Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Senate passed 9 11 responders fund forever

'Put down your swords': Senate passes bill ensuring 9/11 victims fund will never run out of money

NBC News
By Dareh Gregorian and Frank Thorp V
July 23, 2019

"I'm going to ask my team now to put down your swords and pick up your rakes and go home, and hopefully, we don't have to come back," victims' advocate John Feal told his fellow first responders at a news conference later. "What I'm going to miss the most about D.C. is — nothing."

Jon Stewart embraces a crying John Feal, the Sept. 11, 2001, first responder who led the organization pushing for the full extension of the victim compensation fund, just after the bill passed in the Senate on July 23, 2019.Frank Thorp V / NBC News

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday to ensure a fund to compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks never runs out of money — and that first responders won't have to return to Congress to plead for more funding.

The vote came after intense lobbying from ailing 9/11 first responders — including one who died shortly after testifying before Congress last month.

The bill, which was passed by a vote of 97-2, would authorize money for the fund through 2092, essentially making it permanent.

Before the bill's final passage, the chamber defeated two proposed amendments: One, from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would have restricted the authorization to 10 years; the other, from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, would have required offsets for the money spent on the fund.
read it here

Monday, July 1, 2019

90,000 Navy "Blue Water" veterans have the law on their side now

update ‘Blue water’ veterans’ claims delayed until next year

“Time is of the essence in this matter. Blue Water Navy Veterans are dying every day,” John Wells, retired Navy commander and the executive director of Military-Veterans Advocacy, wrote in a letter to Wilkie Monday morning. “These veterans have waited long enough.”

President Trump signs Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans bill into law

Connecting Vets
JUNE 26, 2019

President Donald Trump has signed into law the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act," requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide disability benefits to veterans who served in the waters off the coast of Vietnam.

The bill is just one more provision in a decades-long fight to guarantee the same benefits to nearly 90,000 Navy veterans who served in the waters offshore of Vietnam that their land and brown-water comrades are entitled to after potentially being exposed to toxic Agent Orange.

Two weeks ago, the Senate passed the bill unanimously and the House passed it unanimously before Memorial Day.

Earlier this month, the final legal battle for Blue Water veterans to qualify for VA disability benefits for exposure to the cancer-causing toxin appeared to be over.
read it here

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Blue Water Veterans urged to get claims in ASAP

Senate Passes Blue Water Navy Bill, Cementing Victory for Ill Vietnam Veterans
By Patricia Kime
13 Jun 2019
"If they get their claim in, it may be grandfathered," Wells said. "If you were on a ship, especially a carrier that served on the fringe of the territorial sea, it's imperative that they get their claim in now."

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Intrepid (CVS-11) steams in the South China Sea on Sept. 13, 1966, with aircraft of Attack Carrier Air Wing 10 (CVW-10) parked on the flight deck. CVW-10 was assigned to the Intrepid for a deployment to Vietnam from April 4 to Nov. 21, 1966. V.O. McColley/Navy

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Wednesday to extend disability benefits to veterans who served on Navy ships off the coast of Vietnam, signaling the end of a decades-long fight for these former sailors and Marines to receive compensation for diseases presumed to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange and other defoliants used during the Vietnam War.

Following similar approval by the House last month, the Senate vote sends the bill to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The legislation could affect up to 90,000 veterans, although Retired Navy Cmdr. John Wells, an attorney with Military Veterans Advocacy who represented Alfred Procopio Jr., the plaintiff in the case decided in January, said the way the bill is written may limit awards, excluding as many as 55,000 service members, including many assigned to aircraft carriers that operated farther out to sea.
read more here

Friday, May 24, 2019

Agent Orange and the generational cost of service

Generations of Veterans Dealing With Invisible Wounds of Vietnam War

May 23, 2019
“Most all families have no clue that it can go on past one generation," Cowherd said at a Glasgow town hall. "I’ve talked to people where it’s skipped generations and gone into grandchildren. They say, ‘Now I know why my child is so sick all the time. Something finally makes sense."
Hardin County veteran Denzil Lile flips through a scrapbook, recalling his service in Vietnam. CREDIT LISA AUTRY
Monday is Memorial Day, a time when the nation will pause to remember the men and women who died while serving in the military. More than four decades after the Vietnam War, some veterans in Kentucky and elsewhere say the conflict is still claiming casualties.

