Friday, March 13, 2009

MTV will be airing a special episode of "The Real World", featuring IAVA.

Dear Michael,

Have you been looking for an excuse to watch some reality television? Well, now you've got one.

This Wednesday, March 18th, MTV will be airing a special episode of "The Real World", featuring IAVA.

One of the cast members this season, Ryan, served a tour with the Army in Iraq. Then, during Veterans' Week in November, Ryan spent some time with IAVA. He visited our New York office, marched in the Veterans' Day Parade with our member veterans, and attended IAVA's Second Annual Heroes Gala with his roommates. Now, on Wednesday, March 18th, the episode showing it all will air on MTV.

This is a great way to introduce people to vets' issues, and to IAVA. Click here to invite your friends to watch the episode with you. All you need is a TV and access to MTV.

As the sole veteran in the cast, Ryan had the courage to speak out about the challenges he faced during his transition back to civilian life. And he does it in front of an audience of millions. His pride in his service and his loyalty to the military leave a lasting impression.

Click here to invite your friends and family to join you in watching "The Real World."

Even if you don't have people over, remember to tune in at 10pm on Wednesday, March 18th.

Thank you for continuing to stand with us.



Paul Rieckhoff
Iraq Veteran
Executive Director & Founder
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

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Over 400 Disabled Veterans Register to Ski at National Event

Over 400 Disabled Veterans Register to Ski at National Event

WASHINGTON (March 13, 2009) - As evidence of what President Barack Obama
called America's "unyielding commitment" to our nation's Veterans, more
than 400 severely injured Veterans will take part in the 23rd National
Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic from March 29 through April 3 in
Snowmass Village, Colo.

The clinic, which is hosted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA), and co-sponsored by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV),
instructs Veterans with disabilities in adaptive Alpine and Nordic
skiing, and introduces them to a number of other adaptive recreational
activities and sports. This year's clinic will feature a record number
of participants, including many who served in the current conflicts in
Iraq and Afghanistan.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said that he will attend
this year's event and is "looking forward to celebrating the triumph of
the human spirit over both physical adversity and fear of failure." He
believes that the event, and the volunteers who work with Veterans
during it, "give so many young Veterans a glimpse of what is possible if
they keep hope alive. I know of few greater gifts one can bestow on

The clinic is an annual rehabilitation program open to U.S. military
Veterans with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic
amputations, visual impairments, certain neurological problems and other
disabilities, who receive care at a VA medical facility or military
treatment center. It is the largest adaptive event of its kind in the

An estimated 200 certified ski instructors for the disabled and several
current and former members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team serve as
instructors to meet the unique needs of the participants.

"Now, more than ever, we need events like the Winter Sports Clinic to
challenge and inspire our wounded Veterans," said DAV National Commander
Raymond E. Dempsey. "The complexity of the injuries suffered by some of
our newest disabled Veterans and the health issues facing our aging
Veterans make necessary the most creative and engaging recreational

At the six-day event, Veterans also learn rock climbing, scuba diving,
snowmobiling, curling and sled hockey. They can also participate in
additional events and workshops. The U.S. Secret Service will offer a
course on self-defense.

"DAV is proud to have a committed partner in the Department of Veterans
Affairs," said Dempsey. "Without our friends at VA, these 'miracles'
are not possible."

VA is a recognized leader in rehabilitative and recreational therapies,
and operates more than 1,400 sites of care, including 153 medical
centers. DAV is a non-profit, congressionally chartered Veterans
service organization with a membership of more than one million wartime
disabled Veterans.

# # #


For further information, contact Richard Olague, VA public affairs
coordinator, Winter Sports Clinic, at (202) 461-7541; or (202) 746-8552

Rob Lewis, DAV Communications, at (859) 442-2049, or

Log on to the event's Web site at:

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An Open Letter to Veterans

An Open Letter to Veterans

From Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki

WASHINGTON (March 13, 2009) - Following is an open letter to Veterans
from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki:

"My name is Ric Shinseki, and I am a Veteran. For me, serving as
Secretary of Veterans Affairs is a noble calling. It provides me the
opportunity to give back to those who served with and for me during my
38 years in uniform and those on whose shoulders we all stood as we grew
up in the profession of arms.

