit of these GI's who so galantly served their country and risked their lives daily. What is taking so long? PLEASE PASS THIS BILL FOR THEM !!!

Cynthia Campbell

August 4, 2009, 8:32pm (report abuse)

Ralph - You say you were a VN veteran, but you obviously never had to suffer any health consequences from being there. If you were sitting in an office over there, such as working under the general in Saigon Ton Son Nhut, then you could still potentially be a victim of some cancer as these cells don't mutate for decades. If that should unfortunately happen, you may be looking at this in a different perspective. I wouldn't be running my mouth if I was you. These guys have suffered and will suffer and deserve recognition finally.

TO THE DOTTER

August 4, 2009, 10:19pm (report abuse)

...NO ONE ASKED YOU TO CONTINUE TO VISIT THIS SITE SO IF YOU ARE SICK OF HEARING US THEN DON'T KEEP CHECKING OUT THE COMMENTS. YOU HAVE SAID YOUR PIECE, VOTED YOUR "NO" SO NOW GET LOST. NO ONE NEEDS YOU HERE AND NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE. WHY DON'T YOU JUST STAY IN THAT LITTLE BLACK HOLE YOU CALL A JOB AND LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE, ESPECIALLY THE WIDOWS WHO HAVE ALREADY SUFFERED ENOUGH WITHOUT HAVING TO READ YOUR HATEFUL COMMENTS AND SNIDE REMARKS. YOU HAVE NO COMPASSION FOR ANYONE AND WE HAVE NO COMPASSION FOR YOU!

Susan Hill

August 4, 2009, 11:03pm (report abuse)

The last two reports published by the Institute of Medicine(spanning four years) finds "inadequate or insufficient" evidence to make a determination between gastric cancers and agent orange. After talking with a member of their research staff I was told that there was very little, if any, new research regarding gastic cancers so they were unable to make a determination. "Inadequate or Insufficient" categories are where the IOM is deadlocked regarding a decision. In other words, 50/50. There are an unusual amount of VNvets who have suffered from gastric cancers and a very large portion of them have died. It is wrong for the IOM to delay, once again, making a decision as to whether these cancers are presumptive or not and that is why congress has become involved. Anyone that this bill affects has grown weary of waiting. Many of you call this welfare but the truth is plain n simple. When you die from a service related condition your spouse is entitled to compensation. Like it or not.

Andy Johnson

August 5, 2009, 1:16am (report abuse)

""Inadequate or Insufficient" categories are where the IOM is deadlocked regarding a decision. In other words, 50/50."

Nonsense!!! Do you just make this stuff up to suit your needs?

Inadequate or Insufficient Evidence to Determine an Association means:

The available epidemiologic studies are of insufficient quality, consistency, or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of an association.

Nowhere in there does it say deadlocked or 50/50. It means there were no enough studies to base a decision on.

Now the question is; why are there no studies? ISTM, that might be because there is no grant money available to study issues that are known to be no problem.

anned

August 5, 2009, 1:54am (report abuse)

I am blue water navy and have a auto immune disorder and diabetes that both can be linked to dioxin Or one of the other toxic chemicals that were used on navy ships like trichloroethylene.

with trichloroethylene we were exposed to pure trik as a cleaning solvent and were told that it was a safe replacement for carbon Tet

Now they have found that there are a number of disorders that are linked to trichloroethylene in low PPM level in drinking water.

Trichloroethylene is now seen as so dangerous that the navy has banned its use on all navy bases.

You can not even bring it on base.

Yet the VA still will not give military connection to disorders in servicemen trichloroethylene. (PS the VA has banned it in their facilities now too)

http://www.tceblog.com/posts/1114743339.shtml

Another faliciy that has been going around is that the ships evaporators produced pure distilled water.

This is wrong. Ships evaporators let some salts through to keep the water "soft"

dioxin is a salt.

Ralph Kolb

August 5, 2009, 5:35am (report abuse)

Cynthia,

Maybe you should go back and read where I said I was bluewater navy. I didn't sit in any office anywhere. Perhaps you should take your own advice about running your mouth.

Susan Hill

August 5, 2009, 12:01pm (report abuse)

Andy,

"Nowhere in there does it say deadlocked or 50/50. It means there were no enough studies to base a decision on."

Taken from the Veterans and Agent Orange Report 2006....

