As of July 31, 2007, the Commission is officially closed.
Here is their updated last posting.
Folks, if they had wanted to do something about it, it would have been done. So, where are we?
Official Web site: http://www.vetscommission.org/index.asp
Some of the Commissioners did voice comments that there definitely should be a statement in their report, particularly where there is some expedited procedure for quickly validating and ruling on these chemical exposure issues. Beside the Vietnam Blue Water Veterans issue, the Commission also covered the Fort McClellan, AL. chemical exposures of LSD and PCB and the Camp Lejeune, NC herbicides in the drinking water issue. The Commission also instructed their staff to also include "Immunizations and accompanying side effects" as another chemical exposure issue. Copies of the power point slides shown during the meeting are now posted on the Commission"s website. See: https://www.1888932-2946.ws/vetscommission/e-documentmanager/gallery/Documents/2007_May/Presumption-UpdatedSlides_5-9-07.pdf
After the meeting concluded on Wednesday and during Thursday's session (5/10/07) I spoke to several of the Commissioners I have met during my attendance since May 2005 at these monthly public meetings. The comments I received were generally one of encouragement. But as you all know the courts have the issue at this point. I would still encourage each of you to submit a letter to your Senators and Congresspersons as going on record requesting their involvement in supporting the August 16, 2006 Haas vs Nicholson decision in favor of the Vietnam Blue Water Veteran that he does not have to be in-country to qualify for the VA presumptive benefits. There have been some excellent examples of sample letters posted on the Blue Water Navy website that can be tailored to your specific Blue Water circumstance. Also, I know there are several of us how can assist in preparing more of these letters.
On Thursday I listened to the PTSD nearly 4 hour presentation/discussion by Dr. Nancy Andreasen who was the team leader of the National Science Foundation, Institute of Medicine, Special Report. Already the news media reports have picked up on the glaring findings on how PTSD is poorly evaluated in various VA C&P patient evaluations. The Veterans Disabilities Benefits Commission is continuing their review of this report and I expect during the June, July and August meetings further discussions will occur. These slides are also available for viewing in the Commission's website. https://www.1888932-2946.ws/vetscommission/e-documentmanager/gallery/Documents/2007_May/IOM_PTSDCompensation_05-10-07.pdf
Additionally on Thursday I spoke to several of the Commissioners about the Civilian Agent Orange Act of 2007 HR 972 to make them aware of this new pending bill that is being processed in the House of Representatives.
The Institute of Medicine has several projects underway regarding Veteran and Deployed Forces Health issues.
General Information on the Institute of Medicine and their work with veteran issues can be found at http://veterans.iom.edu/
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