"The Department of Veterans Affairs has a solemn responsibility to all
of you, today and in the future, as more Veterans join our ranks and
enroll to secure the benefits and services they have earned. I am fully
committed to fulfilling President Obama's vision for transforming our
department so that it will be well-positioned to perform this duty even
better during the 21st Century. We welcome the assistance and advice of
our Veterans Service Organizations, other government departments and
agencies, Congress, and all VA stakeholders as we move forward,
ethically and transparently, so that Veterans and citizens can
understand our efforts.

"Creating that vision for transforming the VA into a 21st Century
organization requires a comprehensive review of our department. We
approach that review understanding that Veterans are central to
everything VA does. We know that results count, that the department
will be measured by what we do, not what we promise, and that our best
days as an organization supporting Veterans are ahead of us. We will
fulfill President Lincoln's charge to care for ". . . him, who shall
have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan . . ." by
redesigning and reengineering ourselves for the future.

"Transforming any institution is supremely challenging; I know this from
my own experience in leading large, proud, complex, and high-performing
organizations through change. But the best organizations must be
prepared to meet the challenging times, evolving technology and, most
importantly, evolving needs of clients. Historically, organizations
that are unwilling or unable to change soon find themselves irrelevant.
You and your needs are not irrelevant.

"Veterans are our clients, and delivering the highest quality care and
services in a timely, consistent and fair manner is a VA responsibility.
I take that responsibility seriously and have charged all of the
department's employees for their best efforts and support every day to
meet our obligations to you. Our path forward is challenging, but the
President and Congress support us. They have asked us to do this
well-for you. Veterans are our sole reason for existence and our number
one priority-bar none. I look forward to working together with all VA
employees to transform our department into an organization that reflects
the change and commitment our country expects and our Veterans deserve.

"Thank you, and God bless our military, our Veterans, and our Nation."

Signed: Eric K. Shinseki

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NC House Bill: "Bill 346 Partially Disabled Veterans/FreePlates/Parking"

From: Ray B Davis Jr []
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 12:00 PM
To: Colonel Dan
Subject: NC House Bill: "Bill 346 Partially Disabled Veterans/FreePlates/Parking"

Dear Col. Dan,

I am writing to ask that if you have room on your news list? To post information that the NC House has a Bill: "Bill 346 Partially Disabled Veterans/FreePlates/Parking" which would provide (if passed?) free special license plates in North Carolina for Partially Disabled Veterans.

Attached is the New Bill in the NC House "Bill 346 Partially Disabled
Veterans/FreePlates/Parking", which would provide a free license plate for
Partially Disabled Veterans (the same that is already available for 100 percent
Disabled Veterans, former POW's, and Purple Heart recipients).

If you live in North Carolina and support this Bill 346? then contact your NC
House Representative, and NC State Senator and ask that they support and
co-sponsor this Bill 346.

Below my signature is the Bill Details and the links to the NC State site.

Please pass along this to all Disabled Veterans who have a VA rating and live in North

Ray B Davis, Jr

-- Start Bill 346 details --

H 1

Short Title: Partially Disabled Vets/Free Plates/Parking. (Public)
Sponsors: Representatives Underhill, Tarleton, McLawhorn (Primary Sponsors);
Dollar, Faison, Insko, Killian, and Lucas.
Referred to: Transportation, if favorable, Finance.