“This guy here, he and I were on the same team in Vietnam, said Hardin County veteran Denzil Lile. "That’s Billy Smith, he was the first one to get killed from Metcalfe County. Me and him was drafted on the same day.”

Denzil Lile looked through a scrapbook at the kitchen table in his apartment in Elizabethtown. There's one of him with a black Labrador Retriever.

“I was a dog handler. His name was Joey B-388, which he came from the British and was called the queen’s dog, Lile said. "They tracked. They worked more off of a ground scent.”

Lile is one of about 125,000 Kentuckians who served in the military during the Vietnam War and many were exposed to a harmful herbicide known as Agent Orange. The U.S. military sprayed the chemical to clear vegetation so Viet Cong wouldn’t have a hiding place, but the toxic chemicals did more than that. Agent Orange left a medical legacy for veterans and their families.

“I had a little blister to come up under my watch while I was in Vietnam, and for the next several years, my face would tan in different colors," recalled Lile. "I never thought much about it because it was just another thing you got in the jungle, until we got to hearing about it (Agent Orange) later on. I had a basal melanoma taken off my nose right here.”
read more here

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Were you stationed at Kunia Hawaii? Are you sick?

Kunia veterans blame possible exposure to toxic pesticides for mystery illnesses

Hawaii News Now
By Mahealani Richardson
May 13, 2019
Veterans who worked at Kunia intel site claim pesticide exposure caused cancer, other illnesses

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A group of more than 100 Kunia veterans are suffering from neurological issues, cancer, birth defects and other illnesses after they say they were exposed to toxic pesticides.

Tara Lemieux, 50, of Maryland suffers from hand tremors, memory loss and other health problems.

She believes it stems from her days as an Army specialist from 1991 to 1995 at the Kunia “Tunnel” Field Station near Schofield Barracks.

Lemieux says nine out of the 12 members of her unit have died young.

"They didn't tell us that this beautiful absolutely picturesque once in a lifetime duty station that there was another side to it," said Lemieux.

Back then, the three story underground National Security Agency facility sat below Del Monte pineapple fields.

Lamieux believes she was directly exposed to toxic chemicals in 1991 when a broken water well flooded the underground facility. She and a handful of others were waist deep in water that was oily and smelled like chemicals.
read more here

Friday, May 10, 2019

Love story of Veteran and Bride, who had to plan funeral 5 hours after wedding

Veteran dies of cancer 5 hours after getting married

Army Times
By: J.D. Simkins
May 9, 2019
Tianna Laue, married for just five hours before losing her husband, told KWWL the lessons she’s learned from the experience, however brief, will last a lifetime.

Army veteran Tristan Laue married his wife just five hours before succumbing to a rare form of liver cancer. (Tristan Laue GoFundMe)
When Tristan Laue joined the Army in July 2016, he never envisioned an enlistment that would be cut drastically short, but an indiscriminate universe had other ideas.

Laue was medically discharged from the service in April 2018 after it was discovered that the young soldier had developed a rare form of liver cancer.

Determined to battle the disease, Laue carried on with his life, attending the University of Northern Iowa while seeing his relationship with his girlfriend, Tianna, blossom in ways her family never expected.

“Talking to my mom ... she said, ‘Some people don’t get what you two had in the amount of time, like they’ll be together for years and still not have the same connection that you guys did,’” Tianna told KWWL.

But Tristan’s illness continued to advance relentlessly, diminishing with it the couple’s hopes for a long life together.

