VA will begin processing disability claims Aug. 2 for asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis on a presumptive basis based on presumed particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas – if these conditions manifested within 10 years of a qualifying period of military service.

VA conducted the first iteration of a newly formed internal VA process to review scientific evidence to support rulemaking, resulting in the recommendation to consider creation of new presumptions of service connection for respiratory conditions based on VA’s evaluation of a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine report and other evidence.

The process concluded that particulate matter pollution is associated with chronic asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis for Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning Aug. 2, 1990 to the present, or Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria or Djibouti beginning Sept. 19, 2001 to the present. VA’s review also concluded that there was sufficient evidence to presume that these Veterans have been exposed to particulate matter.

“I announced my intent to initiate rulemaking on May 27 to consider adding respiratory conditions to the list of chronic disabilities,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough. “Through this process I determined that the evidence provided was sufficient to establish presumptions of service connection for these three respiratory conditions. This is the right decision, and VA will continue to use a holistic approach in determining toxic exposure presumptives moving forward.”

The Southwest Asia theater of operations refers to Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the airspace above these locations.

VA will conduct outreach to impacted Veterans and survivors to inform them about their eligibility and will provide information on how to apply. Veterans and survivors who believe they may be eligible for the newly established presumptive conditions are encouraged to apply. They should file a VA Form 21-526EZ if applying for the first time or a VA Form 20-0995 if they are reapplying for these conditions. For more information on the new presumptive conditions, visit our website at Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures – Public Health (va.gov).

To apply for benefits, Veterans and survivors may visit VA.gov or call toll-free at 800-827-1000. Within the next week, you can view the interim final rule at www.regulations.gov.

Nearly every COVID-19 death in the Veteran community and U.S. as a whole is entirely preventable through getting a vaccine, VA Secretary Denis McDonough said July 31 at the DAV National Convention in Tampa.Nearly every death from COVID-19 is preventable: SecVA
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90 Comments

  1. Jamie Bledsoe August 25, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    I went into service breathing perfect. Went to Afghanistan and developed sleep apnea, loss of smell to a large degree, asthma and swelling in my nasal canals making it incredibly tight when breathing.

    All my claims were denied recently, figured after the presumptive status email went out that I would have a shot. I got my inhaler and cpap issued from the VA a few years back.

    Go in healthy, leave with breathing issues. All denied. Thanks alot.

  2. Chas August 24, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Funny because they still haven’t taken care of the Vietnam veterans still.
    There are thousands of Vietnam veterans claims still in limbo as the politics play the Wait and die game.
    There’s nothing but lip service.
    My claims for agent orange have been sitting in limbo waiting for the JRRC for 2 years now. I call the VA and get the reading from the script. This is how we’re treated.
    Good luck my fellow veterans on your claims for in service health issues.

  3. Beverlynn Chalmers August 23, 2021 at 11:18 am

    It really amazes me how to be a veteran can be treated so harshly in anytime of war and peace the soldiers that served are precious in life because one who is willing to give up their life for their country is a Gift of loyalty bravery compassion and love for their fellow man in my husband case I have listened to 32 years of what had happened to him in Korea it hurt because it was a life that I knew nothing about drinking the bad water in a country did you know no one but your fellow soldiers that up there with you and coming home to find there is no health care available because of your race the division was never on the battlefield it came home when the soldiers needed help a lot was told your parents can pray for you. The medical care at the VA office from one particular doctor was astounding the man should have been a comic because he lacked any medical knowledge and not getting the treatment my husband needed in September 20 20 we request that they send his medical records 2 his private doctor that he had started going to in doing so the request for his medical records started in September after being in a lot of pain his doctors requested the medical records because they wanted to see the treatment I called VA, I was told the records would be sent the request for the records was ignored to a point where the doctors decided he had to have surgery without the records to come home after battling in Korea only to have your toe cut off because of the medical treatment that was not received because of a request not on the battlefield but because a stupid doctor decided he wanted to play doctor it’s amazing the families that have to clean up the mess left behind My husband had 2 surguries on 2-13-2021,one for the attery that his Va doc said.he did not need. and to stop the gangreen in his toe, They had to cut it off, On 2-25-2020,We got a call from Va asking, WHERE did we want the records sent. I experience so many emotions at 1 time, anger was at the top of the list.

