Saturday, June 13, 2009

What is wrong with this picture? Veterans deserve better from us

What is wrong with this picture? Veterans deserve better from us
Carl Young/For The Times-Standard
Posted: 06/13/2009 01:30:28 AM PDT

Numerous studies have made the clear link between Vietnam veterans suffering from PTSD, to an increased risk of dying relatively young due to heart disease.

Still other studies suggest that Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange (AO) suffer from Parkinson's disease. Yet the Congress fails to pass legislation requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish these aliments as presumptive conditions related to military service. How many families have watched a loved that served in Vietnam, die an untimely death due to the degenerative and incurable condition of Parkinson's disease or heart disease, and had no idea it might have been directly related to their military service?

A new aliment AL amyloidosis -- a rare incurable disease that can lead to organ failure and death -- has been recognized as a service-connected illness related to herbicide exposure. A new bill is H.R. 2254 would include “Blue Water Navy” veterans ... and others, including those who received the Vietnam Service Medal (VSM), which could include those who served in support of the war in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, as potently exposed to AO.

I'm now watching my father, Capt. Robert W. Young, USMC Retired, who served in both Korea and Vietnam, having his good days, and not so good. There's overwhelming evidence that suggests a higher incidence of Vietnam veterans with Parkinson's disease than other population groups.
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