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We have reached capacity for questions for this event and VA will post responses by Sept 8th. For other PACT and burn pit related questions please call 1-800-MyVA411 ( [login to see] ).

Questions will be answered by the following experts:
» Dr. William J Culpepper - Deputy Director, Epidemiology Program, VA
» LTC Peter Rumm MD - Director of Policy, Health Outcomes Military Exposures, VA
» FN Shanna Smith-Jackson - Acting DEPDIR, Health Outcomes Military Exposures, VA
» Daniel Brown - Program Analyst, VA
» Jacqueline Imboden - Special Advisor, Compensation Services, VBA
» Rachel Jones - Assistant Director, Office of Administrative Review, VA
» RDML Ann Duff - Director of the Office of Survivors Assistance, VA
» Terra Vincent - Senior Toxicologist, Health Outcomes Military Exposures, VA
» Cpl Heather McKibben - Program Analyst, Office of Policy and Oversight, VBA
» Melissa Comeau - Director, American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network
» Coleton Whitaker - Senior Director of Programs, Elizabeth Dole Foundation
» Jamie Statton - Management Program Analyst, Office of Policy and Oversight, VBA
» Tara Kase - Senior Management & Program Analyst, Office of Policy & Oversight, VBA
» Maj Bonnie Carroll - President and Founder, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
Comments have been disabled
Responses: 196
MSgt Dee Ann P.
I retired Oct. 1, 2005, and had an oopherectomy in Jan 2007 because cysts were found on my ovaries. I’m a breast cancer survivor (dx 2004) and the cysts were a cancer concern due to my BC diagnosis. I was denied disability benefits for the oopherectomy. I was told if I had gotten cancer I would have gotten benefits. I had several abnormal pap smears while on active duty after serving in Desert Shield and Storm. I didn’t appeal the denial. But with the passage of PACT, I’m wondering if I can refile. I’m losing sleep over this. If I can refile, I will need to know what steps to take. Thank you for taking questions and I will do everything in my power to join the Sept. 8 discussion.
PFC Sylvia Porter
PFC Sylvia Porter
3 mo
I too having issues w/BC I was at Desert Storm and they are still denying my cancer had nothing to do w/the burn pit I will try the VFW; for women BC is not listed as part of the study but male penial is listed so figure
MSgt Dee Ann P.
MSgt Dee Ann P.
3 mo
PFC Sylvia Porter - I was dx with BC while on active duty. They kept me an extra nine months to treat it. Do you know any women who were dx after service that you can reach out to? They may have some helpful tips. Good luck!!
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
3 mo
VA cannot speak to your specific claim situation in this forum due to privacy issues. If we denied your claim in the past but we now consider your condition presumptive, we encourage you to file a Supplemental Claim. We’ll review the claim again. Please contact our national call center for claim specific assistance at [login to see] so we may provide individual assistance or schedule an appointment to speak with someone at  VERA - Home (force.com). For more information on the PACT Act and how you can apply for benefits, see VA.gov/PACT.
SGT Amphibious Grabastic Piece Of Shit
Edited 3 mo ago
What are the potential long-term effects of repeated exposure to burning human feces with diesel fuel? Also if in the presence of other chemical contaminates in excess during your deployment how often should you be getting scans to look for possible carcinogenic exposure? I asked specifically because a lot of what I did in Iraq had us around large stores of possibly unstable munitions.
SPC Anugrah Chetty-Alexander
SPC Anugrah Chetty-Alexander
3 mo
SSgt Greg Cronin Sorry to hear you lost your elbow, SSGT. I’m not only a veteran but I’m married to a veteran and first responder. I was a combat medic who sustained most of my injuries chasing a badge:EFMB. My 1st duty station was 86th CSH at Ft. Campbell, KY. I got my air assault wings there too before going to Germany.
I’m 100% disabled because I’m unemployable due to my injuries. Injuries are injuries. It doesn’t matter if some are invisible. I’m a vet just like you.
Have a blessed week ahead.
SGT Amphibious Grabastic Piece Of Shit
SGT (Join to see)
3 mo
SSgt Greg Cronin look Greg we get it that people had serious injuries from the war. I was in Iraq during the invasion. I also recieved all the captured ammo in Iraq. Worked at 2 asp's in the US and was constantly around large stockpiles of ammo.. to index chemical and white phospurous. Also detonated explosives in Kuwait so my potential for exposure is pretty significant. What I dont need are the infantry guys saying we don't rate it because we didn't kick in door. Which is bullshit because I was a marine before I was army and have just as much infantry knowledge as your basic army dog. In experience I found marines better educated to small arms and infantry tactics than most army or airforce regular infantry and sometimes their SF. So lay off about what we did. Exposure exposure.. think about how long the screwed the agent orange guys.
SGT Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Specialist Nco
SGT (Join to see)
3 mo
This is also my question. I was exposed to all that mess while deployed to Iraq
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
3 mo
There are no specific studies to determine the health effects of repeated exposure to burning feces with fuel. We do know that exposure to particulate matter can cause respiratory problems. In most cases burning feces after mixing with diesel fuel would have been a localized effort occurring in a burn barrel instead of a large burn pit and this would limit exposure. The heat would remove the danger of bacteria. Veterans should plan to schedule age-related medical screening and be seen for any concerning conditions. VA encourages Veteran who believe that military service has negatively impacted their health to submit a claim. Thanks your service and the question.
SPC Bradford Shaw
What is the criteria for hypertension under Agent Orange presumptive diseases?

Thanks.

brad
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
3 mo
You may be eligible for VA disability benefits if you meet both of these requirements:
(1) You have a health condition that’s caused by exposure to Agent Orange, and
(2) You served in a location that exposed you to Agent Orange

We determine eligibility based on the facts of each Veteran’s claim. VA will assume (or "presume”) that hypertension is caused by Agent Orange exposure. And we assume that Veterans who served in certain locations were exposed to Agent Orange. We refer to this as presumptive exposure. If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension and served in a location that exposed you to Agent Orange we encourage you to file a claim now.

For more information on VA disability benefits based on Agent Orange exposure please visit https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/agent-orange/. We also encourage you to visit VA’s PACT Act website at https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/. Veterans can utilize links on the site to submit claims, and address any questions to maximize their entitlement related to the act’s recent passage. 
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
3 mo
Your health care provider would have diagnosed your condition and noted it in your medical record. Hypertension may range from mild to severe. Mild cases may have blood pressures of 140/90 and require relatively little medication, changes in diet and or exercise. Severe cases may require the Veteran to be on multiple medications and have shown damage to the body, such as the heart or kidneys. If you have diagnosed hypertension, VA encourages you to submit a claim. If you do not know your status, you should see your healthcare provider and find out if this is an issue for you. Thank you for writing and serving our nation.

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