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  • VVA to VA: Make Agent Orange Aircraft Crews Eligible for Care and Disability Compensation
    any of the maladies the VA considers presumptive to service connection ought to be eligible for health care and when warranted disability compensation wrote John Rowan National President of VVA to General Eric K Shinseki Secretary of Veterans Affairs Citing the strong language from Dr Thomas Sinks Deputy Director of the CDC s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in acknowledging the contamination and the crews exposure Rowan noted This directly challenges the VA s contention that although the aircraft may have been contaminated by dioxin there was little likelihood of any harmful exposure Acknowledging that far too often the VA has taken an adversarial stance concerning invisible wounds of war suffered by too many of our veterans rather than acting as an advocate on behalf of these men and women Rowan stated It is time for the VA to acknowledge what the U S Air Force has already certified that there is enough evidence these aircraft were in fact heavily contaminated and that those crew members afflicted with illnesses the VA recognizes as service connected presumptive ought to be eligible for health care as well as disability compensation We bring this to your attention stated Rowan in his

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-006.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vietnam Veterans of America Enraged by FOX Network Liz Trotter’s Commentary On Sexual Assault in the Military
    2006 Trotta remarked Well what did they expect These people are in close contact What did they expect said Marsha Four chair of VVA s Women Veterans Committee I can tell you what we as women expected when we volunteered to serve our country during the Vietnam War We expected to be treated equitably and with respect Those of us who worked through the turmoil of the sixties and seventies fought hard for equal rights and we are appalled that decades later those who serve our nation in the armed forces are still fighting for equal rights Clearly Trotta is not in touch with the reality of sexual assault in the military as she appears to be unaware that men also have had to endure this shocking assault noted Four Further we do not believe that all the thousands upon thousands of men and women who serve this great nation engage in behaviour that is less than honourable when placed in situations where they must coexist Trotta s comments are insulting to men and women alike Said Rowan Ms Trotta s despicable commentary has sent a shock wave through the ranks of our membership and beyond No institution in America condones the disgrace of sexual assault It is not accepted in corporate America nor is it on the streets of our towns and communities Why should sexual assault in the military be anything less than criminal As the Department of Defense grapples with the problem it must take responsibility at all levels of command and leadership must be held accountable As veterans who fought to uphold our Constitution we hold sacred all the rights it insures said Rowan As such we are appalled that Ms Trotta would use the Fourth Estate as a vehicle to condone the criminal acts of

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-005.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Attorneys File for Class Certification In Chemical-Biological Weapons Testing Case
    health conditions that may have originated from exposures during these tests Efforts to prove the connection between past exposures and current health conditions have been stymied by the very agencies of government that ought to be advocating for these veterans rather than taking an adversarial stance against them VVA is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit we hope will shed light on what has been secret for far too long Rowan said Morrison Foerster LLP has filed a petition for class certification for these veterans and their survivors For over five decades the testing of more than 400 different chemical and biological agents among them LSD mescaline mustard gas and sarin was concentrated at Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick Maryland Tests were also conducted at military installations across the continental United States in Alaska in Puerto Rico and elsewhere As many as 100 000 active duty military personnel were involved in these experiments and most were unaware of the substances to which they were exposed If the courts rule in our favor Rowan said this will be a huge step in the right direction in obtaining justice for veterans whose claims for disability compensation have long been denied by

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-004.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vietnam Veterans of America to EPA: Release the Dioxin Document Now
    the non cancer segment of the Dioxin Reassessment document by the Environmental Protection Agency John Rowan National President of VVA made VVA s position crystal clear In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Rowan wrote Any further delay would constitute an injustice to the American people who have a right to know the truth about dioxin As Vietnam veterans we know only too well the insidious long term health impacts of this highly toxic compound on the health of our brother and sister veterans and now on the health of their children and grandchildren We have lost too many too soon from the effects of our wartime exposures to dioxin and dioxin like compounds We will not stand for the same to happen to our fellow citizens We urge the EPA to ignore the pressures of those industry groups who are deliberately indifferent to the health impact of these poisons Rowan said citing in particular the American Chemistry Council that is lobbying to delay the release of the non cancer Dioxin Reassessment Clearly the profits of one irresponsible part of one industry must not take precedence over the health and welfare of the citizens of our nation Rowan wrote

