“Information for our Veterans”
What America’s veterans have endured over the decades, through the use of medical experimentation and the use of herbicides in Vietnam and other conflicts has given rise to what else is going to happen to us and how we can affect change to help ourselves.
– Patrick Donovan
By Patrick Donovan – Author/Screenwriter
US Navy Disabled Veteran – 1980 – 1991
Seattle, WA (The Hollywood Times) 04/20/2021
My take on Richard’s article
Being a US Navy disabled Veteran, I nearly lost my life in March of 2014 due to side effects of Abilify (Aripiprazole) used to treat certain mental/mood disorders. When I was given it by a doctor in the DC Irving Street VA hospital in 2005, I was told it was a new drug and they wanted to try it out on me. What happened over the next 10 years of using it nearly killed me.
The side effects of Abilify raised my blood sugar over the 9 years I was on it to the point where I developed advanced cellulitis. I was rushed to the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on March 3, 2014, with a blood pressure of 77/48. My creatinine levels were through the roof, my white blood cell count was over 30,000, my kidneys were shut down, breathing was labored, and my left leg was in so much pain with blisters and sores that I could hardly walk. They determined after a couple of days to move me to the Vanderbilt VA Teaching Hospital in Nashville.
When I got there, they put me in an MRI tube to determine if there was an infection in my leg. Luckily, there was not. Over the next 5 days, they immediately put me on heavy antibiotics and debrided my left leg like it was a third-degree burn.
(Debridement is the removal of necrotic tissue from a wound. Generally, the presence of necrotic or dead tissue is seen as a delaying factor in pressure ulcer healing, which prevents the formation of healthy granulation tissue and creates a good environment to harbor more bacteria, thereby increasing the risk of sepsis.)
My lymph nodes on my left leg were the size of golf balls and my testicles enlarged to greater than double that. It was uncomfortable, to say the least.
Luckily, their quick action led to my healing and I went home on March 10, 2014, to recover. I had a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) put into my left arm which went to my superior vena cava to allow my wife to attach antibiotic infusions. As I healed, my lower left leg developed hard scaling. Using Eucerin Cream, the scaling finally left me after a year. What I have today is the outline of where the scaling was, and it’ll never go away. It is a stark reminder of what I endured. On my hands and feet, the old skin started flaking and peeling off. What was revealed was soft, pink, supple skin like when I was born. It was truly amazing. I was like a snake shedding.
I am grateful to the doctors of Nashville Vanderbilt Teaching Hospital and Alvin C. York Medical Center in Murfreesboro, TN. This is my factual basis and not an opinion and why I wanted to share with everyone this article by my friend, Richard Schweitzer.
Richard Schweitzer, publisher and owner of www.aroundtownnews.com, runs a column in his printed publication called, ‘In My Opinion’. I’m reposting it here because I believe it’s relevant and needs attention.
Important Information for Our Veterans
I ran this article a few years ago and thought it appropriate to run it again as it’s important to keep our Veterans aware of the help they can get from the Veterans Administration (“VA”). A lot of our Veterans are coming down with health problems that can be traced back to the Vietnam War. Agent Orange created long-term health issues with many of them. There are phone numbers and information to help Veterans get the benefits they deserve.
Caring for our Veterans should be our number one priority. They accepted the responsibility to defend America and uphold our freedom and values so the least we can do is make sure their healthcare is top notch.
Previous studies have provided evidence that Vietnam War Veterans experience more difficulty with activities of daily living (ADLs) and have poorer self-rated health than any other veteran cohort. Vietnam War Veterans are also at increased risk for cancer, skin disorders, liver disorders, neurological defects, autoimmune diseases, and gastrointestinal diseases due to Agent Orange, and exposure to this and other dioxins has also been linked to melanoma, prostate cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension, respiratory disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The below information is directed at our Vietnam Veterans due to the possible contamination from Agent Orange. The Veterans Administration has finally admitted it causes a whole bunch of problems. Here’s some information for all our Veterans out there.
Veterans’ Diseases Associated with Agent Orange
The VA assumes that certain diseases can be related to a Veteran’s qualifying military service. We call these “presumptive diseases.” The VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for benefits for these other diseases as well:
- AL Amyloidosis: A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs
- Chronic B-cell Leukemia: A type of cancer, which affects white blood cells
- Chloracne (or similar acneform disease): A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin
- Hodgkin’s Disease: A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia
- Ischemic Heart Disease: A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart that leads to chest pain
- Multiple Myeloma: A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue
- Parkinson’s Disease: A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset: A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure.