The committee assigns each health outcome to one of four categories on the basis of evidence. In this update, the committee reassigned several health outcomes from Update 2004. The committee added AL amyloidosis and hypertension to the list of conditions with limited or suggestive evidence of association with exposure to the herbicides sprayed in Vietnam. For the first time, a VAO committee found itself deadlocked on several of the health outcomes, and were unable to come to a consensus on their categorization. As a result, the health outcomes were left in the category of inadequate or insufficient evidence of an association.

You need to do your research before spouting off..

...

August 5, 2009, 1:03pm (report abuse)

Hey Susan,

You got your committees mixed up. The IOM is not a "VAO committee." The IOM is not a part of the VA. So how is it you think a VAO committee was deadlocked. You have used this same silly argument elsewhere and were corrected but you still think you can spout BS.

Hey Jockey

August 5, 2009, 1:15pm (report abuse)

Now I know who ... is! I've read this debate before between you two.

Interesting!

Jockey

August 5, 2009, 3:32pm (report abuse)

... what is the VAO committee?

Is it associated with the VA?

Jockey, Andy, and the dotter

August 5, 2009, 5:19pm (report abuse)

As you will note: VSO stands for Veterans Agent Orange Update. It has NOTHING to do with the Veterans Adm.

----- Original Message ----

Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Subject: RE: VAO committee

IOM’s Veterans and Agent Orange (VAO) committees are indeed the ones that review the peer-reviewed epidemiology literature to classify whether health outcomes may be associated with exposure to the herbicides used in Vietnam.

Population Health and Public Health Practice

Institute of Medicine

Keck 871, 500 Fifth St., NW

Washington, DC 20001

Subject: VAO committee

Hello,

I was reading the Veterans and Agent Orange report 2006 and noticed that you mention the VAO committee. Is this committee part of the Institute of Medicine?

The article I am referring to is where the VAO committee assigns each health outcome to different categories based on evidence and where deadlocked, placed them in the "inadequate or insufficient" category.

Andy Johnson

August 5, 2009, 7:23pm (report abuse)

" For the first time, a VAO committee found itself deadlocked on several of the health outcomes, and were unable to come to a consensus on their categorization. As a result, the health outcomes were left in the category of inadequate or insufficient evidence of an association."

Take a look at the poll at the top. This should confirm what the public believes. If Congress has their finger on the pulse of the nation, this will go down in flames.

Regardless, no words from the IOM can be taken to mean 50/50. If it did they would have assigned a higher eval. As it is, there simply is insufficient evidence to make one. How can anyone be deadlocked when there is no evidence. Perhaps they were deadlocked over whether to assign a lower eval of No Association.

MIKE KELLEY

August 5, 2009, 10:57pm (report abuse)

MY BROTHER IN LAW, GARY MELCHERT DIED A HORRIBLE DEATH FROM ESOPHEGEAL CANCER. HE NEVER SMOKED A DAY AND WAS IN VIETNAM DURING THE AGENT ORANGE DAYS! IT'S TIME WE FORGET PAYING FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS AND START HONORING OUR VETERANS AND THEIR SPOUSES WITH THE MONEY THEY NEED AND DESERVE! OUR COUNTRY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HOW IT TREATS OUR VETERANS!!

Steve M.

August 6, 2009, 1:58am (report abuse)

Taken from the bill itself and so true.

(8) Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract are recognized by the Institute of Medicine as having inadequate or insufficient evidence to determine association, which suggests that the credible evidence of an association is equal to the credible evidence against association.

PCarpenter

(logged-in user) August 6, 2009, 3:00am (report abuse)

As a registered nurse, I have seen a disproportionate occurance of gastric cancers in men aged 55-70 years old. These would be our honored veterans, many who served in Vietnam and exposed to Agent Orange. We need to bring fairness and justice to the many who served, died, and are still dying from the effects of dioxins and other chemicals. I urge you to vote yes on this bill. It is the right thing to do.

Andy Johnson

August 6, 2009, 3:23am (report abuse)

"which suggests that the credible evidence of an association is equal to the credible evidence against association."

Nonsense, it suggests no such thing. You can make up all the interpretations you'd like but the following excerpt is taken directly from Page 7 of the Executive Summary for the Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008

The available epidemiologic studies are of insufficient quality, consistency, or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of an association. For example, studies fail to control for confounding, have inadequate exposure assessment, or fail to address latency.

IOW, there is no equity here, they were just unable to find studies of sufficient quality to make any decision.

Cyndi Campbell

August 6, 2009, 3:26am (report abuse)

Ralph states "Financial gain is what I see as the point of all this regardless of how you attempt to camoflauge it." This is the least that the U.S. can give them. It surely cannot give them their health back, can it? ...Or for that matter their life? All they are doing is suffering and dying from this horrible cancer! I would like to see what you would say if you had to suffer this and, who knows, you just might suffer from cancer after being exposed to the dioxins in the bluewater navy. These veterans and/or their families deserve to receive reimbursement for what the gov't did to them.