March 2, 2009


The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts: 6
SECTION 1. G.S. 20-37.6(e)(1) reads as rewritten: 7
"(1) To park or leave standing any vehicle in a space designated with a sign 8
pursuant to subsection (d) of this section for handicapped persons when the 9
vehicle does not display the distinguishing license plate, removable 10
windshield placard, or temporary removable windshield placard as provided 11
in this section, or either a partially disabled veteran or a disabled veteran 12
registration plate issued under G.S. 20-79.4; 13
…." 14
SECTION 2. G.S. 20-79.7(a) reads as rewritten: 15
"(a) Fees. – Upon request, the Division shall provide and issue free of charge
one 16
registration plate to a recipient of a Legion of Valor award, a 100% disabled
veteran, a partially 17
disabled veteran, and an ex-prisoner of war. All other special registration
plates, including 18
additional Legion of Valor, 100% Disabled Veteran, Partially Disabled Veteran,
and 19
Ex-Prisoner of War plates, are subject to the regular motor vehicle registration
fee in 20
G.S. 20-87 or G.S. 20-88 plus an additional fee in the following amount: 21
Special Plate Additional Fee Amount 22
Back Country Horsemen of NC $30.00 23
Coastal Conservation Association $30.00 24
Crystal Coast $30.00 25
El Pueblo $30.00 26
First in Forestry $30.00 27
Historical Attraction $30.00 28
Home Care and Hospice $30.00 29
HOMES4NC $30.00 30
Hospice Care $30.00 31
In God We Trust $30.00 32
Maggie Valley Trout Festival $30.00 33
National Kidney Foundation $30.00 34
North Carolina 4-H Development Fund $30.00 35
North Carolina Libraries $30.00 36

General Assembly of North Carolina Session 2009
Page 2 House Bill 346-First Edition
Personalized $30.00 1
Share the Road $30.00 2
State Attraction $30.00 3
Stock Car Racing Theme $30.00 4
Support Our Troops $30.00 5
AIDS Awareness $25.00 6
Buffalo Soldiers $25.00 7
Collegiate Insignia $25.00 8
Goodness Grows $25.00 9
High School Insignia $25.00 10
Kids First $25.00 11
Olympic Games $25.00 12
National Multiple Sclerosis Society $25.00 13
National Wild Turkey Federation $25.00 14
NC Agribusiness $25.00 15
NC Children's Promise $25.00 16
NC Coastal Federation $30.00 17
Nurses $25.00 18
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation $25.00 19
Special Olympics $25.00 20
Surveyor Plate $25.00 21
The V Foundation for Cancer Research Division $25.00 22
University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina $25.00 23
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity $20.00 24
ALS Association, Jim "Catfish" Hunter Chapter $20.00 25
Animal Lovers $20.00 26
ARC of North Carolina $20.00 27
Audubon North Carolina $20.00 28
Autism Society of North Carolina $20.00 29
Be Active NC $20.00 30
Brain Injury Awareness $20.00 31
Breast Cancer Earlier Detection $20.00 32
Buddy Pelletier Surfing Foundation $20.00 33
Daughters of the American Revolution $20.00 34
Ducks Unlimited $20.00 35
Greyhound Friends of North Carolina $20.00 36
Guilford Battleground Company $20.00 37
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation $20.00 38
Harley Owners' Group $20.00 39
Litter Prevention $20.00 40
March of Dimes $20.00 41
NC Tennis Foundation $20.00 42
NC Trout Unlimited $20.00 43
NC Wildlife Habitat Foundation $20.00 44
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity $20.00 45
Prince Hall Mason $20.00 46
Save the Sea Turtles $20.00 47
Scenic Rivers $20.00 48
School Technology $20.00 49
SCUBA $20.00 50
Soil and Water Conservation $20.00 51

General Assembly of North Carolina Session 2009
House Bill 346-First Edition Page 3
Special Forces Association $20.00 1
Support Public Schools $20.00 2
US Equine Rescue League $20.00 3
Wildlife Resources $20.00 4
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority $20.00 5
Carolina's Aviation Museum $15.00 6
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society $15.00 7
Lung Cancer Research $15.00 8
Shag Dancing $15.00 9
Active Member of the National Guard None 10
100% Disabled Veteran None 11
Ex-Prisoner of War None 12
Gold Star Lapel Button None 13
Legion of Valor None 14
Partially Disabled Veteran None 15
Purple Heart Recipient None 16
Silver Star Recipient None 17
All Other Special Plates $10.00." 18

SECTION 3. This act becomes effective July 1, 2009. 19

Bill details in pdf:
Short address:
Long address:

Summary of Bill:

Also here are the internet address for NC House and Senate:

-List of NC House and Senate -

NC House members:
short link:
Long link:

NC Senate:
short link:
Long link:


Ray B Davis Jr
P.O. Box 68
East Flat Rock, NC 28726

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget for Veterans' Programs

Chairman Daniel K. Akaka
Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget for Veterans' Programs

March 10, 2009

Today, the Committee begins its review of Fiscal Year 2010 funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. When we talk about the VA, we are talking about people - those who have served and the nearly 280,000 VA employees who work on their behalf.

