Honoring victims of agent orange

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Honoring victims of agent orange

    Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant, is and was a weapon of war deployed by American Forces against the enemy during the Vietnam War.

     Accidentally, many of our own servicemen and women were also wounded and killed by it.     

     We, the Selection Committee of The Order of the Silver Rose, believe that the people of the United States need heroes, and we have been overlooking too many of them.

 It is the mission of this organization to recognize the courage, heroism, and contributions of American service personnel found to have been exposed to Agent Orange in a combat zone, and who have been identified under the 1991 Agent Orange Act of Congress.     

     

   Personal sacrifices have gone neglected by the very nation for whom those sacrifices were made. We refer specifically to The Military Order of the Purple Heart (herein frequently referred to as “the Purple Heart”), and the capriciously inconsistent methods by which its requirements, which are simply and clearly stated in military regulations, have been used to exclude, rather than include, American Agent Orange combat heroes.   

     We are aware that many other injustices have been perpetrated on Vietnam veterans, but at this time, the matter of Agent Orange is the only injustice for which we have court decisions and federal legislation to back our claims. Therefore, we choose to fight one dragon at a time, in hopes that our example may eventually light the way for those who will one day take up the remaining gauntlets of injustice. Purple Hearts should be dispensed thoughtfully and evenhandedly. A combat veteran who is wounded or killed in action is entitled to the Purple Heart, regardless of the source of the wounds.

    In our Quest for the Purple Heart, we have learned that ignorance is contagious, and misery knows no fatherland. There is no copyright on pain, and no statute of experience garnered through wading through miles of red tape, trying to find someone with the courage necessary to force the President to enforce existing law and give our armed forces all they ask for … simple Justice.

    There can be no doubt that Vietnam veterans exposed to this deadly defoliant and identified under the Agent Orange Act of 1991 deserve Purple Hearts. Executive Orders, Public Law, and Military Regulations specify it in black letter law. Only Presidential Policy stands between the service personnel and their medals. The President is the only person who can change Executive Policy, but he can, indeed, do so, with a single stroke of a pen. 

    The President of the United States, at this time, is in violation of Executive Orders and Public Law, and even the Military Regulations to which he is subject as Commander in Chief.  Purple Heart Law, specifically U.S. Naval Regulations, contains no discretionary clause by which personnel can be excluded. It MUST be awarded to a combat veteran who has been wounded or killed in a war zone. Those service personnel whose lethal exposure to Agent Orange resulted in internal, invisible wounds, which are revealed only by the passage of time, are nonetheless eligible to receive Purple Hearts. 

    Unfortunately, at this time, Agent Orange exposure is NOT considered an eligible wound, because that is the President’s present political policy.

     Unlike the other military decorations, the President of the United States alone is responsible for its dispersal and standards. Although President Kennedy, in Executive Order #1016, authorized the Secretaries of each of the Armed Forces to bestow it on his behalf, the standards for awarding Purple Hearts remain in the hands of the occupant of the White House, unless they are uniformly altered across all branches of the Armed Services, as approved by the Secretary of Defense. Regulations at this date are NOT uniform.

    Any existing regulations that require that the Enemy inflict an injury are in direct conflict with both the letter and the spirit of Executive Orders concerning “friendly fire”.  Any regulations that require that a wound be treated and recorded at that time have lost touch with the realities of modern chemical warfare. Americans who were exposed to mustard gas in World War I received Purple Hearts. Ask any wounded survivor or Hiroshima or Nagasaki today (many of whom are American Service personnel), and they will tell you that they were wounded by a bomb, a weapon so insidious that its results could be impossible to detect at the time.

    It is for these reasons that we have created The Order of the Silver Rose. We will never stop praying that the doors to the Purple Heart will someday swing open wide enough to admit all service personnel who have earned it. Until that day comes, we cannot allow our particular demon to continue to run unchallenged in America. We battle the Dragon of Prejudice armed only with a Silver Rose, desiring to win simple honor and respect for these heroic personnel who have already earned it. That honor and respect is embodied in The Military Order of the Purple Heart. However, if the Armed Services refuse to recognize and reward these American heroes, then we will do it. As our pleas to the White House go unanswered by the President, we solicit a Joint Resolution of Congress to bring pressure upon the Commander in Chief to Right this thirty-year-old Wrong. 