  4. Richard Lewis US Army Retired/ disabled August 13, 2021 at 4:20 am

    What the VA must do is restore the veteran’s overseas rights to proper health and hospital intake that was removed from the last administration leaving veteran’s to fend for themselves. Taking away travel reimbursement and medical care. This would help thousands of veteran’s who need the medical care who are now left with little to none. It’s good to see that the new director is starting to do something ,but the needs to revoke and restore all the programs that were taken away for the veteran’s over the past 4 years . While I was in the Philippines for two years and a disabled Veteran of 100% It was shocking that I had to come back to the US to get treatment For a heart condition let alone have to pay for the flight myself. This is what the NEW administration should be doing. Getting rid of the last 4 year policies and restore the rights of the men and women that have served and now suffer from many disabilities.

  5. Stephen August 12, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    Patriots – I had an issue where the VA closed my claim in “error,” and due to working through third-party vendors, once closed the vendor had no information, and per the VA.gov claim website – it stated that they had sent me a decision through the mail (because of course, they can never reach you by phone – which is easy to do when you don’t try), which I never received. I spoke to a shipmate of mine who provided me with the White House VA Hotline number. I called, filed a complaint, and they contacted my email within hours that it was being researched – to give them 20 business days to research. The 20 came and went, and I received another email stating they were still researching. Within a couple days of that, I received a phone call from my main VA Hospital for claims (St. Pete, FL), explaining that it was closed in error, reopened back to the original date and forwarded to the vendor for appointments. Within that day, and the next, the vendor called me to discuss availability for scheduling appointments, I already have one completed and another on the 20th. Long story short – the Hotline number is 1-855-948-2311. I might add – be respectful as the person you are speaking to is on your side, and most likely a Vet also. Peace…

  6. GL August 11, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Served durring Desert Storm, went to the VA to find out about the Gulf war syndrome and I was told that there is no such thing.

    [Editor: It may seem like semantics, but “GWS” is a vague catchall term. Here’s VA’s info on MUI: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/medically-unexplained-illness.asp ]

  7. Scott August 5, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    21 years of honorable service, 2 combat tours for a nation and a system which I have been fighting for the last ten years to be made whole. VA is now the enemy doling out denials and wait times of bureaucracy intended to make one give up or die trying. The drones of the VA system are rewarded by a point system based on the case files they handle and not what they resolve. It’s a self licking ice cream cone.

  8. charles gurganus August 5, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    how do I know if my records have been digitized

  9. Joey D. Knapp August 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I have had 3 sinus surgeries for sinusitis and have over 7 years flying in all of those great places, but still only at 10% for sinusitis.

  10. Chris Lewis August 5, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    What if you have had a claim previously denied for Sinusitis and Rhinitis? Will that claim be reopened or do you need to open a new claim?

  11. Chris August 5, 2021 at 9:35 am

    This is the most incoherently written sentence in the history of the English language:

    “VA conducted the first iteration of a newly formed internal VA process to review scientific evidence to support rulemaking, resulting in the recommendation to consider creation of new presumptions of service connection for respiratory conditions based on VA’s evaluation of a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine report and other evidence.”

    [Editor: It’s a simple construction once you break it down: “VA” is the subject of this sentence, “conducted” is used as a transitive verb in the predicate, and “iteration” is the object by which conducted takes. That is followed by a succession of prepositional phrases. After the first comma, the present participle “resulting” is used in apposition to the noun (as an idea) “iteration,” followed by five more prepositional phrases, the past participle “based,” then two more prepositional phrases, an article, plus one more adjective and a noun.]

  12. Alexander Maldonado Acosta August 5, 2021 at 8:44 am

    I was in the Sinai Peninsula on the coast of the Red Sea. The Tiran island is part of Saudi Arabia and was a OP observation Point OP for MFO and I went for work in this island.. The Red Sea is covered but not the land on the coast. How does the burn pit work in the sea? How does it stop at the coast line? I was told by the VA the land is not listed and cannot be included in the registry.

    • Ramon Melendez August 6, 2021 at 8:21 pm

      I was there in 1992 also.

  13. Chuck August 5, 2021 at 8:33 am

    I was stationed at Incirlik, Turkey, during this time in support of Operation Northern Watch. Diagnosed with sinusitis about a year after my return stateside. I was there for over two years. Is Turkey not on the list??