The budget outline presented by the President last month appears to be a good one which reflects many important priorities of his Administration. From my vantage point, as Chairman of this Committee, I am committed to ensuring that veterans receive quality benefits and services. When troops are sent into battle on behalf of our nation, there is a commitment to care for them when they return home. They must be given the best health care and rehabilitation. They must be fairly compensated for their injuries. And now, in this time of war, VA must have the resources it needs to carry out its mission.

The troop surge in Iraq and the increases in Afghanistan will soon be felt at VA. To date, this generation of veterans, as a group, has been slow to come to VA for benefits and services. VA must be prepared to reach out to those now coming home and bring them into the system. While many details of the Administration's final budget proposal have yet to be presented, the Committee is required to submit its Views and Estimates to the Budget Committee by the end of this week. I intend to meet that deadline, but doing so will not complete our work on next year's budget. We will evaluate the President's final budget once it is received, and make additional recommendations.

One of the most pressing issues facing VA is ensuring timely, sufficient, and predictable funding from year to year. Last month, I introduced legislation, with bi-partisan support, to help secure the timely funding of veterans' health care through advance appropriations. Too often VHA's budget is subject to delay and uncertainty, hampering planning and threatening health care quality. This situation must end.

Another serious issue is the backlog in VA construction. I am eager to learn how the Committee can help the Department complete pending construction projects, so that VA can provide veterans with more access to care in better facilities. There are many other important areas of health care that the Committee is concerned about; such as care in rural areas, the health care needs of women veterans, recruitment and retention of medical providers, research programs, and homelessness among veterans.

On the benefits side of the ledger, timely and accurate adjudication of disability claims and appeals remains a significant problem. Veterans deserve to have their claims addressed fairly and without needless delay. The President's budget proposes to invest in better technology, and I am pleased that the Department will invest in the development of rules-based electronic processes to improve accuracy, consistency, and timeliness in claims processing.

As one who knows firsthand the value of education benefits under the GI Bill, I want to hear how VA intends to implement the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

I know that VA shares my commitment to providing a seamless transition, from military to civilian life, for today's servicemembers. VA must be an active partner with the Department of Defense to ensure that troops are cared for appropriately when they transition from active service to veterans' status. I look forward to learning in more detail how the President's Budget responds to this issue.

I am committed to working with the Secretary and my colleagues in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, to ensure that the Department gets what it needs to deliver high quality benefits and services to veterans. We must acknowledge the fact that the needs of veterans are costs of war.

I look forward to our dialogue with Secretary Shinseki, as well as the representatives of veterans service organizations here with us today.

Witness Links for viewing their testimony

Video of the hearing on March 10th 2009 you have to move the video to 18:00 minutes before the hearing and testimony actually starts the first 18 minutes is just a placard just slide the button until you get to somewhere around 17:30 or so if you go to far you will be into the testimony sorry I don't know how to make a you tube vidoe out of this

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Pentagon Knowingly Exposed U.S. Soldiers To Toxic Waste: Leaked Memo

Pentagon Knowingly Exposed U.S. Soldiers To Toxic Waste: Leaked Memo

Huffington Post | Stuart Whatley | March 10, 2009 11:53 AM

The Pentagon allegedly endangered U.S. soldiers by implementing and covering-up dangerously toxic waste-incineration practices at Balad Airbase in Iraq during years past, as revealed in a leaked Air Force memo [PDF]. Raw Story, which first reported the leak, writes this:

The document, written by an environmental engineering flight commander in December of 2006 and posted on Wikileaks on Tuesday, details the risks posed to US troops in Iraq by burning garbage at a US airbase. It enumerates myriad risks posed by the practice and identifies various carcinogens released by incinerating waste in open-air pits.