Andy Johnson

August 6, 2009, 3:27am (report abuse)

"As a registered nurse, I have seen a disproportionate occurance of gastric cancers in men aged 55-70 years old."

...and you never figured it was because they just got old, right?

Andy Johnson

August 6, 2009, 3:30am (report abuse)

"These veterans and/or their families deserve to receive reimbursement for what the gov't did to them."

So far, no one has proved the government did anything to them. There is no creditable evidence dioxn causes EC.

...

August 6, 2009, 3:45am (report abuse)

Just how in the heck does "inadequate or insufficient evidence to determine association" in any way "suggests that the credible evidence of an association is equal to the credible evidence against association."? It means there is little or no evidence to make the link.

Andy Johnson

August 6, 2009, 6:09am (report abuse)

If they say it often enough, perhaps someone will eventually believe them. Clearly, 82% ain't buyin' it.

Just sayin'

August 6, 2009, 11:54am (report abuse)

You certainly can't be stupid enough to believe this poll by the general public means anything can you? Do you have any idea how many people don't even know about this bill? What a stupid remark.

Further more when the evidence is in equal balance, say half for and half against, the benefit of the doubt always goes to the veteran.

Now, personally, I don't think this bill will pass and I really don't care one way or the other, but lets be honest here, these cancers should have been added long ago. Just take a look at the presumptive list, why no cancers of the gastric tract? Why no research? Smells fishy to me.

Colton Rayburn

August 6, 2009, 1:25pm (report abuse)

Here's a thought. Why not pass some legislation mandating and funding some independent studies to see if there is a link or not? If there is a link the IOM would then have a basis for a recommendation. If there is no link they could say so. Maybe that would put an end to the bickering.

Andy Stimer of S. Florida

August 6, 2009, 2:01pm (report abuse)

Don't you all ever wonder why, after all this time, there is still NO evidence to research? Come on people, 40 years, and no one out there is interested in why or how people get cancers of the gastric tract. Veteran or not, this should be a major concern for all of us. Just what is being researched pertaining to cancers? After all, millions of dollars are alocated yearly to fund cancer research and the best that I've heard lately is that tanning beds cause cancer. GIVE ME A BREAK!

You that are so afraid your tax dollars are going to veterans should look at just what our congressmen and senators are spending for their tropical trips to paradise to study god knows what. Why begrudge the vet when congress is squandering our money

and YOU vote these very people in?

Just where do some of you come up with the idea that compensation for our vets is welfare and this bill is all about handouts and free money. Atleast these men have earned their benefits.

...

August 6, 2009, 2:32pm (report abuse)

So it's okay to waste even more money just because it is already being done in other cases? If we follow Stimer's ideas we should throw more money down this rathole just because congress is doing it other places. Where do you get the idea the vets "earned" these handouts? It is just more welfare.

Andy Johnson

August 6, 2009, 3:05pm (report abuse)

"Further more when the evidence is in equal balance, say half for and half against, the benefit of the doubt always goes to the veteran."

Apparently you do not understand the 'benefit of doubt' regulation. It only applies to a veterans claim and does not obligate either the Secretary or the IOM. Sheesh...

Andy Johnson

August 6, 2009, 3:06pm (report abuse)

"Further more when the evidence is in equal balance, say half for and half against, the benefit of the doubt always goes to the veteran."

Apparently you do not understand the 'benefit of doubt' regulation. It only applies to a veterans claim and does not obligate either the Secretary or the IOM. Sheesh...

Andy

August 6, 2009, 3:59pm (report abuse)

Colton,

I wish they would study it and put this debate to rest. But that's not going to happen after all these years. They were quick to add other diseases, like prostate and lung cancer, both common cancers, but no gastric..go figure.

I smell a rat and I think the IOM KNOWS gastric is related but has been told to keep a low profile on it.

Jockey

August 6, 2009, 4:24pm (report abuse)

The bottom line is the negative posters don't give a rip if AO causes digestive cancers or not. They are sick of being taxed, as we are all sick of it. U can be assured that if there was positive research that showed a link, these posters would still be screaming "welfare". To them veterans, especially vn veterans, are low life, someone to do a job that know one else is willing to do and if they get sick in the process, too damn bad for them. What they are not considering is that these vets were poisoned by our so-called government, a governemnt that knew it was poisoning our troups. Now if u were in a regular job and got poisoned by ur company AND got sick, maybe died from it, would u expect compensation? Yes,u would and that is just what these vets expect. No difference in the two. No different than workman's comp. But no, u have these hard assed people who care about no one but themselves so here we are with this debate simply because it doesn't apply to them. Disgraceful!

