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(Washington, D.C.)—"Vietnam Veterans of America holds true that crews who flew the C-123K aircraft contaminated with Agent Orange should be acknowledged by your department to have been exposed to this herbicide, and that those crew members who are afflicted with any of the maladies the VA considers presumptive to service connection ought to be eligible for health care and, when warranted, disability compensation," wrote John Rowan, National President of VVA, to General Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Citing the strong language from Dr. Thomas Sinks, Deputy Director of the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, in acknowledging the contamination and the crews' exposure, Rowan noted, "This directly challenges the VA's contention that, although the aircraft 'may' have been contaminated by dioxin, there was little likelihood of any harmful exposure."
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(Washington, D.C.)– "Vietnam Veterans of America is enraged by the comments of FOX Network's Liz Trotta, who, in a February 12 edition of America's News HQ, challenged the Pentagon for its increased spending on programs for victims of sexual assault," said John Rowan, VVA National President. In response to a DoD report showing a 64 percent increase in violent sexual assaults since 2006, Trotta remarked, "Well, what did they expect? These people are in close contact."
"What did they expect?" said Marsha Four, chair of VVA's Women Veterans Committee. "I can tell you what we, as women, expected when we volunteered to serve our country during the Vietnam War. We expected to be treated equitably and with respect. Those of us who worked through the turmoil of the sixties and seventies fought hard for equal rights, and we are appalled that, decades later, those who serve our nation in the armed forces are still fighting for equal rights.
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Chairwoman Buerkle, Ranking Member Michaud, and Distinguished Members of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) thanks you for the opportunity to present our views on "Understanding and Preventing Veteran Suicide". We should also like to thank you for your overall concern about the mental health care of our troops and veterans.
Consider the facts: earlier this spring, troubling data showed an average of 950 suicide attempts by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the VA. Seven percent of the attempts are successful, and eleven percent of those who don't succeed on the first attempt try again within nine months. These numbers show about 18 veteran suicides a day and about five by vets receiving VA care. These numbers are simply unacceptable to both the veterans' community and the American public.
Although statistics on suicide deaths are not as accurate as we would like because so many are not reported, as veterans of the Vietnam War and those who care for them, many of us have known someone who has committed suicide and others who have attempted it. VVA believes this to be a very real public health concern that needs solutions now.
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The donation process is simple, fast and secure, and your car donation will help us to provide critical support services for our defenders of freedom in their time of need. Call toll free today at 1-800-Help-Vets or use our easy online donation form to schedule your free towing and join the thousands of other satisfied car donors who have already helped our veterans.
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