According to the document, a US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine investigator said Balad's burn pit was "the worst environmental site I have ever personally visited," including "10 years working... clean-up for the Army."

Last December, Army Times reported on the rise of symptoms among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who had suffered direct exposure to burn pits:

Though military officials say there are no known long-term effects from exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 100 service members have come forward to Military Times and Disabled American Veterans with strikingly similar symptoms: chronic bronchitis, asthma, sleep apnea, chronic coughs and allergy-like symptoms. Several also have cited heart problems, lymphoma and leukemia.

The story then goes on to discuss a Pentagon report titled "Just the Facts" which, given the now-leaked memo, reeks of obfuscation. According to Army Times, "Just the Facts" admits the "occasional presence" of possibly harmful toxins but then attempts to write-off the cancerous Balad Airbase miasma as harmless:

But "the potential short- and long-term risks were estimated to be low due to the infrequent detections of these chemicals," the paper states. "Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidance, long-term health effects are not expected to occur from breathing the smoke" at Joint Base Balad.

The leaked memo [PDF] was written by Lt. Col. Darrin Curtis, a Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight Commander, with the subject line, "Burn Pit Health Hazards". According to Curtis:

In my professional opinion, there is an acute health hazard for individuals. There is also the possibility for chronic health hazards associated with the smoke; thus the information is being made a permanent part of each Airman's medical record. I base this assessment on the data that I have reviewed and on-site smoke plume assessments (boots on the ground).

From: James [
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 1:25 PM
To: Jim
Subject: Pentagon Knowingly Exposed US Soldiers To Toxic Waste: Leaked Memo {Under cheney/bush}

The Pentagon allegedly endangered U.S. soldiers by implementing and covering-up dangerously toxic waste-incineration practices at Balad Airbase in Iraq during years past, as revealed in a leaked Air Force memo [PDF]. Raw Story, which first reported the leak, writes this:

The document, written by an environmental engineering flight commander in December of 2006 and posted on Wikileaks on Tuesday, details the risks posed to US troops in Iraq by burning garbage at a US airbase. It enumerates myriad risks posed by the practice and identifies various carcinogens released by incinerating waste in open-air pits.

The PDF Memo:

Rest of Report:

[They] were not fighting this perpetual war for victory, they were fighting to keep a state of emergency always present as the surest guarantee of authoritarianism.
-- George Orwell, 1984

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Woman seeks car tag for families of combat-killed vets

Woman seeks car tag for families of combat-killed vets

The Wichita Eagle

Judy Dietz wants Kansas to create a Gold Star family license plate like the one she holds from Ohio along with her fathers medals.

The day still haunts her.

The Army showed up at the front door and said her father had been killed in action. Her mother moaned aloud, and eight children sobbed.

And they grew up without a father.

They felt the pain every time they visited a childhood pal who still had a father.

They feel the pain to this day.

Now, Judy Dietz is asking for a license plate commemorating families who went through days like that. Gold Star families.

She has earned a nickname from friends and supporters for her efforts to get the Kansas Legislature to approve such plate.

"Lady Rambo," they call her.

"Dad had told Mom before he left to Vietnam that 'If I get killed, all I am to the American people is just another dead GI.' I do not want this to be his legacy," Dietz said.

Her father, Glenn Nicholson, was killed in combat in Vietnam on May 5, 1968. The 38-year-old tank commander, winner of three Purple Hearts and other medals, was 63 days from the end of his duty.

He left a wife and eight children, ages 1 to 16, back home in Salina.

Dietz was 9.

Her mother, Emilie, raised the kids alone. She died in November at age 82.

"I told her I was going to do this, and I was not going to stop," said Dietz, a married mother of two who lives in Derby.

A bill creating a Gold Star Family license plate is in the works.

Dietz, chairwoman of the Kansas Gold Star Family Committee, last month helped clear the way for it by testifying before a House committee in Topeka against a bill that called for a license plate for military families.

It was too generic and provided only a decal for a Gold Star Family, she said.