Andy Johnson

August 6, 2009, 8:19pm (report abuse)

"The bottom line is the negative posters don't give a rip if AO causes digestive cancers or not."

Nonsense, We care what the science says and in this case it doesn't support a link.

Jockey

August 6, 2009, 9:41pm (report abuse)

The problem is that science doesn't say anything because, per their report, there is no new research to study. So here we go again. Gastric cancers put on the back burner but bluewaternavy exposed through drinking water, humm..wonder where that water went?

Could it have been through the gastrointestinal system? What's going to happen when a bluewaternavy vet gets a gastric cancer? How are they going to deny him when they just stated that he drank dioxin? None of this adds up to me and I don't even have a stake in this whole debate.

Stephanie61274

August 7, 2009, 12:43pm (report abuse)

Wow, this just amazes me that people would ever vote "no" to this.

My father was a veteran who died of EC-He willingly went to VN, he was a PROUD Marine, he was honored to fight for this country and he fought this war FOR "Ralphy", Andy Johnson, Rodger and lets not leave out the little chicken "..." You ppl disgust me, you are ungrateful and self centered. You have nothing better to do than sit here and bash something that you know nothing about.

News to you all...My uncle died from AO related cancer too and he was one of you that never bought into the "hype" until it happened to him. So uh Ralph..if you were infact a bluewater vet, my suggestion to you is to get your opinionated a$$ to a gastrointerologist and do it yearly. I would hate to see your children (if you have any) have to watch you die like my siblings, my mother and I had to watch my father.

Cont'd....

Stephanie61274

August 7, 2009, 12:44pm (report abuse)

Some of you say this is about money..well, in a way I guess it is. So what? Your tax dollars are going to ppl who died for you and this country, for your kids. You're going to pay taxes regardless, why not allow some of that money to go to the families of ppl who gave their lives for things that mean something?

I would dare say the the ppl complaining have no clue what it means to stand up for something meaningful.

I'd love to put more on here, but I have to work, while I'm there I will hope that someone is doing something to help get some of my tax dollars to the VN Vets, you know, the ones who have died or are ill from AO related diseases, IE; the ones who DESERVE it.

...

August 7, 2009, 1:02pm (report abuse)

Stephanie,

Could you tell me just how your father, or any other Vietnam vet, "died for you and this country, for your kids". Since there was never any threat of North Vietnam attacking the U.S. just how were they protecting us? And don't put out the same tired crap that they were preventing the spread of communism. They lost the war and communism still didn't spread.

The idea that they were patriots working to protect us is pure BS.

Deserve it? NO.

Andy Johnson

August 7, 2009, 3:44pm (report abuse)

Folks:

I'm seeing something in these comments that disturbs me. That's the continuing premise that veterans and their families deserve compensation because somehow they are seen to be patriots or had sacrificed for their country. That’s pure unmitigated horse manure. Most of us were conscripts, drafted for the cause. Others had their own reasons for joining, adventure, employment, limited future, crappy home life and or the GI Bill. Precious few joined because they thought it their patriotic duty. Compensation because we served is welfare, I don't want it and I don't want to pay for it.

continued...

Andy Johnson

August 7, 2009, 3:46pm (report abuse)

...continuing

Having said that. I believe every veteran that has suffered a loss in the service to his country deserves to be compensated for his losses. The concept behind veteran’s claims and disability compensation is that the veteran is able to receive such compensation after proving his loss as the Feres doctrine precludes him from bringing civil suit for his loss. Presumption allows the VA to waive a connection because it is known that certain service caused a disabling condition.

If EC is to be added to the list of conditions presumptive of exposure to herbicide in Vietnam, it should do so on its scientific merits. In this regard, I don't think it has any

To the little dotter

August 7, 2009, 6:40pm (report abuse)

Why do you keep saying that the VN vets lost us the war? What makes you think that they made the decisions on where to go and what to do? Get your facts straight, it was our own government that lost the war, the very government that is taking the cream off the top of our tax dollars.

