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  • VVA Praises VA; Urges Eligible Veterans and Survivors of Deceased Veterans To File Claims for Newly ‘Presumptive’ Diseases Associated with Agent Orange  
    claim for disability compensation said John Rowan National President of Vietnam Veterans of America VVA This is true even if a Vietnam veteran or survivor never filed a claim or has previously filed a claim which was denied This is only one more step albeit a very important one on the road to justice for Vietnam veterans and their survivors who have suffered from the unseen wounds of our war Rowan said VA Secretary Shinseki and President Obama deserve great credit and the thanks of all Vietnam veterans and our families not only for this decision but also for their stated determination to do better reviews of illnesses that may be connected to military service Rowan said VVA is pleased that the VA also will review the claims of more than 80 000 veterans who may be eligible for retroactive payment as well as enrollment into the VA healthcare system However we urge the VA to publicize these new rules so that veterans understand that their illnesses resulted from military service entitling them to compensation and healthcare or that surviving spouses children or dependent parents of veterans who died from these illnesses may be entitled to compensation or assistance These diseases bring the total to 14 illness categories that entitle Vietnam veterans and veterans who served along the demilitarized zone in Korea in 1968 and 1969 to health care and disability compensation VVA also contends that many Vietnam era veterans were also exposed in their service elsewhere in Southeast Asia during the war including in Thailand and Laos and aboard Navy vessels off the coast of Vietnam as well as certain military bases located in the continental U S and its territories Among the other diseases recognized by the VA as presumptive to exposure to Agent Orange are diabetes mellitus

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2010/pr10-006.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vietnam Veterans of America Applauds Passage of Skelton Bill Ensuring Protection of TRICARE, VA health care, and CHAMPUS; Decries "Scare Tactics"
    duty military retired military and their families survivors will not be affected negatively by the pending health care reform legislation said John Rowan National President of Vietnam Veterans of America VVA It is unfortunate that some continue to raise what is now even more clearly a false alarm that is apparently meant to frighten veterans and their families in order to prompt them to oppose the pending legislation While there is legitimate debate as to whether or not the pending health care measures should become law VVA does not appreciate spreading rumors that are not accurate by any political partisan from any point of the political spectrum continued Rowan Last summer there was a similar incident also involving partisans in the health care reform debate that VVA soundly condemned We said then It is our hope that sane minds reject fear mongering and that veterans recognize these scare tactics for what they are Rowan said Rowan concluded by saying VVA has always worked hard for justice for veterans of all generations and their families We have always and will continue to work with public officials representing all political parties and points of view Issues affecting veterans and their families are

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2010/pr10-005.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vietnam Veterans of America Endorses “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”
    and pariahs of a war that divided the nation and reverberates till this day Rowan said While many in our nation have come to embrace those who served in that war and while there are memorials to those who served and those who paid the ultimate price there has never been a nationally recognized day for a belated Welcome Home to all those who served This is why VVA endorses the resolution introduced in the Senate by Senator Richard Burr R North Carolina Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee which would establish March 30th as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day March 30th marks the anniversary date of the completion in 1973 of the withdrawal of U S combat units and combat support units from the former South Vietnam We know that several states and localities already designate a date usually at the end of March to honor their Vietnam veterans Rowan said Having a single nationally recognized day to borrow from Senator Burr s resolution can go a long way to provide the appreciation Vietnam War veterans deserve but did not receive upon returning home demonstrate the resolve that never again shall the nation disregard and denigrate a

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2010/pr10-004.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA COMMENDS VA FOR ATTEMPTING TO USE MODERN TECHNOLOGY
    to put a plan into action VA also has a horrendous track record in managing and supervising IT contracts We only hope they have learned from past mistakes and that they are prepared to use the lessons they have learned noted Rowan There are of course many unanswered questions about VA s proposal for which we hope to receive answers in the very near future The VA News Release stated The contract is expected to be awarded in April with proposed solutions offered to VA within 90 days Implementation of the solution is expected within 150 days What concerns us is that VA will issue a contract for claims adjudication assistance before it knows what it wants and needs It would obviously be poor judgment to execute a contract before the terms and conditions have been enunciated said Rowan There is also a concern that claimants for benefits with a claim based on ischemic heart disease may have their claim granted before a similar claimant with a claim such as diabetes type II related to exposure to Agent Orange We must ensure that all veterans no matter when or where they served are treated equally An additional concern is for