With the writing on the wall becoming more clear with each passing day, Laue made the decision to pursue one final wish and proposed to Tianna on Easter Sunday.
read more here

Thursday, April 18, 2019

#SprayedAndBetrayed Blue Water Veterans still waiting for justtice

Will the benefits for ‘blue water’ Vietnam veterans be settled soon?

Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
April 17, 2019
“Even though the court has ruled that the VA must provide these benefits, there is no guarantee it will happen,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “Congress must create a permanent legislative fix.”
Troops from the First Cavalry Air Mobile Division watch the carrier USS Boxer after arrival at Qui Nhon, Vietnam, on Sept. 12, 1965. (AP file photo)
The fate of disability benefits for “blue water” Vietnam veterans will be among the key topics lawmakers tackle when they return from their district break at the end of the month.

In January, a federal court ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs for years has used faulty reasoning to deny disability benefits to veterans who served in ships off the waters of Vietnam. VA officials had argued that extending the benefits to an additional 90,000 veterans would cost as much as $5 billion over 10 years, a figure that advocates have disputed.

This week, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., announced plans to reinforce that ruling and establish a permanent fix for those veterans, who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants has caused a host of rare cancers and respirator illnesses.

Already the chairman and ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee have introduced similar plans, and that House panel is preparing for an expansive hearing on the topic early next month.
read more here

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

10 months after test at Leavenworth VA hospital, veteran told it was cancer?

Veteran diagnosed with cancer 10 months after test at Leavenworth VA hospital

The Topeka Capital-Journal
Published: March 11, 2019
The inspection also found radiologists didn’t receive training on new diagnostic codes or software that generates notifications.
LEAVENWORTH, Va. (Tribune News Service) — An inspection at the Leavenworth VA Medical Center found that a patient with a possible malignancy result was notified by a physician 288 days after the test was completed.

Ten months after the initial CT scan, the patient was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer with the possibility of metastatic disease. The patient died in the summer of 2017, according to the Office of the Inspector General's report.

The inspection was initiated after an individual made an allegation in November 2017 about delays in a lung cancer diagnosis and the reporting of an abnormal radiology test. The complainant also said a provider falsely documented the patient initially wasn't willing to have the test conducted. The OIG substantiated the claims, finding that the patient never refused the test or intervention.

Three subsequent allegations were unsubstantiated.
read more here

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Vietnam Veteran getting immunotherapy in melanoma cancer battle

Immunotherapy treatment helps Vietnam Veteran battle melanoma cancer

Reporter:Channing Frampton
Writer: Michael Mora
Published: March 6, 2019
A new option in melanoma treatment that excites doctors like Paul Rothman, who is the dean and CEO of John Hopkins Medicine. He recently visited Southwest Florida.

A Vietnam Veteran fights a different battle in Southwest Florida. He said he is currently beating stage four melanoma and no matter what, you have to watch for changes in your body.

Ray Hershey, a Fort Myers Shores resident, lives with his wife, Sharon. Ray survived the war in Vietnam decades ago. But now, he is battling skin cancer.

Ray said a relatively new kind of treatment called, immunotherapy, is working miracles.

“My tumor is only this big,” said Ray as he gestures the size, “and it’s still shrinking!”

That tumor was the size of a cantaloupe.

Ray said he feels great, which is a product of a cancer treatment initially meant to treat lung cancer. He had his treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Ray’s oncologist, Dr. Mahdi Taha, said he is fortunate to be doing so well.

“Immunotherapy, believe it or not, is used in multiple cancer types,” Dr. Taha said.

The procedure uses your body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. It took care of Ray’s melanoma and tumor under his arm.
read more here

Friday, February 1, 2019

Historical flights and the woman who inspired them

The Navy's first all-female flyover will honor a woman who helped make it possible

Lauren M. Johnson
January 31, 2019
"She not only kicked doors open, she put a doorstop in the door and told others behind her to go through. Her mentorship was legendary," said Katherine Sharp Landdeck, a history professor at Texas Women's University who studied under Mariner at the University of Tennessee.

