Vietnam Veterans of America

Chapter 267




News Sources for Veterans  






Even though Jim Doyle has closed down the "Agent Orange Zone" due to continuing personal health problems, I will try to continue to keep those of you that remain interested. abreast of the exposure news as it comes our way.   If you wish to be dis-enrolled from these occasional posts, please let me know and I will remove you from our lists. This link is courtesy of Richard Hughes in New York. I've just finished reading "The Mountains Sing" by Dr. Nguyen, which is an outstanding read and vivid, unique representation of the war from the Vietnamese perspective.

Dear Phil, Dennis & I had such a wonderful surprise to get an email from John Riling last week letting me know that he & Gary Estermyer would be heading out towards Chicago & would like to see Dennis.  Friday John awarded Dennis w/an Achievement Award for the time he served as Mi State Council President.  It made Dennis so happy.
We received your Chapter letter w/Raffle notice today!  The mail has been terrible lately.  Dennis said that w/out Dearborn Chapter, we would have never met.  We hate seeing Dearborn in hard times w/COVID & all.  We are sending $500 towards the Raffle.  If we win, please know that we donate any winnings to the good of the Chapter.
You all mean so much to us both.  Love, Marilyn Hanrahan Speck. Thank you, Phil.

U.S. Bases in Thailand During the Vietnam War and Agent Orange


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Because Every Birth Defect has a Cause
May 2021 Newsletter
Issue 14 Vol: 9

Could Your Child Have A Heart Defect? Know The Warning Signs

Heart defects are often – but not always – detected at birth, so it's important to pay attention when a child gets dizzy, passes out or says her heart is "beeping."
These and other warning signs, such as an apparent change in fitness, shouldn't be overlooked, an expert says.

Evaluating a child who has these symptoms is important to ensure nothing is missed that could become life-threatening, said Dr. Stephen Cyran, pediatric cardiologist with Penn State Health Children's Heart Group, in Pennsylvania.
"Although 80% to 85% of structural heart defects are often caught before or at birth, some don't present themselves until later, so it's important to tell your child's pediatrician or family doctor about any changes you or your child notice," Cyran said in a Penn State news release.

"Unlike adults who often self-refer to a cardiologist, the referral to the pediatric cardiologist almost always comes through the pediatrician or family physician," he noted.

The top three reasons for referral to Cyran's office are a heart murmur, dizziness/passing out, and chest pain.
A Disability Should Not Be A Death Sentence During A Natural Disaster

Out of the airplane window I saw a smoke plume in the distance towering thousands of feet above the burning forest floor.

It was the 2019 Shady Fire raging 150 miles northeast of Boise, which had started two weeks earlier after a lightning strike set the central Idaho wilderness ablaze. At first, I was
unmoved. As someone who has lived in California my whole life, wildfires have become background noise. It's just another season. Some places have rain, some places have snow. My state has fire.
It has gotten to the point that every year I find myself wearily going through the same checklist each time a fire inevitably ignites nearby. Is my family safe? Check. Are my friends safe? Check. Is it safe to breathe the outdoor air?

But my aerial view of the Shady Fire jolted me. I stared at the fire as it relentlessly spewed out a thick cloud of smoke. Finally, the reality dawned on me. I was witnessing a devastating climate catastrophe unfold.
I was shaken from my thoughts as the plane turned and descended. Our nose was now lined up with the column of smoke. "Thirty seconds out," my colleague yelled into the headset. I took a deep breath, bracing myself for what I knew would come next.
Food dyes linked to attention and activity problems in children

Synthetic dyes used as colorants in many common foods and drinks can negatively affect attention and activity in children, according to a comprehensive review of existing evidence published this month by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).
Funded by the California legislature in 2018, the new report involved a literature review, scientific symposium for experts, peer review process, and public comment period. Its conclusions about the behavioral effects of food dyes are grounded in the results of 27 clinical trials in children performed on four continents over the last 45 years, as well as animal studies and research into the mechanisms through which dyes exert their behavioral effects.
Food dyes in products such as breakfast cereals, juice and soft drinks, frozen dairy desserts, candies, and icings were linked to adverse neurobehavioral outcomes in children including inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and restlessness. Animal studies also revealed effects on activity, memory, and learning.
The report is the most rigorous assessment of the behavioral effects of food dyes ever conducted, said Lisa Lefferts, a senior scientist with the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. (Editor's note: Lefferts previously worked as an editor at EHN).