  14. Rodney Wilson August 4, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    I filed for desert storm syndrome over 17 years ago. Why. Because after being in being in the straights of harmoose excuse my spelling and the Persian Gulf for almost 1 year exposed to the fumes of burning oils and ship wash downs I have cysts all over my body and they play musical cysts on me. Some times in my arms and legs and back and my chest and stomach. And most of the time they hurt! The va doctor I talked to about it thought I was crazy and said he never heard of it before. But no one in my family has this physical problem with cysts. Trying dating someone and while your having sex she rubs her hands over your body and the sex stops and the conversation goes to the knots on your back and legs and arms. I have to many to count and they pop up in random places everywhere on my body!!! I have been dealing with this a very long time! And I see no end……….

  15. Gary N. Smith August 4, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    How can we be tested for exposure to the military action during “Desert Storm.” I was in Saudi Arabia between November to February 16th 1990-1991. Am I eligible to be tested? And who do I contact? Thank you, Gary Smith US Army retired. I was with the 82nd Airborne Division during the air campaign of Iraq.

  16. Ed Solomon August 4, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    I was in the Sinai Peninsula on the coast of the Red Sea. The Red Sea is covered but not the land on the coast. How does the burn pit work in the sea? How does it stop at the coast line? I was told by the VA the land is not listed and cannot be included in the registry.

  17. James Kendzierski August 4, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Well this is good news. I was exposed to radioactive beryllium oxide and am now suffering terribly from chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis. I am receiving 100% disability benefits, but the pain is ungodly. Keep all the evidence you can gather while active duty and do your research on your condition.

  18. Barbara August 4, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Hope Task & Purpose does an expose on these responses. Ultimately, no words, no complaints, no reasoning, no logic or “proof” will resolve these issues. Wait until most are dead, then do a small recognition as if they cared all along. This is not about serving Our Country with loyalties we were taught to believe in. This is about the “poor & impoverished “ seeking a better life through serving their country. True for all countries around the globe. Elitist are not put into this category of enlist or die poor. I believe the recruiting numbers are so low now that the draft & Congress’s request to have women assigned to draft is part of the long-term agenda of forever wars. An awakened populous will not join readily, so back to a draft system that requires humans to serve at the will of the dark energy. Nothing has changed since before Rome, nor will it change.
    Humankind will have to awakened to this reality and that time is coming. When? I don’t know but civilized people are not as civilized as the indigenous peoples hidden from these propaganda system we all learned and accepted. I am an American. I am proud of many things we have done & achieved. I also believe mankind must enter into a new paradigm of different is not always bad and realize our destiny are interlocked with the potential to grow past these views of “us” and “then.” Grace, God and humanity depend upon this reality & acceptance that division is a master manipulation tool and not meant for the best humanity has to offer. Amen.

  19. Milton Logan August 4, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    I’ve been denied too many times, and all are service connected they gave me 0%

    [Editor: 0% is not a denial, it means granted. Should your conditions worsen, you can apply for an increase.]

  20. Bing August 4, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Oh great. Another issue that vets will waste their time on just to get denied.

  21. Sherri L Connerly August 4, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Whatever you know they will deny most as their won’t be enough documentation from the time and you don’t just go off that they served there. You still ignore bun pit and vax injuries and still allow vets to be delayed in receiving appropriate care for diseases you cannot seem to figure out so many more of us die.
    You have been a scam since your inception and the very first administrator stole the first million of tax payer money letting those who needed help to suffer.

  22. Johnny Le August 4, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Combat veteran here. Would like to include the use of frequent exposure to the duke system over 600 combat missions in afghan and was attached to 2 different units, no days off 2011-2012. I never had anxiety or panic attack. Only when that system is on is when I started to have an adverse reaction. Job TITLE 11B INFANTRYMAN, GUNNER. Served in Iraq and Afghan.

    • Terry Ward August 4, 2021 at 1:12 pm

      Johnny God Bless you brother you and others should have never waited on anything.

  23. John August 4, 2021 at 9:29 am

    It’s funny how the non-combat veterans that never served a day outside the United States are doing most of the complaining here for their two to four years of service. They’ve been complaining since the day they got out take responsibility for living unhealthy lives. Millions have served at these duty stations with no adverse affects

    • Ronald Tebo August 4, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      So, they still served and that’s all that should matter. Don’t question loyalties.

    • Terry Ward August 4, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Quit showing your ignorance, you was probably the first one looking for cover or worked at a Supply Depot with that Holier than now attitude!

