VA Scam an Outrage

You can imagine my outrage at reading your well-written article of May 6 on the VA scam.

I spent 20 years on active duty in the Army, retiring in November 1980. My time included two tours in Viet Nam (1966-67, and 1970-71), and I made 34 military parachute jumps. My left shoulder was jerked from its socket on my third jump from the 34-foot tower in Jump School, when my jumpmaster missed one of my risers and let it fall under my arm as I left the tower. I seriously injured my right knee when I collapsed from heat exhaustion and fell off a trail on Ngok Wang Mountain near Kon Tum in 1970. My team sergeant carried me to the hilltop and called in a medevac chopper to take me to the U.S. Army hospital in Pleiku (we were the only Americans in the 300-man Vietnamese infantry battalion). At the hospital 30 minutes later, my BP was 70/40.

I developed bladder cancer in 1995, years after hiking through Agent Orange-soaked jungles for two years. I’m still here, but my team sergeant died of kidney cancer in November 2014. Like some other former jumpers, I have recurring sciatica pain. I cannot hear around a corner.

The Veteran’s Administration has determined that none of my ailments are attributable to my military service. There are no records of my injuries. My hearing (according to them) is perfect. Neither bladder cancer nor kidney cancer are attributable to Agent Orange exposure, despite fatality figures.

I currently use a cane. I get through every day by taking a Goody Powder every 3-4 hours. Scotch helps.

I’m one of the lucky ones; for the most part, life is great. My wife has tolerated and taken care of me for over 55 years and I’m blessed with wonderful family and friends. But I have to wonder how many of my peers are out there with no safety net, suffering and being blown off by the VA, while they throw huge sums to non-victims. Family members perhaps?

Who is being fired or arrested inside the VA?

Mike Long

Blythewood

 

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