|Vietnam Veterans of America|
|Vice President’s Report, July/August 2022|
A Breath of Fresh Air
The June VA Benefits Newsletter listed the nine new rare respiratory cancers that have been added to the presumptive service-connected list for veterans exposed to fine particulate matter in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, and Uzbekistan from September 19, 2001, to the Present, and in the Southwest Asia theater of operations from August 2,1990, to the present.
The VA says it will be taking a new approach to making decisions on presumptive illnesses, one that takes all available science into account, with one goal in mind: getting veterans the benefits they deserve as fast as possible.
The VA claims to have identified through a focused review of scientific and medical evidence a biological plausibility between airborne particulate matter and carcinogens of the respiratory tract, determining that the unique circumstances of veterans’ rare cancers warrant a presumption of service connection.
Veterans and survivors who had claims that were denied for the respiratory cancers listed below are encouraged to file a supplemental claim for benefits:
-Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx
The VA says they will contact veterans and survivors to inform them about their eligibility and provide information on how to apply. To find out more, call 800-827-1000.
VVA AT THE WALL
During Memorial Day weekend Vietnam Veterans of America was extremely active in Washington, D.C. Director of Government Affairs & Policy Sharon Hodge, VVA Veteran Editor Sean Venables, former VVA Government Affairs Director Rick Weidman, and I were among those assembled at the Rolling to Remember event at RFK Stadium on May 29. Weidman, comedian Jon Stewart, and others addressed the crowd to ask them to support congressional passage of the Honoring our PACT Act.
During ceremonies at the Wall on May 30 Weidman led those assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance. Communications Director Mokie Porter and Marc McCabe, Special Adviser to VVA’s President on Veterans Benefits, presented VVA’s wreath at the Wall.
VVA President Jack McManus was unable to attend, so your Vice President represented VVA at the invitation-only White House breakfast on May 31. It was an incredible morning and I was honored to be able to speak to President Biden at the breakfast. Afterward, the President spoke at ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery.
The VVA Veteran has a new Editor. Michael Keating retired on June 3 after thirty years of service to VVA. We thank him for all that he has done for Vietnam Veterans of America for so many years. He will not be forgotten. Xande Anderer, The Veteran’s longtime Art Director, left the magazine on June 1. We wish him well.
Our new editor is Sean Venables. He has lived in the D.C. area all of his life, and comes to us from Stars and Stripes where he was a front page news editor, copy editor, page designer and graphic artist. He previously worked as a sports writer and editor for two newspapers. The officers are most pleased to have Sean on board.
We also welcome Anthony Powell as Director of Finance. He comes to us with a wide-ranging financial background and two masters’ degrees. He is a certified Non-Profit Accounting Professional and Certified Public Accounting candidate at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
We also wish to announce that Pricilla Wiley has reached 27 years of service with VVA in the Membership Department. Congratulations on a job well done and one that is much appreciated by our members.
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