      • Chas August 4, 2021 at 4:32 pm

        Over two years waiting for my fully developed blue water Navy claims and still no where.
        Nice how us veterans are treated.
        Good luck with getting your claim looked at.

    • Mike August 4, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      Sounds like your wearing the shoe of a 2-4 year stolen valor person. Millions have served and have had adverse reactions to conditions.

    • Adam August 5, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      Spoken like a true non-combat vet!

  24. Barry Lynn Phillips August 4, 2021 at 12:16 am

    How dare you limit the diseases from brown water in Vietnam. Don’t play God and give us stats from research from the govt. If it was your family member the conclusions would be so different. You are just hoping that all of the Vietnam Vets will die before it is proven that all of the claims presented are proven true. Wake up because all of the vets that were there all know that this is a cover up and now the snowball is so big we just bs from you bigwigs who know not what we truly suffer from. May God have mercy on you.

    • P. Pannek August 5, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      And your attitude makes me want to smack the white boy out of you!!!! And I mean open handed like a b#tch!!! How dare you make a comment like that you judgmental phqtatd!! Everybody that served in the military signed up to serve in the military it’s not your business for how many years that they signed up for. It’s not your business to make assumptions on what category or what placement of life or what type of profile you feel you want to single people out on. The fact of the matter is is that they signed up to serve their country which is a very selfless act. And that is why we honor all service members!!. And that type of an attitude is nowhere near the honor that you should be showing your fellow military members. It’s kind of like you didn’t learn a damn thing while you were in there especially when it came into mannerisms of mutual respect for your fellow man and service members. Leading by example I imagine your children are the same way and that saddens me because as we pass the torch from one generation to the next I certainly hope that there are more people that have respectful mannerisms unlike what you have displayed here! So before you embarrass yourself or this country any further CHECK yourself before you get CHECKED! AND THE WAY THAT YOUR WORDS ANGERED ME AND I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE HERE, WHAT KIND OF NEGATIVE ENERGY AND HATE ARE YOU MANIFESTING INTO OUR UNIVERSE???? AND HOW IS THAT BENEFITING ANYBODY ON A POSITIVE LEVEL?? I REALLY WANT TO KNOW HOW THAT MAKES US BETTER OR HEALS OUR PLANET WITH THAT TYPE OF NEGATIVE ENERGY BEING MANIFESTED BY THE LIKES OF YOU??? SO WATCH WHAT YOU SAY WATCH WHAT YOU’RE SPEAKING INTO EXISTENCE BECAUSE THE KARMA CAFE IS OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK!!! IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU NEED TO BE EDUCATED A LITTLE FURTHER. WHEN WE’RE IN SCHOOL WE LEARN LESSONS TO TAKE TESTS BUT WHEN WE GROW UP AND LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD WE ARE TESTED SO THAT WE CAN LEARN LESSONS!! AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE YOU’VE LEARNED S***AND YOUR POSSIBILITY FOR EVOLVING INTO A BETTER HUMAN LOOKS GRIM AND SLIM TO NILL IF ANYTHING…

  25. Kelly August 3, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    What kind of Proof do you need?

  26. Manuel Hager August 3, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    I was just denied a rating for sinusitis and I fall in the category of being deployed to Saudi Arabia during that time frame. I was diagnosed with in in 2002 3 months after I separated from the military by the VA. This is interesting…

    • Racheal Taylor August 4, 2021 at 1:58 pm

      I was a ch47 d and f mechanic as well as blackhawks and i got hurt while in uniform on a helicopter with my co next to me and they told me my injury wasn’t service connected…

      • Larry Jacobs August 5, 2021 at 11:32 am

        I have documentation of my injury and was told that it was not service connected

  27. Vance Brown August 3, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    This is great news. Too bad a lot of vets are not here. The government does not give a dam about us.

  28. John Mathews August 3, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    What about the Marines that served at Camp LaJune from 1950 through 1980 that drank tainted water(chemcals).
    I’ve watched my father go through several stomach surgeries and now dementia. When will you help them?

    • Homey Brodude August 4, 2021 at 11:33 am

      John, get a claim in. La Juene is a presumptive condition.

      • Raul Arredondo August 4, 2021 at 4:48 pm

        Is there a website or phone number?

  29. James curry August 3, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    I was with the artillery at Ft Benning and I did the burn pit every time we went out. What about me and others like?