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-003.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Press Release: Vietnam Veterans of America and Campaign Endorsements
    well as local VVA chapters and state councils from making any such endorsements Rowan said Occasionally confusion arises when individual VVA members whom we encourage to be politically active are identified as representatives of our organization To preclude any misunderstandings as required by our membership we must get the word out to clarify the record Rowan said Rowan stated The federal tax code is very clear in this regard and any implication of improper activities could cause us to lose our tax exemption and not for profit status As long as no VVA endorsement of a political candidate is given or implied individual VVA members are encouraged to participate in the political process As private citizens we have every right to do so Vietnam Veterans of America founded in 1978 was formed in large part to fight for and affect laws and policies to ensure that our nation s veterans receive the benefits they have earned and need With chapters and state councils nationwide VVA is the only Congressionally chartered national Vietnam veterans service organization exclusively comprised of Vietnam era veterans VVA s commitment to all veterans is exemplified in its founding principle Never again will one generation of veterans

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-001.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Efforts Pays Off:  Secretary of Defense Postpones Unfavorable MOU Re Tuition Assistance
    to extend by 90 days a deadline for a memorandum of understanding on tuition assistance The current version appears to be a boon for those institutions caring most about profit and least about the education of their students who are veterans said John Rowan National President of Vietnam Veterans of America VVA has fought hard along with other service organizations to ensure that this new generation of veterans returning from Afghanistan Iraq and other post 9 11 hotspots would get more generous benefits benefits akin to those received by our fathers and mothers who came home triumphant after World War II noted Rowan When Vietnam veterans returned home the educational benefits afforded to us were minimal Even so just as had happened after World War II predatory institutions that cared far less about the education of our veterans and far more about profiting from the largesse of federal coffers flourished Rowan said This is a reminder of the power of grassroots advocacy Secretary Panetta s decision on behalf of the Department of Defense was no doubt influenced by the concerns we shared the letters we wrote and the reasoning we brought to bear on this issue When one speaks truth

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-035.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Air Force Disrespect for the Dead Draws VVA’s Ire
    far more according to news reports than the military had acknowledged previously What is unconscionable Rowan noted is that according to a report in today s Washington Post the landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner To us this does not mean dumped in a landfill Whoever came up with that idea ought to think

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-034.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Urges All Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange Be Screened for Prostate Cancer 
    Asia and no one knows for sure how many of these veterans were exposed to Agent Orange In 1996 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences concluded there is limited evidence of a positive association between prostate cancer and exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam including Agent Orange As a result of IOM s findings Jesse Brown then Secretary of the Veterans Administration VA issued the final rule recognizing prostate cancer as a service connected presumptive disease associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other phenoxy herbicides during military service allowing such exposed veterans to become eligible for VA disability compensation and health care In 2008 University of California Davis Cancer Center physicians released results of research showing Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and even greater risks of getting the most aggressive form of the disease as compared to those who were not exposed The research was also the first to use a large population of men in their 60s and the prostate specific antigen PSA test More than 13 000 Vietnam veterans enrolled in the VA Northern California Health Care System were stratified into two groups exposed or not exposed to Agent Orange between 1962 and 1971 Based on medical evaluations conducted between 1998 and 2006 the study revealed that twice as many Agent Orange exposed men were identified with prostate cancer than non exposed Agent Orange exposed men were diagnosed two and a half years younger than non exposed and Agent Orange exposed men were nearly four times more likely to present with metastatic disease than non exposed Further buttressing this link in 2009 a study of 1 495 veterans in five cities who underwent radical prostatectomy to remove their cancerous prostates showed 206 exposed to Agent

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2011/pr11-033.html (2016-02-15)
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