Study finds alarming levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in US mothers’ breast milk

A new study that checked American women’s breast milk for PFAS contamination detected the toxic chemical in all 50 samples tested, and at levels nearly 2,000 times higher than the level some public health advocates advise is safe for drinking water.

The findings “are cause for concern” and highlight a potential threat to newborns’ health, the study’s authors say.
“The study shows that PFAS contamination of breast milk is likely universal in the US, and that these harmful chemicals are contaminating what should be nature’s perfect food,” said Erika Schreder, a co-author and science director with Toxic Free Future, a Seattle-based non-profit that pushes industry to find alternatives to the chemicals.
Prenatal POP exposure may increase the risk of metabolic disorders in adolescence

Exposure before birth to persistent organic pollutants (POPs)-- organochlorine pesticides, industrial chemicals, etc.--may increase the risk in adolescence of metabolic disorders, such as obesity and high blood pressure. This was the main conclusion of a study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a research centre supported by the "la Caixa" Foundation. The study was based on data from nearly 400 children living in Menorca, who were followed from before birth until they reached 18 years of age.

POPs are toxic, degradation-resistant chemicals that persist in the environment. Examples of such compounds are pesticides and organochlorine insecticides (DDT, etc.). POPs have adverse effects on both human health and the environment and their use is regulated globally.

Prenatal exposure to these substances has been associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in childhood, but there were previously no studies assessing whether such associations continue into adolescence, a developmental stage characterised by significant changes in the endocrine system and rapid increases in body mass.

The Agent Orange Next Gen Campaign

During the Agent Orange litigation, 65,000 veterans reported that their children had been born with birth defects or developmental disabilities. Now veterans are also reporting that their grandchildren are affected. Yet, no government studies have been done on the association between the father’s exposure to Agent Orange and adverse outcomes in their children.
Since 1990, only Birth Defect Research for Children has collected data showing a pattern of birth defects and disabilities in the children of Vietnam veterans.

The Agent Orange Next Gen Campaign will draw attention to how many veterans’ families have been affected and raise funds to continue birth defect research.

Join the Vietnam Veterans of America Charles Kettle Chapter 31 in showing your support for the children and grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans affected by Agent Orange. Wear an Agent Orange Next Gen mask. For each $10 mask sold, a donation will go towards research connecting Agent Orange exposure to the birth defects and illnesses that veterans’ children and grandchildren are facing every day. Please help by ordering your mask today.
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Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day to all our brave military both past and present! It's your actions that help keep our nation free!
April 2021 Newsletter
Issue 14 Vol: 8

US Department of Veterans Affairs
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#VetResources is a weekly newsletter for Veterans, their Families, Caregivers, and Survivors.
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Three Agent Orange Presumptives Added

Three conditions will be added to the list of those presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Those conditions are bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism. 
Vietnam War era Veterans and their survivors, who previously filed and were denied benefits for one of these three new presumptive conditions, will have their cases automatically reviewed without the need to refile a claim. 


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Secretary McDonough: On the Tulsa Massacre, we remember

Monday marked the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre, one of the most tragic domestic terrorism instances visited upon the Black community. In serving all Veterans at VA, we remember. The success of our department’s mission and the endurance of our nation depends on knowing, acknowledging, and learning from our history.


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Events this Week


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LifeWaters Hero Dive: John Hartwell

Nonprofit LifeWaters teaches adaptive scuba diving and recently took John Hartwell and his family to the Georgia Aquarium. Hartwell is an Air Force Veteran, terminally ill with ALS. 


VA COVID-19: Updates | Chat | App | Weekly Report | Vaccine

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June is Pride Month, LGBT Veterans describe VA care and provide advice for others

This is part one in a two-part series about VA care for Veterans with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) and Related Identities.


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Free tech training for Veterans & spouses through VA, Salesforce partnership

Veterans and their spouses can access free training, education and job opportunities through Salesforce Military. The program is committed to upskilling the military community with high demand tech skills. It also provides partners with a diverse and trained talent pipeline.


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Borne the Battle: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

In this podcast episode, discover the unknown Army, Navy and Marine Corps history behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and their upcoming Centennial events and projects around the world.



Veteran Job Board on RallyPoint 

Create a free account and get discovered by Veteran employers here:


Veteran and Military Discounts

O’Reilly Auto Parts -10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families.
Asics - 40% off retail price online for Active Duty including military spouses and dependents, Reservists, Retirees and Veterans, as well as most types of medical professionals and first responders
TaylorMade -15% off entire purchase for Active Duty, Retirees, Veterans, Military Spouses, Military Family Members


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