    • Terry Ward August 4, 2021 at 11:46 am

      I was in Iraq after Military retirement working for the Corp of Engineers doing unexploded demolition work, our Camps were outside the wire close to a lot of burn pits we had to breathe all day, I hope all you guys get paid, I can’t even get the the VA’s lazy asses to open my Medical Record and pay me for my Welding Accident I suffered and severe Hearing Loss, they owe me 17 years of Back-Pay I will never see, so I hope all you guys get paid that Served in Iraq and Vietnam….I will gladly sacrifice getting paid so you all you Hero’s can, besides they have screwed me so for and always will, just hope you Hero’s get yours because all the VA had done is make me feel my 20 years of Service to this Nation meant nothing!

      God Bless the American Soldier from all Services of the Military

  30. Deborah Hopkins August 3, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    Let us not leave out Viet Nam era Navy veterans who proudly served their country only to be denied ALL V.A. benefits from conclusive agent Orange diagnosis. Watching the suffering of my husband with melanoma diagnosis from agent Orange with no V.A. support. Still to this day Navy is still not qualified for these benifits.

    • Jeffrey Vian August 4, 2021 at 8:03 pm

      There is a long list of conditions that are presumed related to agent orange. If the condition of your husband fits then reapply.

    • Jeffrey Vian August 4, 2021 at 8:06 pm

      There is also now a designation that agent orange applies to blue water navy in vietnam.

  31. Andy August 3, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Need to start processing claims for those national guard members, like myself, who were at ground zero, days after the twin towers collapsed, that were all left to fend for themselves. PTSD, tinnitus, rhinitis, sleep apnea just to name a few.

  32. Bridget E Smith August 3, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    A lot of this could be solved if we had Universal Medical Care….. then veterans, and other workers, wouldn’t have to nearly beg for compensation and MEDICAL care. Service Officers from the American Legion, VFW and DAV can be helpful in moving forward your claims. All military bases have histories of toxic waste storage and dumping. Camp LeJeune’s situation is not one in a million but an average problem and the military KNOWS it. If they just incrementally allow SOME veterans to be helped, it makes it easier to turn a blind eye to the others. Please, if you were in one of these mentioned places and have these illnesses, please, please contact a service officer and get some assistance filing your claim. It will be nearly impossible to get it done on your own and the Regional VA’s are not set up to help you. They can help you file the claim, but not help you with what to put in them. That requires the help of a service officer. ODVA helps train the county service officers. Call them, contact them. Don’t wait. The date you file your claim is the date they will have to recognize when it comes to calculation of your benefit. If you don’t ask for it, they won’t give it. That’s the trick… Ask and ye shall receive… Ask not and nothing happens.

    • DANIEL RYAN VERSLUIS August 4, 2021 at 9:47 am

      Took 20 years to get the VA to cover my back. Was told by one Dr.Bare at the Salt Lake City VA that low back surgery wasn’t needed. 3 days later the Chief Nero surgeon Dr Schmidt at the University of Utah fused my back. We all know the VA system has a disliking of vets. I was even told by a heart surgeon that he would not perform a liblation on my heart . Had to have another doctor do it

    • Dan Veteran August 5, 2021 at 7:44 am

      Right, universal health care so everyone can get the same of better health care as people that risked their lives serving their country. No thanks

      • Ahb - vet mother August 6, 2021 at 5:48 pm

        need to do away with the va. no reason it should be separate from existing hospitals. Lincoln created it so that the vets would get exceptional care – we all know that is not the case. I’m guessing tax payers would save money by contracting with existing hospitals/doctors rather than hiring all of these government workers and building all of these va facilities.

  33. Anthony Alman August 3, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    How about doctors at the Temple, TX VA hospital telling patients they are too young for surgery! When does age matter? I had to go outside the VA to have my neck fused because the 67 year old neurosurgeon thinks I was too young despite me having lots of neurological problems and after my surgery I was told that if I would have been rear ended or hit my head I would have been paralyzed from the neck down! And even the pain management doctor said that same thing. I’ve also been having lower back problems since I was 19 years old and I was even diagnosed with scoliosis in 1993 during my last driver physical and yet the doctor didn’t even bother saying anything to me about it, what is wrong with doctors nowadays they act like they are paying for this stuff out of their own pockets. What a shame that the people who VOLUNTEERED To serve their country we get treated the worst!