Rosemary Mariner in the 1990s, when she was commanding officer of a Naval squadron in California.
(CNN)The first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet in the US Navy opened the door for more than just women in combat. She also helped them with the transition to civilian life.

Now, at her funeral, retired Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner will receive the first-ever all-female flyover.

The special tribute, officially (and datedly) named the "Missing Man Flyover," honors aviators who have died serving their country. It features four jets flying above a funeral service in formation before one of the aircraft peels away and climbs into the sky.

Mariner died January 24 after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 65. Mariner was the Navy's first female jet pilot and the "first female military aviator to achieve command of an operational air squadron," according to a Navy statement.
read more here

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Those who serve...paying beyond what is acceptable

Supreme Court rejects appeal over military burn pits

Published: January 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is rejecting appeals from military veterans who claim they suffer health problems because of open burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The justices on Monday left in place a federal appeals court ruling that more than 60 lawsuits over the burn pits could not go forward.

The lawsuits said military contractor KBR dumped tires, batteries, medical waste and other materials into open burn pits. The suits claimed the resulting smoke caused neurological problems, cancers and other health issues in more than 800 servicemembers. The complaints said at least 12 servicemembers died. #ExposedAndBetrayed
read more here

Commandant tells Coast Guard families: ‘You have not, and will not, be forgotten’

Published: January 14, 2019

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz drew attention to ongoing missions around the globe and expressed his support for Coast Guard families as the service prepared for about 41,000 members to go without paychecks on Tuesday as part of the ongoing partial government shutdown.
A Coast Guard Cutter Munro crewmember embraces his children after the cutter returned home to Alameda, Calif., Dec. 24, 2018. MATTHEW MASASCHI/U.S. COAST GUARD

"While our Coast Guard workforce is deployed, there are loved ones at home reviewing family finances, researching how to get support, and weighing childcare options—they are holding down the fort," Schultz wrote on Sunday. "Please know that we are doing everything we can to support and advocate for you while your loved one stands the watch. You have not, and will not, be forgotten."
read more here

And then there is the latest news that the Congress is once again thinking about the term permanent and totally disabled should be followed up with "just kidding." They managed to cut the taxes on their wealthy friends, but now they want to cut the budgets of the disabled veterans who cannot afford to lose their compensation. Gee, wonder how much the heads of all the corporations get for their compensation after that sweetheart deal?

In other words folks...mostly cutting Vietnam veterans off at the knees!


In 2017, 4.5 million veterans with medical conditions or injuries that were incurred or that worsened during active-duty service received disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The amount of compensation such veterans receive depends on the severity of their disabilities (which are rated between zero and 100 percent in increments of 10), the number of their dependents, and other factors—but not on their income or civilian employment history.
In addition, VA may increase certain veterans' disability compensation to the 100 percent level, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at that level. To receive the supplement, termed an Individual Unemployability (IU) payment, disabled veterans must apply for the benefit and meet two criteria. First, veterans generally must be rated between 60 percent and 90 percent disabled. Second, VA must determine that veterans' disabilities prevent them from maintaining substantially gainful employment—for instance, if their employment earnings would keep them below the poverty threshold for one person. In 2017, for veterans who received the supplement, it boosted their monthly VA disability payment by an average of about $1,200. In September 2017, about 380,000 veterans received IU payments. Of those veterans, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, about 180,000 were age 67 or older. That age group has been the largest driver of growth in the program.
VA's regulations require that IU benefits be based on a veteran's inability to maintain substantially gainful employment because of the severity of a service-connected disability and not because of age, voluntary withdrawal from work, or other factors. About 48 percent of veterans receiving the IU supplement were 67 or older in September 2017, up from about 40 percent in September 2010. That rise is attributed largely to the aging of Vietnam War veterans.
But the tax cuts for the wealthy they managed to make permanent!