    We do it proudly, because we are the children of American Heroes.

    Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant, is and was a weapon of war deployed by American Forces against the enemy during the Vietnam War.

     Accidentally, many of our own servicemen and women were also wounded and killed by it. For those wounds, according to statutory law and military specifications and regulations, as with all other wounds received in a combat zone, our Agent Orange heroes qualify for the Military Order of the Purple Heart. 

    However, no Military Order of the Purple Heart has ever been awarded to a Vietnam veteran for Agent Orange wounds. This is a grave injustice.

       We, the Selection Committee of The Order of the Silver Rose, believe that the people of the United States need heroes, and we have been overlooking too many of them. It is the mission of this organization to recognize the courage, heroism, and contributions of American service personnel found to have been exposed to Agent Orange in a combat zone, and who have been identified under the 1991 Agent Orange Act of Congress. 

    Personal sacrifices have gone neglected by the very nation for whom those sacrifices were made. We refer specifically to The Military Order of the Purple Heart (herein frequently referred to as “the Purple Heart”), and the capriciously inconsistent methods by which its requirements, which are simply and clearly stated in military regulations, have been used to exclude, rather than include, American Agent Orange combat heroes.

    We believe that the Purple Heart, our most venerable military decoration, should be awarded to ALL combat veterans wounded or killed in action against an enemy of the United States; although at this time we focus our attention specifically on the Vietnam War and the defoliant Agent Orange which was deployed there.

    We are aware that many other injustices have been perpetrated on Vietnam veterans, but at this time, the matter of Agent Orange is the only injustice for which we have court decisions and federal legislation to back our claims. Therefore, we choose to fight one dragon at a time, in hopes that our example may eventually light the way for those who will one day take up the remaining gauntlets of injustice. Purple Hearts should be dispensed thoughtfully and evenhandedly. A combat veteran who is wounded or killed in action is entitled to the Purple Heart, regardless of the source of the wounds.

    In our Quest for the Purple Heart, we have learned that ignorance is contagious, and misery knows no fatherland. There is no copyright on pain, and no statute of experience garnered through wading through miles of red tape, trying to find someone with the courage necessary to force the President to enforce existing law and give our armed forces all they ask for … simple Justice.

    There can be no doubt that Vietnam veterans exposed to this deadly defoliant and identified under the Agent Orange Act of 1991 deserve Purple Hearts. Executive Orders, Public Law, and Military Regulations specify it in black letter law. Only Presidential Policy stands between the service personnel and their medals. The President is the only person who can change Executive Policy, but he can, indeed, do so, with a single stroke of a pen. 

    The President of the United States, at this time, is in violation of Executive Orders and Public Law, and even the Military Regulations to which he is subject as Commander in Chief.  Purple Heart Law, specifically U.S. Naval Regulations, contains no discretionary clause by which personnel can be excluded. It MUST be awarded to a combat veteran who has been wounded or killed in a war zone. Those service personnel whose lethal exposure to Agent Orange resulted in internal, invisible wounds, which are revealed only by the passage of time, are nonetheless eligible to receive Purple Hearts. 

    Unfortunately, at this time, Agent Orange exposure is NOT considered an eligible wound, because that is the President’s present political policy.

     Unlike the other military decorations, the President of the United States alone is responsible for its dispersal and standards. Although President Kennedy, in Executive Order #1016, authorized the Secretaries of each of the Armed Forces to bestow it on his behalf, the standards for awarding Purple Hearts remain in the hands of the occupant of the White House, unless they are uniformly altered across all branches of the Armed Services, as approved by the Secretary of Defense. Regulations at this date are NOT uniform.

    Any existing regulations that require that the Enemy inflict an injury are in direct conflict with both the letter and the spirit of Executive Orders concerning “friendly fire”.  Any regulations that require that a wound be treated and recorded at that time have lost touch with the realities of modern chemical warfare. Americans who were exposed to mustard gas in World War I received Purple Hearts. Ask any wounded survivor or Hiroshima or Nagasaki today (many of whom are American Service personnel), and they will tell you that they were wounded by a bomb, a weapon so insidious that its results could be impossible to detect at the time.