Dietz testified that a plate offering only a decal for families who lost members to war was "insensitive, insulting and disrespectful."

State Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, is having that bill revised to provide a Gold Star Family-only plate.

Kelsey said he can introduce the new bill this session, but it probably won't be voted on until next year.

"It's not practical to get through the entire process this late in the game," he said.

Dietz will have time to build support, he said.

Kelsey praised her determination to get the kind of bill she wants.

"Her persistence and her carrying the banner, frankly, that's how these things happen," Kelsey said. "For her, it's a mission, and when you have somebody like her, it carries a lot of weight."

Specialty license plates don't cost the state anything, he said. Groups asking for them have to put up $10,000 to have them designed.

Dietz said national Gold Star Family committee chairman Richard Stobbs of Ohio is helping her raise the money from corporations. Stobbs worked to get a Gold Star Family plate in Ohio and is serving as her mentor for her effort in Kansas, she said.

She also has support from groups of Vietnam veterans and America Legion riders.

Kansas has military plates honoring recipients of the Purple Heart and the Congressional Medal of Honor, disabled veterans, ex-prisoners of war, National Guard members, Pearl Harbor survivors and U.S. veterans.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill creating a "Gold Star Mother" license plate last year. It's not available yet.

The Gold Star Family plate would be modeled after the Ohio plate, which features a large gold star surrounded by five smaller stars representing the service branches.

Above is the name of the war theater.

Gold Star Families include those who lost members in wars dating back to World War I. Dietz said she knows of 55 Gold Star Families in Kansas, all from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She's trying to locate more such families to gather support. She can be contacted at 316-789-9688, or by e-mail at

Families of those killed in combat know what it's like to have a member suddenly and violently taken away from them, then have to deal with that for the rest of their lives, she said.

"We were raised to be very proud of our father," Dietz said. "This experience has affected us very much through the years."

The other members of her family approve of her efforts, Dietz said.

They tell her if anybody can do it, she can, she said.

"I'm the middle one," Dietz said, "and the middle one learns to fight."

Reach Fred Mann at 316-268-6310 or


I like the idea but wished they used the term everyone else uses though
"Killed in Action" not "combat killed"

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Agent Orange used at Eglin in 1960s

Yes. During the testing phase of Agent Orange, use tests were carried out at
Fort Detrick, Maryland, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and Camp Drum in
New York. Other testing was also conducted in Thailand in the early 1960's.
Typescript: Herbicide Orange - Range C-52A, Eglin
AFB, Florida
Partial reprint

Air Force Admits Agent Orange Spraying In Florida In 1962-70

By Barbara T. Dreyfuss
In the 1960s, Ernie Rivers taught Navy flight students at the Pensacola
Naval Air Station how to live off the land if their plane was downed. He was
the officer in charge of the survival unit, overseeing 30 to 35 instructors,
who taught more than 100 men a week how to survive with only a compass, map,
and a hunting knife. Every week groups of students would camp for three
days, using different sites on Eglin Air Force Base Reservation in Florida.

When the winds and clouds were right, Rivers and his men would watch planes
pass overhead, clouds of spray coming from them. Several times he and his
men were sprayed. "I'd say, 'At least we don't have to use bug repellant,'"
he noted, laughing, during an interview. That was a big plus, they thought,
for them as well as Army Rangers who were also training out in the bayous of
the Florida panhandle, where mosquitoes and other bugs could make life

Rivers and the students thought they were watching the Air Force spray DDT
to kill mosquitoes. What was actually being sprayed, he said, was Agent
Orange. Documents show that gallons of the defoliants Agent Orange, Agent
Purple, and Agent White were sprayed at Eglin. In fact, according to
officials overseeing the program, the Air Force sprayed a test area on the
base with more dioxin than any similar area in Vietnam. The fact that Agent
Orange was sprayed in Florida for eight years was not widely known then or
even today. Only in the last several years has the documentation on the
spraying been made publicly available by Alvin Young, an Air Force scientist
for more than 15 years at Eglin. Young oversaw a huge research project
evaluating how massive spraying of Agent Orange at the Florida air force
base affected its soil, water, plants, fish, and animals.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert P. Walsh []
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 12:44 PM
To:; Mike Bird
Cc: Colonel Dan; KURT PRIESSMAN; Martha S. Lyon
Subject: FW: Agent Orange storage site

You guys know anything about herbicide use and storage at Eglin?