House passes GOP bill to make new tax cuts permanent

  • Republicans have sped legislation through the House to expand their massive new tax law, capping their session for the year as they rush out of town to face voters in the November elections.
  • The new bill would make permanent the individual and small-business tax cuts in the law.
  • It's the second tax-cut proposal that Republican leaders have pushed in less than a year.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Navy veteran diagnosed by VA doctors...denied by VA?

Navy veteran with throat cancer continues uphill fight with VA for disability benefits

Updated: Jan 5, 2019

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte veteran Dan Parks has been fighting with the Department of Veterans Affairs for five years to get disability benefits.

"This has been an uphill battle all the way,” Parks said.

Parks showed WSOC-TV paperwork from multiple doctors who determined his throat cancer was caused by exposure to ionizing radiation during his service in the Navy.

He took care of guns and ammunition in the early 1970s, including in an area that housed nuclear torpedo heads.

Now, because of the cancer, his larynx and thyroid were removed.

Twenty-four years after his diagnosis, he still has side effects and takes 18 pills a day, and the VA denies his disability benefits.

"If the VA won’t respect their own doctors' decisions, who does a guy turn to?" Parks asked.

Parks has been in the appeals process, but just in the past month, he received a letter from the VA that states it couldn't find his transcript and he has to start over in his request for disability benefits.
read more here

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Pease Air National Guard base families speak out on cancer link

National Guard hears ‘heartbreaking’ cancer stories

Sea Coastline Daily
By Jeff McMenemy
Posted Dec 7, 2018

PORTSMOUTH -- More than 200 people who turned out for a meeting at the 157th Air Refueling Wing heard story after story about guardsmen who died from cancer or suffered with other health ailments after serving at the Pease Air National Guard base.
Col. John W. Pogorek, wing commander of Pease Air National Guard base. (Photo Rich Beauchesne Seacoastonlin) 
The guard hosted a “listening session” Friday afternoon to hear the health concerns of retirees, their widows and families, along with active duty guardsmen.

Led by Doris Brock, who lost her husband Kendall Brock, a 35-year member of the guard who died in June 2017 from bladder and prostate cancer, a group of widows and retirees have pushed the Air Force to conduct a health study because of what they believe is an unusually high number of cancers at the base.

Brock reminded the people in attendance that it took 35 years before the Veterans Administration sought presumptive disability status for veterans who served at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina with acknowledged water contamination.

“I don’t want to wait that long for us. It has to be faster,” Brock said. “We’ve lost a lot of good people.”

She believes her husband’s exposure to 12 different chemicals on the base known to be carcinogens - along with drinking contaminated water at the former air base - caused his cancer.
read more here

Monday, November 26, 2018

Did Burn Pits Kill General?

Vt. Guard general’s death draws attention to burn pit dangers

Providence Journal
Donita Naylor
November 25, 2018

Flags in Vermont are flying at half-staff in honor of a former Rhode Islander, Vermont National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael T. Heston, 58, who died Nov. 14 from an aggressive cancer linked to his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, one with the Rhode Island National Guard.
Flags in Vermont are flying at half-staff in honor of a former Rhode Islander, Vermont National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael T. Heston, 58, who died Nov. 14 from an aggressive cancer linked to his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, one with the Rhode Island National Guard.

Heston was buried with full military honors at the Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, Vermont, on Saturday. An order from Vermont Gov. Philip B. Scott said flags would be flown at half-staff until sunset Monday.

Heston, the oldest son of Thomas and Dorothea Heston, grew up in Cumberland, graduating from Cumberland High School in 1978 and from Roger Williams College in 1982.

During his 34-year military career, he rose to the second-highest rank in the Vermont National Guard. He was also a trooper in the Vermont State Police for 26 years, retiring as a sergeant in 2010.
June Heston, his wife of 30 years, told Fox News that in 2016, four years after returning from his last deployment in Afghanistan, he began having back pain. He was diagnosed 10 months later with stage IV pancreatic cancer. No one had thought of testing for cancer.