  34. Malcolm Davis August 3, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    What veterans who have litigated in for 16 years

  35. Vonda Burton August 3, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    They completely ignored Vietnam marines that came back with rheumatic heart disease that had to live thru the monsoons for 3 months without any support…such as rain gear. They had to rely on what their families could supply for them.

  36. Donald Montgomery August 3, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    I am a Vietnam vet we worked burn pits an agent orange was inhaled daily i filed paper work 48 yrs. ago concerning medical problems where did it go in the trash I guess. Never herd any thing other then exposure is not grounds for compensation .

  37. Richard S Taylor August 3, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    The VA is experimenting on veterans every day!I served in the Infantry at camp lejeune for 2 years drinking the worst contaminated water known in the history of the United states. They say the poisoning went on for 30 years.
    That poison was inflicted upon Marines as an experiment! The water was tested monthly. When the government was told about the water, they purposely ignored the contamination and made us drink it. I say made us drink it because there were penalties for having empty canteens.
    Do not ever let your loved ones to join the military!
    I suffer with Parkinson’s disease, adrenal gland cancer, tumors, kidney failure stage 1-4. Prostate cancer, 46 skin cancers and lesions. Multiple other issues, I was told I was totally disabled and paid at the 100%rate,then 18 months later they stopped my benefits and left me homeless.
    It hurt to finally have a roof over my head and a used Hyundai sedan in the driveway. Now I watched as my car,furniture ,and utilities gone.
    Soon I’m homeless again.
    They sent a letter conceding that I was poisoned at camp lejeune. Then laughed at me when I called the St.Petersburg VA regional office. They seem to think it’s funny.
    Good luck guys,I hate to say it but,Donald Trump was right. Veterans are SUCKER’S AND LOSERS!
    And that hurts to say,My father was lobotomized after a plane crash while serving in the Navy. My uncle was killed in Korea 11/2/52.The VA is screwed up on purpose. So certain privalaged individuals can pilfer the money for their own greed,people who have never served.
    Believe me the VA is not your friend or there to help veterans. They exist only for one reason. “COLLATERAL DAMAGE ” . When you go to the va clinic, they will deny or minimize your service connected disability. I had a lawyer for 4 years. VA never responded to hill&poton.They know how sick I am and have been.
    Now I’ve got nothing but this phone. I bleed out my rectum and they ignore my cancer and other disabilities. I swear, every word is true. I hope and pray for an end to my suffering. I no longer claim the title, US Marine. I’m ashamed for ever being associated with them. Richard Taylor.

  38. G Abee August 3, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Please, please, please explain this also applies to our Vietnam Vets and Agent Orange and asbestos!

  39. Alvin Sapp August 3, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    What about adding Camplejeune to the list, drinking water contamination Veterans that was station there having all sorts of medical problems from drinking the water and bathing.

  40. Philip Cogdill August 3, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    I serve during peace time and never had breathing problems befor my time in service to my country. I suffer from copd and sleep apnea and that is just to name some of what I now suffer from. So how do you put a hold on our health?

  41. Craig Forester August 3, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    El Toro is now on the Superfund cleanup site because the ground water is completely contaminated. They tried to sell the place to a developer but couldn’t because of the high level of toxicity. I was there for 3 years in the 70’s and drank so much of that crap that now I am paying for it.

  42. Doug shields August 3, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    My brother was in the first two wars Iraq and Kuwait was breathing in the smoke from the burning oil fields and when on patrol the burning equipment and bodies when he got home and developed lung cancer from the fine elements that he and others was breathing in
    It’s bull shit the government is not taking care of the men and women who defended our country and are still defending our country
    I got cancer from the camp lejune contaminated water and can’t get any help from them
    I have seen some vets getting benefits for getting allergies while on active duty

  43. Jan Kelly August 3, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    My husband is a purple heart veteran from Vietnam conflict that had never had any heart problem was sent VA hospital for test because he had high blood pressure and was on three different meds. So va doctor said need to be checked by having test done and see heart specialist. What they found was his main heart was damaged was this from all the blood pressure medicine and never referred to a heart dr. How disable for that. He never would go for help because he believed the VA would not help him. We finally told him you went and done your duty. So why don’t the VA and government take care or our men and women.

  44. AnsNiles August 3, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    This is so sad. Everyone here stories need to be heard. Worked at Fort Carson, Colorado base for years and didn’t know I was working around Asbesto’s… breathing it in like a beautiful sunny day with a slight wind temps about 73 degrees. And my health ain’t been right since. I’m only 37 years old and this started before my 30’s. Lord have mercy on us all.

