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New Task Force Investigating for Remnants of Agent Orange
Januray 11, 2017
A new investigative task force will “review and record reports from the community” on the use of polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB, DDT and Agent Orange on Guam. According to a recent news release.
The task force will reach out to the community, review records and compile recent research data, and will attempt "to correlate these environmental pollutants with an array of congenital health problems that plague the island of Guam.
Recent reports of use of the toxic herbicide Agent Orange at Andersen Air Force Base during the 1960s and 1970s has prompted several Guam officials to request a briefing from the military detailing the handling of Agent Orange at Andersen.
The request came after 68-year-old veteran Leroy Foster went public, saying he sprayed Agent Orange at Andersen AFB. Shortly after that, local 72-year-old veteran Gerard Laitres detailed Agent Orange use he witnessed at Andersen AFB in the 1960s.
New Bill Introduced
Florida Congressman Dennis Ross, (R) of Lakeland, plans to introduce a bill next week that provides veterans who served in Guam access to the same Agent Orange presumptive benefits as those who served in Vietnam.
“We will extend to those in Guam, that if there was Agent Orange, there is a presumption that the conditions they now have that are related to that exposure will be covered under the Veterans Administration,” said Congressman Ross.
Ross’ proposed legislation follows a series of reports in which a Lakeland veteran admitted spraying Agent Orange at Andersen Air Force base in Guam, exposing thousands of military personnel as well as their families to the toxic herbicide.
The government did know. A 1967 report obtained by the Rand corporation, was given prepared for the assistant Secretary of Defense.
About Agent Orange it states; “One ingredient, 2,4-d is rated as very toxic.” The report added people exposed to it could expect to become ill and it could kill infants.
It's Official! Veterans Will Be Compensated
January 13, 2017
The Obama administration has agreed to provide disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion to veterans who had been exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The decision was made public on January 12, 2017, with a notice in the Federal Register.
The good news for veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejuene is that, beginning in March 2017, the cash payouts from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may supplement VA health care already being provided to eligible veterans stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 days cumulative between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Veterans will have to submit evidence of their diagnosis and service information and dates of tour at Camp Lejeune.
The estimated taxpayer cost is $2.2 billion over a five-year period. The VA estimates that as many as 900,000 service members were potentially exposed to the tainted water.
The new rule covers active duty, Reserve and National Guard members who developed one of eight diseases: adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Parkinson's disease.
Affected veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune may now submit applications for benefits, once the rule is officially published Friday, January 13, 2017. Roughly 1,400 disability claims related to Camp Lejeune are already pending, and will be reviewed immediately, according to the VA.