Never Give Up on Veterans Claims
WIDOWS HAVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER 8YEARS PAST DEATH OF VETERAN
Living means giving it your all! It is unreal sometimes the efforts that Veterans or their survivors have to go thru to get the earned benefits. It is unreal that the media on CNN and other cable network news can not even cover veterans needs as much as they cover celebrities and fashion. If we could turn them on to the continuing news on veterans maybe this country would be better off in the end! The story belows shows the struggles of veterans and the years it takes to help veterans to get the benefits they earned. Until this issue is resolved then take illegal immigration off the table, take other issues off too because if we can not care for our veterans and get them answers, health care, and assistance then we are truly broken as a country! This writer is calling out to all to blog for veterans and as a starting point get a twitter account and blog to the topic Veterans. Retweet what ever it takes lets see if we can trend on topic. Message is Veterans deserve media coverage more than Hollywood or sports.
Here is a recent court decision that shows the devotion of one widow and the battle it took! We could have hundreds of stories a day! WE need the focus of the media! Only with increased coverage will change happen!
How long does it take to get a decision to help a veteran that is alive, how many times back through the system to get the correct decision, and then how long does a surviving widow have to plead the case to fulfill the promises made to veterans by this government!
So I call now for sustained action by all veterans, their family members, their friends, and the citizens of this country…Show it through twitter activity every day!
VA Links Brain Cancer to Agent Orange Exposure in Recent Court
It is notoriously difficult for veterans to get their disabilities connected to their military service – even when the connection is apparent. In this unique case, the Department of Veterans Affairs was made to concede a very important connection and gave justice to a struggling widow.
Ozark, MO (PRWEB) February 17, 2011
Mrs. Sheree Evans is the surviving spouse of Vietnam Veteran, Edward T. Evans, who passed away from Glioblastoma Multiforme (GM), or more commonly known as brain cancer, in March of 2003. Since this time, Sheree has fought for widow’s benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for her husband’s cause of death as a result of Agent Orange exposure (Board of Veterans’ Appeals, Docket No. 05-00 201 / U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Vet. App. No. 06-2190). While Mr. Evans was presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange during his service in the Vietnam War, one of the most challenging obstacles for Sheree was showing that his exposure to Agent Orange caused the development of brain cancer. VA had consistently maintained that brain cancer is not on their list of Agent Orange-related disabilities, and, as a result, that there is no medical link for the development of this specific cancer to Agent Orange Exposure.
Sheree’s long struggle against VA took her to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, the highest level of the Veterans Administration’s appeals process. Once she had been denied there, Sheree appealed her case to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. There she was successful in getting the final decision by VA vacated because VA had used an independent medical opinion as evidence, which was merely grounded in the lack of GM being on the Agent Orange Presumptive list as the basis for denying a relationship. VA then ordered another medical opinion which determined that there was no research into the relationship between GM and Agent Orange. Sheree countered with a medical assessment which argued that there was an abundance of research into the relationship between GM and Agent Orange. In a recent decision, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals decided that the evidence in favor and against were in equal weight and applied the benefit of the doubt rule and on January 26th, 2011 granted Sheree’s claim. While this is not a precedential decision, VA did admit a link between the two. Time will tell what the outcome of this will amount to, but GM may very well come to be added to the Agent Orange presumptive list.
According to Court documents, Sheree had fought for service connection for the cause of her husband’s death for almost eight years, based on a promise that she had made to him before his death. Sheree plans to write a book in honor of Edward that commemorates his life, his struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his combat experience in Vietnam that left him physically scarred from a shell fragment, and her fight to give him the recognition that he deserves. She is very active with the Order of the Silver Rose, an advocacy group for Veterans and families who have been affected by Agent Orange.
GM is a highly aggressive form of brain cancer which, when left untreated, usually results in death in less than three months. GM has been widely researched and recent studies indicate that there is an increasing prevalence of brain cancers as a result of exposure to toxins (IOM, 2008). Though not specifically studied in Veterans of the Vietnam War, current research shows a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and GM.
The fact is that there is an unusually high number of Vietnam Veterans who suffer from GM and, due to GM’s aggressive nature, a sizable percentage of them have passed on. Studies of the dioxin TCDD, the main dioxin in Agent Orange, in laboratory animals have shown to cause cancers at a variety of sites, including GM (IOM, 2008). These studies have concluded that it is plausible that human exposure to TCDD would cause the same variety of cancers as in laboratory animals. However, there has been a lack of studies on the relationship between Vietnam Veterans and exposure to TCDD. Therefore, the Institute of Medicine , which VA recognizes as the authority of recognizing a relationship between disabilities and Agent Orange, has not issued any reports linking Agent Orange and GM.
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Posted by Denise Nichols on February 17, 2011, With Reads Filed under Veterans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.