She said Sunday night that Mike’s oncologist “did all the genetic and genomic testing” and found that his cancer “was not hereditary in any way.” The doctor wrote to the Veterans Administration with his conclusion that the cancer had an environmental cause.
read more here

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Burn Pits get studied today, forgotten about from all other wars

Wonder if any of these reporters are aware this is how they got rid of the same stuff in all other wars?

Burn Pits Exposed: A Look at How Military Got Rid of 'Anything and Everything' on Overseas Bases

NBC 10 News
By NBC10 Investigators
Published Nov 16, 2018

They served. Now they're sick. Thousands of former soldiers claim they are suffering ill effects from the garbage disposal methods on overseas bases.
In the middle of the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, garbage disposal on American military bases was historically a simple thing.

"Anything and everything burned in a burn pit — from mail to dead animals to anything," Ryan Conklin, a former soldier, says.

Asbestos and other chemicals? Yes, retired Army Lt. Col. Dan Brewer, says.

Medical waste? Yes again, according to a doctor now researching the effects of burn pit dust. "It was always burning, always black smoke coming of there," another veteran, Michael Ray, says.

Several former soldiers and medical doctors spoke to NBC10 Investigators about their experiences with burn pits: large holes dug by crews who then filled the pits with trash and lit them on fire with jet fuel. For many soldiers deployed to the desert and living on bases adjacent to the debris disposal, the billowing black smoke was just part of their daily life.
read more here

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Canadian Widow Wins 9 Year Battle For Husband

Widow wins nine-year battle with Veterans Affairs over cancer coverage

The Chronicle Herald
Francis Campbell
November 3, 2018
“When he was diagnosed and we met with his oncologist for the first time, she asked was he exposed to chemicals. And we said, yes. He looked at me and he said, ‘Hon, the Persian Gulf War did this to me.’ He asked me to pursue it on his behalf and I did.”
Natasha Mohr stubbornly sticks to her promises.

Unfortunately, the Canadian Forces do not, she said.

“Sign on the dotted line, you’ll be taken care of,” Mohr, 49, said of commitments the Forces and the federal government make to military personnel. “And that is not so.”

Mohr said the broken promises to her Lower Sackville family began after Christmas Day, 2008, the morning her husband, Petty Officer Rick Mohr, passed away in her arms of brain cancer that was related to his 22-year naval career.

It took nine long years for Veterans Affairs Canada to begrudgingly agree that his death was service related.

Petty Officer Mohr had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour, just more than two months earlier.

“He was a brilliant naval communicator and even more so, he was a loving father and husband,” Natasha Mohr said.

Rick Mohr was only 42. His death crushed his wife and the couple’s son and daughter, both in their teens.
read more here

Monday, October 1, 2018

Medal of Honor recipient saved lives, now has GoFundMe for his family

UPDATE Ronald Shurer, Medal of Honor recipient who saved lives in Afghanistan, dies at 41

Former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II, who received the Medal of Honor in 2018 for braving heavy gunfire to save lives in Afghanistan, has died of cancer. He was 41.

Miranda Shurer said her husband died Thursday in Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. She said he was diagnosed with cancer three years ago.
read it here on CBS News

Trump Awards Medal of Honor to His Own Secret Service Agent
By Matthew Cox
1 Oct 2018
A decade later, Shurer is fighting another battle -- this time with stage 4 lung cancer. More than 500 people have joined his cause and are attempting to raise $100,000 for his family through a gofundme account.
President Donald Trump on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II, a Secret Service agent who is now fighting a battle with cancer.
Associated Press
"Today is a truly proud and special day for those of us here in the White House because Ron works right here alongside of us on the Secret Service counter-assault team; these are incredible people," Trump told a crowded room filled with Shurer's family, fellow soldiers and Army senior leaders. The assault force encountered no enemy activity during the 1,000-foot climb to their objective, but as the lead element approached the target village, "roughly 200 well-trained and well-armed terrorists ambushed the American and Afghan forces," he said.
Shurer, the mission's only medic, immediately began treating wounded. He then sprinted and climbed through enemy fire to reach several of his teammates who were pinned down on a cliff above.
read more here

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Vietnam veteran with terminal cancer had yard sale to pay his for funeral?

