BY MAYNARD KADERLIK, CHAIR
We hope that with a new presidential administration veterans will be taken care of more quickly. We are grateful for the issues the previous administration resolved. Three presumptives were attached to the NDAA bill, which passed. Veterans must be patient as the VA puts policies into place. It will take time.
What veterans need to do now is file for bladder cancer, Parkinsonism, and hypothyroidism. Veterans should have filed when the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine strongly suggested that the VA Secretary add these conditions to the Agent Orange presumptive list five years ago. Sometime ago we found out by chance that the previous VA Secretary didn’t follow the section of the Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-315) for the children.
Perhaps with a new VA secretary, the law will be adhered to. The VA is already two years behind on performing the required research.
If you haven’t filed a VA Form 21-0304 for your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, do so and also check on its progress through your service rep. Perhaps you may have to file again as it may not have been archived at the Denver VA. When you file, send a copy to VVA so we can track it.
Also, keep copies of everything that you file with a certified VSO. You can, through your VSO, check to see if a form is archived in Denver. If not, file again. Work with your VSOs; they are the experts and have ready access to the forms. The proper procedure is to file in person with the child at a VSO office. The VSO then sends the file to a Regional Office to be submitted to the VA. Without doubt, it will be denied as we wait for the VA to move forward with the law, which was not done properly by the previous VA Secretary.
You may have read what polluted messes the abandoned and active military bases across America and abroad are. We will do what we can to resolve those issues. We know very well the long-term effects of these poisons. America needs to clean up God’s once-clean earth.
AO-1 Research on AO Effects: Three presumptives were enacted and await VA policies to deal with the claims. We will continue to remind the new administration that P.L. 114-115 has yet to be followed on the research for the children.
AO-2 Agent Orange/Dioxin Children’s Registry: We will continue to encourage veterans and their children to file VA 21-0304 forms for their children.
AO-4 Agent Orange/Dioxin Guides: We need to update these guides to include the presumptives recently signed into law. We will continue to supply these guides to veterans and families who attend VVA town halls.
AO-5 Assure Proper Implementation of the Agent Orange Act of 1991: The Government Affairs and Agent Orange Committees will work together to establish legislation for research on presumptives as the act recently expired.
AO-6 Dioxin Disposal Methods: Two words were added on the disposal methods on bedrock.
AO-7 Children’s Health Care: VVA Officers, as well as the Agent Orange and Government Affairs Committees, are monitoring P.L. 114-315, which needs to move forward.
AO-8 Agent Orange/Dioxin Network: Information is supplied to veterans and their families through VVA’s self-help guide at our Leadership Conferences and Agent Orange town hall meetings.
AO-9 Industrial Manufacturing Processes, Including Papermaking: This resolution was reworded in 2019.
AO-10 Ban the Manufacturing, Sale, and Use of 2,4-D and Glyphosate: This resolution was reworded in 2019. The committee continues to take steps to ban this toxin on the state and federal levels.
AO-12 National Institute of Environmental Health Services Funding for Research in Vietnam: The committee continues to work with the agency.
AO-13 Agent Orange/Dioxin Awareness Month: The committee encourages states and the federal government to make October Agent Orange/Dioxin Awareness Month.
AO-14 Hearing Loss Added to the List of Birth Defects Due to Exposure to Agent Orange: In its town halls the committee hears testimony about hearing loss in veterans’ children and grandchildren. When P.L. 114-315 moves forward, this should be dealt with.
AO-15 Government’s Responsibility for Veterans Right to Know: The committee, advised by Government Affairs, has decided to retire this resolution as it dealt with the SHAD 112 Project shipboard use of chemical warfare. These veterans are now being compensated.
AO-16 Blue Water Veterans Exposure during the Vietnam War: These veterans are now being compensated. The committee has decided to retire this resolution.
AO-17 Remove One-Year Cut-Off Date of Chloracne, Acute/Subacute Peripheral Neuropathy, and Cutanea Tarda: This was signed into law on January 2 and will take the VA time to develop a policy.