Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Our Animal Kingdom

Dom and I have lived here in extremely rural Southern Mississippi for close to 30 years.

We've always had a dog or two.

When he was diagnosed with cancer, our pal "Miss Trouble" passed away of old age.  (It's as though she knew what was going on).

The 2 of us moved to Metairie, LA for 6 months to be close to the Tulane Cancer Center.

When Dom went into complete remission, we bought the condo in Panama City Beach.  Haven't had a puppy since. Caring for a dog no longer fits our lifestyle.

NOW, we have families of deer and raccoon!

Mamma "Rochelle" brings her 3 little ones to feast daily.  I've been making them cornbread and sweet potatoes. All but the runt will eat out of my hands.  She's getting closer and closer.

We've got a few more raccoon, but they're not so friendly....just hungry!

Dom woke me up yesterday morning to see 6 deer eating corn right outside the door.  Unreal.

So, as much as we miss having dogs, this is a fun change!

Service-Connected Disability Compensation For Exposure To Agent Orange for Veterans and Their Families

Agent Orange is a highly toxic herbicide used by the U.S. military during the
Vietnam War to defoliate hiding places used by the Viet Cong, rice paddies
and fields that provided them with food, and to clear the perimeters of military
bases to give service members a clear line of fire. Although colorless, it is
known as “Agent Orange” because of an orange band painted on the drums
used to store and transport it.

After years of advocacy led by VVA, Congress enacted into law the Agent
Orange Act of 1991. This legislation empowered the Secretary of Veterans
Affairs to declare certain maladies “presumptive” to exposure to Agent Orange/
dioxin and enable Vietnam veterans, as well as some veterans who served along
the demilitarized zone in Korea in the late 1960s, to receive treatment and
compensation for these health conditions. Service-connected benefits, however,
also may be granted for other maladies not recognized as presumptive health

John Rowan
National President
Vietnam Veterans of America

Guide Here PDF

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What did VA, DoD Cover Up with incomplete Thailand Agent Orange Report?

CAUGHT ‘EM – VA.gov linked to a declassified DoD report on use of Agent Orange in Thailand. Upon closer examination, we learned that 25% of the report was deleted. Luckily, we just found those pages and explain what it may mean here.

The original turned up on a DoD website after a lot of digging, and I think I have a theory as to why they did it. This MMQB covers what I found and why it could impact your disability claim.

Hi and welcome to another edition of the Monday Morning Quarterback for Veterans. I am your host, Benjamin Krause.

This week, I am writing about my research into the USAF’s use of herbicides in Thailand and what it could mean for veterans fighting with VA to prove exposure.

From what I can tell, there may be a coverup regarding the documentation VA has provided to veterans. The information was supposedly given to help prove disability claims. Meanwhile, the documentation is incomplete and leads any casual reader away from potentially better resources to prove their claim.

Here is what I’ll cover today:

*Fed admits to Agent Orange use in Thailand
*VA’s Thailand fails the smell test
*Index of missing files
*Where to find records about Agent Orange usage
*What it could mean for your disability claim

JUMP for Much More

Monday, November 17, 2014

Veterans' Diseases Associated with Agent Orange

VA assumes that certain diseases can be related to a Veteran’s qualifying military service. We call these "presumptive diseases."

VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for benefits for these diseases.

AL Amyloidosis
A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs

Chronic B-cell Leukemias
A type of cancer which affects white blood cells

Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin

Hodgkin’s Disease
A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia

Ischemic Heart Disease
A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart, that leads to chest pain

Multiple Myeloma
A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue

Parkinson’s Disease
A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement

Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure.

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.

Prostate Cancer
Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men

Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer)

Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus

Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues


There are steps Veterans can take to help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other common diseases of aging. Get the recommended health screenings, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and don't smoke. Learn more about healthy living.

Children with birth defects

VA presumes certain birth defects in children of Vietnam and Korea Veterans are associated with Veterans' qualifying military service.

Veterans with Lou Gehrig's Disease

VA presumes Lou Gehrig's Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) diagnosed in all Veterans who had 90 days or more continuous active military service is related to their service, although ALS is not related to Agent Orange exposure.


Saturday, November 15, 2014


We had a grand time last week at the beach.  The highlight of the visit was the Emerald Coast Cruizin car show.  A wonderful venue, great cars and great music.

The water was gorgeous.  Unfortunately, too cold to swim.  Other Novembers in the past have been great.  Not this year.

There were oodles of stingrays visible because the water was so calm.


 As usual, we had a fabulous meal at Dee's Hangout.  We both had our favorites.  Himself had a shrimp po-boy and I had a pork belly burger.  Unreal.  The absolute BEST on the beach!

One day we put a couple of hundred miles on the Corvette for a drive through Florida's "Forgotten Coast"



It's a lovely, basically undeveloped area.  Just single family homes and rental homes.  No high rise condos.  Nor much entertainment to speak of.  It's a nice, nice area, but we prefer the action in Panama City Beach.

Our last day on the beach was Veterans Day.  I love that Emerald Coast Cruizin has always been the weekend prior to this holiday that means so much to me.  Dom is a Vietnam Veteran.  Dad was a WWII Vet.  God Bless 'Em!

As usual, this Veterans Day was a total PIG-OUT.  Lunch at Hooters consisted of a pitcher of beer and 10 free wings.  (we could only eat 4 each).

Dinner was at Applebee's where Dom got a free steak and I ordered off of the menu.... 2-For-1 beers, too!

It was great to see our pals at Beach Bar and Package, too!

Would love to convince The Dom to move to PCB permanently, but he enjoys being a "Gentleman Farmer" here in the middle of nowhere.