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda: A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Prostate Cancer: Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men
- Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer): Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi sarcoma, or mesothelioma): A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues
Veterans with Lou Gehrig’s Disease
VA presumes Lou Gehrig’s Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) diagnosed in all Veterans who had 90 days or more continuous active military service is related to their service, although ALS is not related to Agent Orange exposure.
Benefits Overview for Agent Orange Exposure
VA offers health registry exams, health care, disability compensation, and other benefits to eligible Veterans. Their dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits.
Health care for Veterans: Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service may be eligible for the Agent Orange Registry health exam, a free exam for possible long-term health problems related to herbicide exposure. Veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean demilitarized zone, or other areas where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for health care benefits, a full range of medical benefits. There are many ways a Veteran may qualify.
Disability compensation for Veterans: Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation if they have a disability-related to Agent Orange exposure during service and were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. The VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service. Veterans with qualifying service in Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.
Learn about other locations where Agent Orange was used. Other Veterans may be eligible if they show on a factual basis that they were exposed.
How do I get these benefits?
You’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation and submit your evidence (supporting documents). If you have an illness believed to be caused by Agent Orange, you won’t need to show the problem started during or got worse because of your military service. This is because it is believed that certain diseases are the result of exposure to herbicides. They are referred to as presumptive diseases.
Birth Defects in Children of Vietnam and Korea Veterans
VA has recognized that certain birth defects among Veterans’ children are associated with Veterans’ qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea. Spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta), a defect in the developing fetus that results in incomplete closing of the spine, is associated with Veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea. Birth defects in children of women Veterans is associated with their military service in Vietnam, but are not related to herbicide exposure. The affected child must have been conceived after the Veteran entered Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone during the qualifying service period.
Benefits for Veterans’ Children with Birth Defects
Children who have spina bifida or certain other birth defects and are biological children of Veterans with qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea may be eligible for a range of VA benefits, starting with compensation, a monthly monetary allowance based on the child’s degree of disability, as well as health care and vocational training, which provides up to 24 months of full-time training, rehabilitation, and job assistance with the possibility of an extension up to 24 months if needed to achieve the employment goal. The child may not begin vocational training before his or her 18th birthday or the date he or she completes secondary schooling, whichever comes first. In order to apply, complete VA Form 21-0304.
Learn more about benefits for children with birth defects.
Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service and died as the result of diseases related to the exposure may be eligible for health care, compensation, education, and home loan benefits.
Learn more about survivors’ benefits.
To see a compensation rate table go to:
This table will give you the percentage you would fall under and some examples of the monthly amount you would receive. Go to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs then go to Disability benefits. If this information helps even one Veteran and/or their family, then it’s been well worth it.
Food for Thought:
Parents need to pay more attention to what is being taught in school. A teacher “came out” to his very young students as transgender and expects them to go along with it. Transgender activists are continuing to force their lifestyle and language preferences onto young children and college students, with little interference from administrative officials.
All of this encourages young people to deny biology and accept these new norms as fact. Case in point: Mark Vincent Busenbark, a male science teacher at Allis Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin, showed a video of himself coming out as transgender to elementary students. In the video, he read a book to the children called, “They Call Me Mix,” which includes dialogue like: “Are you a boy or a girl? How can you be both? Some days I am both. Some days I am neither. Most days I am everything in between.” At the video’s conclusion, Busenbark said, “And now, let me introduce myself anew. I am going to take my wife, Stella Steel’s last name, and I am going to use not Mister, not Miss, but ‘Mix.’ So you can call me, ‘Mix Steel.’ And for my pronouns, you can call me ‘they,’ ‘them,’ and ‘their.’”
It is outrageous that school administrators would allow a male science teacher to expose young children to propaganda that promotes confusion about basic biology and to instruct students to address him by a false name, title, and pronouns. These impressionable students do not exist to validate Busenbark’s sexual identity. Let our young children be children without trying to brainwash them. It’s time to pay attention to what they are teaching our young people.
That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.
publisher/owner Around Town News, Palm Beach, Florida
A final note from Pat Donovan:
The opinion above is from Richard Schweitzer, Publisher and Owner of www.aroundtownnews.com. The Hollywood Times is not taking sides here and is allowing this opinion because that’s what Freedom of Speech allows us to do; make our own opinions and from that, our readers can decide what they accept or don’t accept. I included it because Richard is my friend and we are partners with Around Town News whereby I post articles on his publications that I have posted here. Richard is a kind man with his own opinions that every American has the right to voice. The Hollywood Times exclusion of this Food for Thought would be censorship and that’s not what we’re about.