  45. Anthony Shaw August 3, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    All American veterans should receive retirement pay commensurate with their time in service, on a similar basis like Canadian veterans.

    American veterans receive “Thank You For Your Service” daily from our fellow Americans. Yet many of us struggle to pay the bills, have health issues that was exacerbated by our service and denied VA disability at every turn.

    American veterans of the most elite military forces in this world deserve better.

  46. Stacy D King August 3, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    Hello Ms Barbara I would like to know more about the exposures at and or around Ft. MCCLELLAN as I and my family have lived and was born in this area and my dad is a veteran.

  47. Barbara August 3, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    To each of you who commented here, thank you for your service. It seems more and more evident to me that these “wars” are for profiteering and are not apolitical. (Vietnam Army- – served at hospital in Germany while my brother served in jungles of Vietnam, my younger sister served in Alaska & my older sister was in Berlin with her husband serving), The human collateral is not their priority. And never will be. It is the same around the world. Soldiers are amazing humans stuck in an inhumane system. There are so many great people helping our veterans and serving our veterans but as a retired Major once told me- the government is not your friend. Hard lessons to learn how little governments actually care. War is not for Country, it’s for the “goods.” I stopped believing in human sacrifice as a means to an end. Destruction hurts everyone except the “winners of the spoils.” Congress should all go to war zones they vote for and receive “training.” Including exposure to the weapons they have chosen. Love to all you veterans struggling to live & make sense of your return “home.”

  48. Steven Vannoy August 3, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    I’ve been fighting with the VA for over 25 years for a chronic cough condition that’s all throughout my navy medical records. I served the board the USS Midway CV 41 in old WWII aircraft carrier asbestos on board. To this day I suffer a chronic cough and the only thing that the VA told me was I have emphysema and I’ve never smoked they will do nothing to help me out with this disability claim. I came down with this cough after the ship being in dry dock and inhaling all types of particles.

  49. james P rigli August 3, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    What about those of us that served in the 1987 Persian Gulf war. I spent $110 days on station in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman mining Manning a 50 caliber machine gun with jet aircraft taking off overhead while I was on board the USS ranger. I watched the battleship Missouri do a full broadside from less than 100 yards behind our ship. I watched missiles fly across the air over our heads. I shot it floating water mines with the 50 cal blew them up. And we shot at suicide speed boats. While oil rigs were burning in the Gulf of oman. And yet all the conditions that I have that are similar to the Gulf war syndrome from 1990 forward is not recognized by the VA

    • Ron August 3, 2021 at 4:18 pm

      Wasn’t that a 3 day war

    • Joseph P Kopchia August 3, 2021 at 9:47 pm

      I served on the uss Iowa in the same area around December 1987 to January 1988. yes général quarters every day. extremely hazardous duty.

  50. Linda August 3, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    And what about the poor Vietnam veterans? My husband served in the army on foot thru the jungles and rice paddies. He and many others were exposed to burn pits every day, agent orange, along with smoke from cannons. Also they were given cigarettes to “calm their nerves” while on patrol which led to a 30 year struggle with trying to quit which he finally was able to. Now he has severe copd..can barely walk or talk. And this doesnt happen at the age of 28 if you go by 10 year rule. Copd is a later in life disease. It is gradual and insideous. Go to any VA facility and see how many on the ground veterans from Vietnam are attached to oxygen. This so called wonderful news is so very lacking and is a disservice to all Veterans with more severe breathing issues.

    • Raven August 3, 2021 at 4:15 pm
    • M August 3, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      Can we get lemoore added to the list also?

    • George Cullers August 3, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      Linda. The VA has already put out the news and offered any Vietnam Veterans to get tested as such. Any Vietnam Vet can get tested for any systems that were ever proven to come out of that hell hole over there. And it took a long time to get to this point because the GOV. Does not
      Like to pay for its mistakes and cover-ups.

      I am personally A Desert Storm/Desert Shield Persian Gulf War Vet. And it has taken 30 fkn years to get to this point FOR US PGW VETS!!!! So PLEASE Take your negativity somewhere else. Or try being tankful as WE ARE to FINALLY GET SOME freaking compensation for OUR PART in preserving FREEDOM!! GOd Bless America!!!