Robert P. Walsh
Two West Michigan Avenue
Suite 301
Battle Creek, Michigan 49017

Telephone (269) 962-9693
Telecopier (269) 962-9592

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 11:59 AM
Subject: Agent Orange storage site

I did not know that a storage site existed at Eglin AFB. Seems that
malformed wildlife have been sighted, that there are significant numbers of
malformed humans born of parents stationed at Eglin. I would also think that
the zone of danger extends well beyond that "roped off"site. Superfund site?
Naw! US govt can do what it damned well pleases. Dan Cedusky may have some
info re Eglin and hazmat. S

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Gulf War vets committee in limbo, Temple meeting canceled

Gulf War vets committee in limbo, Temple meeting canceled

Sunday, March 08, 2009

By Regina Dennis

Tribune-Herald staff writer

One Crawford man worries that the national Veteran Affairs advisory committee he fought to establish is being hastily shut down.

Kirt Love, a Gulf War veteran, was appointed to the Gulf War Veterans Advisory Committee last year after several years of pushing the VA and local legislators to create it. The committee received an 18-month charter to explore medical and administrative issues plaguing Gulf War Veterans.

Now, the committee chairman is hoping to end the committee’s work in the coming months, ahead of the committee’s dissolution date in December.

“I fought very hard for this committee, and I know that we need it,” Love said. “I was really irritated that they gave us an 18-month charter, and now our committee chairman is trying to wrap it up before a year. He’s trying to wrap it up way too fast.”

For one, Love said, the committee has not spent enough time gathering input from veterans, having traveled only to Atlanta, Seattle, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Love said more time needs to be spent in developing a policy to address veterans’ concerns with communication and transparency in the VA.

However, committee Chairman Charles L. Cragin thinks the information and research the committee has done thus far is sufficient.

“I think we have spent a great deal of time and we’ve developed a great deal of information, and left to my own devices, I would say let’s go forward and produce a product,” Cragin said. “From my personal perspective, I think it would be useful to move this committee to its final process of writing a report and making a recommendation.”

At the last committee meeting, in Atlanta, Cragin tasked members with drafting recommendations to send its report to the VA to be discussed and compiled in a meeting in Washington, D.C., in April.

But that meeting may not happen. The committee is currently on standby as the VA reviews all advisory committees, in compliance with President Barack Obama’s mandated review of all governmental agencies.

That forced the committee to cancel a two-day conference in Temple on March 18 and 19. Even if the committee is green-lighted to continue, Cragin said he did not know whether the Temple meeting would be rescheduled.

Love said he suspects that VA officials may be pressuring for a quick end to the Gulf War committee’s work to take focus off the plight of Gulf War veterans.

“When our committee wraps up, all we will have is the (Gulf War) Research Advisory Committee, and all they deal with is research. This is outside of their venue,” Love said. “So the VA will be perfectly happy for things to go back to the way they are with us having no communication point.”

Love himself endured a lengthy battle in receiving treatment and diagnosis for his own Gulf War-related illnesses, stemming from exposure to chemical and biological agents during Operation Desert Storm. Diagnosed with congestive heart failure, digestive problems and various neurological disorders, Love adopted an organic, agrarian lifestyle that improved his health, though he said complications still arise.

Love said he will propose establishing a permanent panel or committee that will address treatment and benefits issues. He will also suggest more thorough testing for Gulf War illnesses beyond the standard medical exam, which he said is necessary to catch the array of medical issues most Gulf War veterans develop.

Love said he will continue fighting for focus on Gulf War issues after the committee’s work ends, whether that is sooner or later.

“Once I’m off this committee, I’m back in the machine again,” Love said. “I’m back out there without a mouthpiece or spokesman or anything, I’ll be right back in the same system. So I’m fighting for my own care as much as anybody else’s.”

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