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2010/pr10-003.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Press Release: Vietnam Veterans of America Congratulates Pat Sajak
    Vietnam veteran was the champion last night in a round of Celebrity Jeopardy VVA is proud to have been Mr Sajak s designated charity As a result of Mr Sajak s knowledge VVA will receive at least 55 300 We wish Mr Sajak well in the next round towards the million dollar prize Said VVA President John Rowan VVA wishes to thank Mr Sajak for mentioning our work on veterans health issues and directing veterans in the viewing audience to VVA and the Veterans Health Council web site www veteranshealth org The web site provides important health information for veterans from the Vietnam War the Persian Gulf War and the present War on Global Terrorism Hopefully the veterans and their families in the Jeopardy audience will check out this site Mr Sajak did our nation s veterans a great service with this announcement The mission of the Veterans Health Council is to improve health care for veterans by creating an on going forum for veterans and their families members of the medical and clinical professions employee representatives healthcare firms and advocacy organizations to discuss develop and promote effective veterans health care efforts For more information on the Veterans Health Council

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2010/pr10-001.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VA Secretary Shinseki Does the Right Thing: Adds Parkinson’s, Ischemic Heart Disease, and Hairy-Cell Leukemia to List of 'Presumptives'
    VVA embraces the thinking of the Secretary who said Veterans who endure health problems deserve timely decisions based on solid evidence Rowan added For far too long veterans experiencing these health conditions have believed that they may have derived them from their time in service in Vietnam The Department of Veterans Affairs finally under General Shinseki has agreed with their position which is based on the conclusions of a panel of experts from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences The IOM in its 2008 Veterans and Agent Orange update cited limited or suggestive evidence of an association between exposure to herbicides and the later development of Parkinson s disease and ischemic heart disease in Vietnam veterans and sufficient evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hairy cell leukemia The IOM also reiterated limited or suggestive evidence of an association between hypertension and herbicide exposure although this was not part of today s announcement This decision means that veterans will not have to prove an association between these illnesses and their military service Rowan said The decision by the Secretary with the consent of the President should make it far easier for Vietnam veterans afflicted with

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-031.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Veterans Military History Needs to Be Part of National Electronic Health Records
    develop a veteran s history of military service More than 75 percent of America s veterans are treated by clinicians in the private sector Rowan noted However most private sector providers do not identify these veterans The reality is that military service can pose potential risks to the health of those who serve For the most part immediate health issues bullet or shrapnel wounds traumatic amputations obvious injuries to the brain are treated properly initially by military medical personnel then by clinicians at VA healthcare facilities However some health conditions Post traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury TBI various cancers and other illnesses that may not be discernible or may not develop until years later are all too often not connected by veterans to their time in service And many of these conditions are presumed by the VA to have derived from one s military service Information regarding these health conditions can be found on www veteranshealth org To ensure that these service related health issues are tracked Rowan said VVA strongly supports the interoperable exchange of healthcare information The quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery will be greatly enhanced by the timely accurate and secure exchange

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-030.html (2016-02-15)
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  • New Zealand Leads by Example, Recognizes Dioxin Link to Parkinson's, Heart Disease. Will Our VA Follow Quickly?
    quickly decided to make Parkinson s disease and ischemic heart conditions presumptive to exposure to Agent Orange said John Rowan National President of Vietnam Veterans of America VVA Now how long will it be before our government through the agency of the Department of Veterans Affairs sees fit to follow suit We recognize that there are a lot fewer Vietnam veterans in New Zealand and that those who have developed Parkinson s or heart disease are relatively few in number Rowan said The main issue Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki must consider is not as some may suspect and others may argue the eventual costs of recognizing these conditions as presumptive service connected Rather he must only determine that the evidence that associates exposure to the herbicides and highly toxic dioxin in Agent Orange is equal to or outweighs the evidence against the association This standard alone as provided for by law provides the authority for the VA to add ischemic heart disease and Parkinson s disease and we would add hypertension to the list of conditions the VA considers service connected presumptive We know that the Secretary will act not only on the merits of the IOM

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-028.html (2016-02-15)
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