Monday, August 30, 2010

Agent Orange Is a Gravy Train?

"Slow down the Agent Orange gravy train," says The unsigned opinion piece was published today, August 29, 2010.

Acknowledging the wounds and illnesses of Vietnam Veterans plus the unheroic welcomes home, the writer also commented: "But no upright Vietnam vet expects to profit from another injustice--the governmental "miracle" of turning Agent Orange into bottomless casks of milk and honey for aging survivors of the Indochina war."

Quoting Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, the leading opponent of Vietnam Veterans seeking compensation for three new presumptive Agent Orange diseases, the writer said "By 2009 more than 263,000 Vietnam veterans were receiving disability compensation related to Type 2 diabetes--nearly 10 percent of everyone who went to Vietnam."

In 1991 Congress approved the National Academy of Sciences to identify diseases showing a positive association with Agent Orange exposure, according to the article. Webb is questioning the findings of the NAS and challenging the Department of Veterans Affairs in its decision. HR4899, which includes funding for the new Agent Orange diseases, has already been approved by Congress, but Webb will still have his hearing on September 23 .

Referring to the $13 billion for Vietnam Veterans (about a tenth of the entire cost of the bill) the  article suggested that Vietnam Veterans would destroy our country by accepting VA disability payments for Agent Orange: "Vietnam veterans, who served faithfully in a good cause, deserve the nation's honor; they will deserve it even more if they refuse to be used to speed the nation's ruin."

I've searched and read several dozen internet articles about this latest Agent Orange story, but this one is the first to suggest that the country can't afford to compensate Vietnam Veterans and to cast doubt on the science behind the recent decisions.

Read the whole article:

William A. Ricks 
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