The Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015 has been proposed in the 114th Congress in the form of Senate Bill 901 and HR.1769. The legislation is sponsored by Senators Moran and Blumenthal and Representatives Benishek and Honda.
The purpose of the legislation is to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces that are related to that exposure, to establish an advisory board on such health conditions and for other purposes.
This is clearly the most important legislation since the Agent Orange Act of 1991. Making transparent the perils of war to the veteran of war and declassifying all the research is the pinnacle of full disclosure of the residual effects of radiation, and fire pits of Iraq and Iran and spanning backward in time to the biological and chemical warfare exposure aboard Navy ships in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. A national center for research, that is disclosed, on early diagnosis and treatment regimens will prevent any re-occurrence of the tragedy that took tens of thousands of lives of Vietnam Veterans, and still continues to be a thief in the night. There is a gallows humor phrase that remains in older veteran populations, “Agent Orange is the gift that keeps on giving.” See the sleeper movie made in 1986 with the late John Ritter, titled, “Un-Natural Causes.” It is a true story about the relentless diligence of one VA Benefits counselor in Chicago, named Maude DeVictor. The VA was tireless and underhanded in their attempts to silence her. She prevailed and the door opened for disclosing the fatal effects of Dixoin on our troops. They told us it was to kill mosquitoes!
That door must remain open and the research must march on if we are to be an honest and moral nation. Even though it was 25 years ago that Agent Orange came out of the closet of secrecy, it was only a few years ago the Institute of Medicine added Ischemic Heart Disease to the list of life threatening illnesses, after taking thousands of lives of our loved ones.
The sacred pact we have with our veterans dictates that this bill is passed. Yet we here not a peep on the National scene nor a whisper about its progress in Congress. Some say it has less than a 2% chance of passing or even making it to the floor by the end of the year. The Presidential candidates are stolidly to cowardly to even broach the subject. I am astounded at the power of distraction.
The toxic fumes released by the U.S Demolition Operations at the Khamisiyah Pit and the soldiers and Marines exposed to the toxic fires from the burn pits throughout Afghanistan, and Iraq in all three Operations, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, have yet to be revealed yet continue to surface in the VA medical system, unreported.
The contaminated water at Camp Lejune Marine Base and the Depleted Uranium from Desert Storm almost seem like they have been relegate to the Cold Case file.
While this bill has been co-sponsored by seventy four members of the House and fourteen Senators, coupled with virtually every veteran fraternal organization and another 30 affiliated military organizations, we have not seen one newscast or talk show host address the subject.
The honest assessment of this writer is that we are witnessing the suppression of vital research that effects future generations of the Armed Forces.
Please call or write your local Congressional and Senatorial offices and ask for a defined and or written policy position. If you get no solid answer you have the answer.
For 30 years I have been incorporating the thoughts of Vernon Howard, philosopher and teacher, into my daily routines. I have elected to filter some of those nuggets back to the readers here with the wholehearted wish that they improve your outlook and attitude during some notably tumultuous times.
Stop hurting. A hostile man shows it in his face. There is no way to hide it. Others read his face and know they can take advantage of him. How do they know? Because they know that anger indicates confusion and weakness. An angry person is easily influenced and equally open to being directed with simplistic thinking. Especially when smiling schemers pretend to be on his side against his enemies. Remember this if you do not like being deceived, hurt or robbed of your soulful self. It is practical to not be angry. See it even deeper.
Anger is like an impressive Military officer who demands and gets strict submission from his soldiers, but who turns out to be a traitor who leads his men into battlefield defeat. Disobey the impulse to assault life with hostility. The peace that surpasses all understanding will then come to visit.