Do I feel these cancers should be added? Yes I do. Do I feel there should have been research done decades ago for gastric cancers? You bet. That's the very point of this bill by Kagen. NO ONE IS RESEARCHING. By the way, Kagen is a very well known gastric doctor and HE even feels these cancers are related to TCDD. If U will look at the SEER statistics, many of these cancers have an average on-set of late 60's to late 70's. Why are VNVETERANS dying in the early 50's? Don't tell me it's their life style because there is no way that ALL of them have the same life style.

This bill will not pass this year, and likely not next year,but it will pass eventually and I hope I live to see it.

...

August 7, 2009, 6:56pm (report abuse)

The lack of committment by your patriot heroes lost the war. They were too too busy doping and drinking to care about what was going on.

Kagen is a politician first, and a doctor second. If he thinks it will win one vote you can bet he will give it lip-service in order to get that vote.

I hope none of us lives to see this or any similar bill pass. It is foolish and ill-advised legislation.

SusanH

August 7, 2009, 8:23pm (report abuse)

... you have pissed alot of people off on this site and I'm one of them. Ofcourse, that has been your intention here as well as every other site I've seen you on with your little ...'s! "Busy drinking and doping", tell that to the 56,000 plus 18 year olds who lost their lives in that war. You obviously were not fit for service or a chicken sh*t that went to Canada. Frankly, it was the pot heads here in the good ole' US that were drinking and doping and ranting against the Vietnam War if you remember correctly. I suppose you are a fan of Jane Fonda as well. And as far as you not living to see this bill passed, I hope you don't either!

...

August 7, 2009, 9:42pm (report abuse)

Susan, take your righteous indignation and stick it in the first of your bodily orifices you come to.

Andy Johnson

August 7, 2009, 9:44pm (report abuse)

Who Lost the Vietnam War

THE UNITED STATES DID NOT LOSE THE WAR IN VIETNAM, THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE DID after the U.S. Congress cut off funding. The South Vietnamese ran out of fuel, ammunition and other supplies because of a lack of support from Congress while the North Vietnamese were very well supplied by China and the Soviet Union.

Facts about the end of the war:

The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. [1996 Information Please Almanac]

Andy Johnson

August 7, 2009, 9:47pm (report abuse)

Facts on the Vietnam War

http://www.vhfcn.org/stat.html

Andy Johnson

August 7, 2009, 9:51pm (report abuse)

This Bill is simply an emotional plea for welfare. It has nothing to do with getting more studies. Senator Kagen's opinions re EC are just that baseless opinion. He has no scientific evidence from a peer reviewed study supporting his opinion.

...

August 7, 2009, 10:16pm (report abuse)

In other words, the US military cut ans ran, leaving an ill-prepared south vietnamese military to face the north. Sounds to me like the U.S. lost the war.

SusanH

August 7, 2009, 11:32pm (report abuse)

No, Andy, this bill is not an emotional plea for welfare. Welfare is for citizens who do not work and/or make less than poverty level. Many widows are well above that level. When a veteran of any war dies from service related injuries or illness, his surviving spouse is entitled to DIC. We widows who have lost our spouses DO want more studies but they are not forthcoming and it does not appear they will be. Now, if you have researched the effects of dioxin, you will find that it is an "all-site" carcinogin..one of the most deadliest known to man, if not the most deadliest. I am looking at commom sense here, this tells me that cancers from dioxin can appear anywhere. We don't know if it does or does not cause gastric cancers but we would certainly appreciate knowing if our spouses did, indeed, die from their exposures while service in SE Asia. Hopefully this bill will draw enough attention to at least prompt someone to research these specific cancers. None of us are (con't)

SusanH

August 7, 2009, 11:39pm (report abuse)

foolish enough to believe that a bill, introduced in mid-term, with only one co-sponser, is going to go anywhere in the 111th.

Now I do wish that any of you would refrain from saying that we are looking for hand-outs, welfare, are whinning cry babies, and so forth. And I also ask that our Vietnam veterans be acknowledged here with respect. Keep in mind that you can not judge the majority by the minority.

My Regards,

Susan

...

August 8, 2009, 12:22am (report abuse)

Common sense she said. What a laugh. It's nothing about sense, common or otherwise. It is ALL about getting onto the payroll. Nothing but money. Period.

Andy Johnson

August 8, 2009, 1:43am (report abuse)

"In other words, the US military cut ans ran, leaving an ill-prepared south vietnamese military to face the north. Sounds to me like the U.S. lost the war"

The US Military doesn't just decide when and where to fight. They can only do what Congress orders them to do. They were ordered to withdraw. Take it up with Jane Fonda and a yellow Congress.

Sounds to me like you haven't got a clue.

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