UPDATE November 22, 2018

Navy veteran who held yard sales to pay for own funeral dies

His story gained national attention after his yard sale was visited by a pair of men who went on to start a GoFundMe campaign for the veteran. Nearly 2,000 people donated to the campaign for a total of $65,000, far above the amount needed for Davis’ funeral.

Navy veteran, 66, with terminal cancer holds yard sales to raise money for funeral
Fox News
By Stephen Sorace
September 27, 3018
"It broke your heart, hearing the story, and we just decided we had to do something to try and help him, try to make his life a little bit easier," Sheets told Johnstown, Pa.-based WJAC-TV. Davis served in the Navy from 1970-76 during the Vietnam War, the station reported.

A 66-year-old U.S. Navy veteran dying from cancer has been selling his possessions at weekend yard sales to raise money for his own funeral, reports said Wednesday.

Willie Davis, of Cambria County, Pa., was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma. He plans to raise enough cash to be buried next to his parents in Culpepper, Va., according to his GoFundMe page.

The page was created by two men, David Dunkleberger and his friend, Ed Sheets, after visiting Davis’ yard sale in Brownstown, Pa., in August. When they asked whose funeral Davis was financing, he replied: "Mine."
read more here

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Cancer survivors celebrate life, hope and community support

These local veterans fought one of their hardest battles after their service, and today they celebrated
Dayton Daily News
By Bennett Leckrone, Staff Writer
June 1, 2018
“There’s much more to healing (than medical treatment) It takes family, it takes friends, it takes community.” Jennifer DeFrancesco
The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center held its first Cancer Survivors’ Day on Friday. SCOTT KESSLER/STAFF.
When Ray Smeltzer, a Miamisburg resident and Vietnam veteran, was diagnosed with prostate cancer around a year ago, he wasn’t aware it could have been caused by his military service.

Smeltzer’s aggressive prostate cancer, he was told, was associated with a foliage-killing chemical he had encountered as an Air Force sergeant in Vietnam.

“I went through a number of years without any evidence of contamination, but in my later years I found that I had a very aggressive and rapidly growing form of prostate cancer that they’ve associated with that exposure,” Smeltzer said.

Seeking treatment, he went somewhere new: The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

On Friday, he attended an event at the VA Medical Center to celebrate cancer survivors. Through all of his treatment and surgeries, Smeltzer said, the VA has supported and served him.
read more here

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Congress does not act while Agent Orange killing veterans, kids and grandkids

Sickened veterans, families, Congress wait on VA to release findings on Agent Orange exposure
By: Steve Andrews
Updated: May 18, 2018

HOLIDAY, FLA(WFLA) - For years, the family of Lonnie Kilpatrick suspected Agent Orange sickened not only Lonnie, but his children and grandchildren too.
While stationed in Guam, the Navy veteran, who died earlier this month, was exposed to the toxic herbicide, which the military used throughout the Vietnam war to wipe out jungle vegetation the enemy was hiding in.

"I know my kids they have, this thing that's caused by Agent Orange," Lonnie said in an interview in April. "I got a granddaughter that's already had brain surgery."

"They say it can be passed down for three generations," he added.

Betty Medkeci, the executive director of Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc. thinks its too early to say whether the grandchildren of veterans exposed to Agent Orange are experiencing health issues. It is her contention that neither the Department of Veterans Affairs nor private industry really wants to go there.

"We don't know, but we're not going to find out unless we do the research," Ms. Medkeci said.
Congress is still waiting to hear from the Department of Veterans Affairs whether birth defects and other health concerns showing up in the children and grandchildren of veterans are tied to the toxic defoliant.

In 2016, Congress passed legislation directing the V.A. to partner with the National Academy of Medicine "to assess the scientific research regarding descendants of individuals and veterans with toxic exposure," but Medkeci said the department failed to follow through on the directive.
read more here