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How much exposure? by David Barker, Ohio AMVETS


The VA doesn't concern itself with how much concentration of Agent Orange was used in a certain area. The VA conceded many years ago that if you were in-country from 1965 to 71 you were exposed. The fact is if you were in Long Binh during that period you had a higher exposure than most veterans. The information came from Duty Officers Logs I obtained back in 1983 when I was writing a series of articles on Agent Orange. Most of them are in the book you have on your computer.

The problem we have with conditions is the VA agreed to abide with the findings of the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine. Their reports are slow coming out and every two years (or so) a report is issued. The VA complicates it by asking for rare (most don't have) conditions to be developed first. This does two things.

First it shows progress. Second the progress will be less costly, as it goes to the minimal amount of veterans. An example is the birth defects. The study recognizes spina bifida (SB), but not cerebral palsy (CP). There is a higher rate of incidence on CP than SB but many more children with CP. The VA has shown they are doing something. However it is for far less people than they could.

So we have the age old problem of we all know the situation; but, those in power only do what is required and the politicians go on their merry way reaping all they can and leaving the veteran outside looking in.

We need action on these issues and we need it now!

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