Couple Aims To Improve Military Health Care
RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif. — A Rancho Bernardo couple has begun a campaign for federal legislation regarding health care for military veterans. While they have no complaints about the care and treatment afforded by the Veterans’ Administration, Aaron Dial and his fiancée Heidi Christ think there should be more screenings and warnings.
Dial had been overseas for more than a year, serving in Jordan and Baghdad with the military police. Two years after his return to the U.S., he was having trouble breathing.
“They found a tumor; a mass the size of an eggplant,” said Christ.
Dial told of the test results, “I was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, as well as T-cell Hodgkins disease.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs gave him 100 percent disability and found his illness directly related to his military service.
Dial said when guns were fired he was exposed to depleted uranium that coated the ammo. “The depleted uranium goes into a powder form and it’s in the soil. Anything from dust storms to Humvees and tanks going over the soil can kick that up and it can be inhaled.”
He said he suffers from memory loss and had issues with his balance and sight. Now after more than two years of chemotherapy and a month of cranial radiation treatment, he is in remission.
Dial and Christ are working to get “Aaron’s Law” passed by Congress, extending the health care window for returning veterans from two to five years and more proactively alerting them to the risk of carcinogens.
“Make them aware this could possibly become an epidemic, similar to the Gulf War, Agent Orange,” said Christ.
Only a handful of servicemen and women have been afflicted as has Dial so far, but Rep. Duncan Hunter said such a law could prove very valuable.
“We need good screening coming out. We need to make sure our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines go through that, but they also need to know what’s available to them,” said Hunter.
Dial and Christ plan to be married in October, and both eventually want to work in the medical field
and this one from the UK
Staffordshire News Brownhills army widow denied benefits after government rejects inquest ruling
Feb 17 2010
Comments (3)Recommend THE devastated widow of a Midland soldier is being denied benefits because the Ministry of Defence refuses to accept an inquest ruling that he died due to depleted uranium exposure.
Mother-of-two Elaine Dyson, 41, of Brownhills is battling for a war widow’s pension following the death of husband, former Lance Corporal Stuart Dyson in June 2008 aged 39.
An inquest jury stated in September that Mr Dyson’s death from colon cancer was caused by exposure to uranium particles during the first Gulf War in 1991.
The decision sparked a war of words between Black Country coroner Robin Balmain and the Ministry, after the coroner used his powers to recommend to government officials that the lethal substance should not be used.
Depleted uranium is used in the manufacture of armour piercing ammunition.
Mr Dyson, from Brownhills and a Lance Corporal with the Royal Pioneer Corps, cleaned tanks after the first Gulf War during a five-month deployment to the war zone.
His widow Elaine told the inquest that her husband’s health had deteriorated after he left the Army in 1992 and that he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which spread to his liver and spleen, in 2007.
The 41-year-old mother-of-two said her husband had been “convinced” before his death that his cancer was linked to his service in the Gulf.
But Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell claimed the jury’s verdict had been “very surprising”, based on “speculative views”, and that Mr Dyson’s death was not linked to his war service.
The pension of £115.55 a week is payable to widows of servicemen whose deaths were caused by their time in the armed forces.
Mrs Dyson, a teaching assistant bringing up the couple’s children Thomas, 13, and Amy, 11, said: “The Ministry is still arguing that Stuart’s death was not linked to his service in the Gulf.
“I am just following what Stuart was wanting to do in the first place – to get the authorities to say he was right.
“He had to fight for his disability benefit, and right up to his death he was fighting to get his war pension to take his cancer into account.”
That issue also remains unresolved – with Mrs Dyson preparing an appeal against the refusal of the MoD to count the cancer in its calculations.
If that appeal succeeds, Mrs Dyson, who receives a basic widowed parent’s allowance and working tax credit, would then try to get a war widow’s pension.
She added: “The money is not important to me – it’s the principle. I really need to know a reason why he died. I suppose I have a bit of anger as well.”