    It is for these reasons that we have created The Order of the Silver Rose. We will never stop praying that the doors to the Purple Heart will someday swing open wide enough to admit all service personnel who have earned it. Until that day comes, we cannot allow our particular demon to continue to run unchallenged in America. We battle the Dragon of Prejudice armed only with a Silver Rose, desiring to win simple honor and respect for these heroic personnel who have already earned it. That honor and respect is embodied in The Military Order of the Purple Heart. However, if the Armed Services refuse to recognize and reward these American heroes, then we will do it. As our pleas to the White House go unanswered by the President, we solicit a Joint Resolution of Congress to bring pressure upon the Commander in Chief to Right this thirty-year-old Wrong. 

    We do it proudly, because we are the children of American Heroes.

DISEASES  RECOGNIZED BY THE VA AS CONNECTED TO AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE

LENGTH OF TIME REQUIREMENTS: WHEN SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE HAVE TO APPEAR AND RESULT IN A DISABILITY (AT LEAST 10 PERCENT DISABLING) IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR BENEFITS.

     TYPES OF CANCER    /   TIME REQUIREMENT

Cancer of the Bronchus

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

Cancer of the Larnyx

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

Lung Cancer

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

Cancer of the Trachea

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

Prostate Cancer

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

Hodgkin’s Disease

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

Multiple Myeloma

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

No time requirement (veteran qualifies no matter when the disease first appears.)

TYPES OF SOFT TISSUE SARCOMA

TIME REQUIREMENT

Adult Fibrosarcoma
Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
Angiosarcoma
Clear Cell Sarcoma of Aponeuroses
Clear Cell Sarcoma of Tendons
Congenital Fibrosarcoma
Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans
Ectomesenchymoma
Epithelioid Malignant Leiomyosarcoma
Epithelioid Malignant Schwannoma
Epithelioid Sarcoma
Extraskeltal Ewing’s Sarcoma
Hemangiosarcoma
Infantile Fibrosarcoma
Leiomyosarcoma
Liposarcoma
Lymphangiosarcoma
Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma
Malignant ganglioneuroma
Malignant Giant Cell Tumor of the Tendon   
   Sheath
Malignant Glandular Schwannoma
Malignant Glomus Tumor
Malignant granular cell tumor
Malignant Hemangiopericytoma
Malignant Mesenchymoma
Malignant Schwannoma with Rhabdomyoblastic    differentiation
Prolifertationg (systemic)Angiendotheliomatosis
Rhabdomyosarcoma
Synovial Sarcoma

No Time Requirement
(veteran qualifies no matter when sarcoma first appears)

DISEASES OTHER THAN CANCER

TIME REQUIREMENT

Peripheral Neuropathy (acute or subacute)

Within months of exposure to agent orange in Vietnam and cured within 2 years after symptoms first appear
(Note: this time requirement is written so narrowly  it appears to be impossible for any Vietnam veteran to qualify)

Chloracne

Within one year of the last day the veteran served in Vietnam.

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Within one year of the last day the veteran served in Vietnam.

Diabetes

Complications:

Skin Conditions:
  diabetic dermopathy   
  necrobiosis lipoidica
      diabeticorum
  diabetic blisters
  eruptive xanthomatosis

Gum Disease:
  Oral Infection
  Fungal Infection
  Poor Healing
  Dry Mouth

Eye Disease:
  Blindness
  Retinopathy
  Glaucoma
  Cataracts

Kidney Disease

Transplantation:
  Kidney
  Pancreas

Neuropathy:
  Charcot’s joint
  Cranial neuropathy
  Autonomic neuropathy
  Compression       mononeuropathy
  Femoral neuropathy
  Thoracic or lumbar       radiculopathy
  Unilateral foot drop

Cardiovascular Health:
  Heart Attack
  Stroke

No Time Requirement
(veteran qualifies no matter when Diabetes first appears)

DISABILITIES IN CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS

TIME REQUIREMENT

Spina Bifida

Child must have been conceived after veteran first arrived in Vietnam.

BIRTH DEFECTS IN CHILDREN OF FEMALE VIETNAM VETERANS

TIME REQUIREMENT

Once final rules are issued, the birth defects that qualify for benefits will be listed on NVLSP’s website and here. http://www.nvlsp.org

Child must have been conceived after veteran first arrived in Vietnam.

 

For more help, or if you or someone you know may have been exposed to agent orange, please contact   http://www.silverrose.info/

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