  51. Glenn Butler August 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    What the veterans that have served in Thailand, Korea and Dominican Republic? We that served in Thailand in direct support of Vietnam also have been totally left out, what about us?

    • George Cullers August 3, 2021 at 10:27 pm

      This artical has nothing to do with the Vietnam war. They already did this for y’all.

    • Robert Boerbon August 4, 2021 at 12:40 am

      I never had sinusitis until after serving in Korea!

  52. Ronnal Womack August 3, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    What about the contamination on bases in the states like FT McClellan in Anniston, Alabama. This is a shame.

  53. J.Boxwell August 3, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Whatever happened to the water situation @ Camp Lejeune . Drinking the water for two years but all I ever heard was a letter to fill out and submit to the V A … Since then all has been quiet and forgotten ( I guess )

    • Doug shields August 3, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      I was at camp lejune for four years 77-81 and was diagnosed with cancer last thing the va told me is that a doctor has to say that the water was the cause
      Have had two different doctors do biopsy and was the same diagnosed from two different labs

    • John Mathews August 3, 2021 at 10:18 pm

      I agree with you 100%.Why is this situation being swept under the rug..My father served from 1950 through 1954 at camp Lejeune,served also in Korea
      I’ve watched him go through several stomach surgeries and now dementia.
      It’s so sad them drinking the tainted chemical water on our own soil and they do nothing!

    • George Cullers August 3, 2021 at 10:31 pm

      Whatever. Go wine to someone else. You were probably drinking bottled while i

  54. Barbara August 3, 2021 at 11:54 am

    This is not new information for those veterans suffering from exposure! How about 20 years of no vote by Congress for all the young men & women who served or trained at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. Exposured to Dioxins, Rainbow Agents, PCPs and biochemicals. Many don’t know and many have died. 3 miles from Monsanto and Anniston. Water, wells, soil, air all toxic. American Legion calls it the most toxic place in the world. Nope. Can’t sue Government but City of Anniston could & did sue. They “won” a settlement but Generations of cancer, infertility & other serious health issues continue. Too costly to admit what was done there.

  55. Darren Miceli August 3, 2021 at 11:28 am

    What about veterans that developed asthma while on active duty Navy I was diagnosed while on active duty and I have been td I have COPD and I have never smoked..

  56. Christina Danielle Thundathil August 3, 2021 at 10:29 am

    You are full of bulls$it Secretary. You know as well as I do that conditions like Constrictive Bronchiolitis, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, COPD, rare variations of asthma should be considered.

    You have these kids sick with illness that are NOT AGE APPROPRIATE. Tell me how a solider with no smoking history HAS COPD?

    Or tell me how a solider with a 10 pack history that is 30 has IPF by Lung biopsy?

    You can’t answer these questions. So logical only PARTICULATE MATTER would be the reason.

    Explain how civilian doctors are doing open lung biopsy on us and find pathology like coal dust logged in our lungs? PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT?

    But VA rarely does lung biopsys so you are depriving veterans of what they need and the medical community of the research to help more than 3.5 million post 9/11 veterans.

    You lack of action is murder.

  57. Christina Danielle Thundathil August 3, 2021 at 10:22 am

    You need to take that up with EPA and OSHA if that is military bases.

    This is for combat deployment and we have waited so long while others have died.

    I also recommend for your own protection to get a NOSH approved mask.

  58. T L Quiroz August 3, 2021 at 9:23 am

    What about the horrible particulate matter conditions stateside around many of our bases? It is better-than-well-known that places like Jacksonville, FL; Corpus Christi, TX; New Orleans, LA; etc… all had conditions that made it almost impossible to take in a breath most days. Many service members still suffer from having been exposed to those messes…

    • Michael Frotten August 3, 2021 at 3:06 pm

      Add in Ft Irwin, CA and 29 Palms, CA. Major force on force bases in the Mojavi Desert with massive amounts of dust storms, moon-dust and dust kick up from troop movements. You even have the occasional burn-pit going on too. They mention the Persian Gulf areas, don’t forget there is still forces in MFO-Sanai Egypt in the burn-pit infested Sharm El-Sheikh area and yep, OP’s in the desert to include Tiran Island Saudi Arabia (never see any of these locations on any list). Operations in the Balkins is not on any list which has the same issues with dust and burn-pits. All totally looked over. If the VA wants to get it right, here is your chance

  59. William Webb August 2, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    that is bs

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