Stan Spangle Sr.: Work begins on disabled vets memorial
Two weeks ago, I was in Amarillo, Texas, attending a reunion with the guys I served with in Vietnam (1967-68). That put me “in country” during “Tet.” We had a great time remembering our days together back then.
Last weekend, we had our quarterly veterans get-together at Highland United Methodist Church. We discussed the new process for filling claims. For those who couldn’t make it, let me recap the information session: Under new procedures, the veteran and the veterans service officer, gather all of the needed information. At that time the veteran and the SO attest that all needed information for filing the claim is there and ready to be adjudicated. The claim compensation will be retroactive for up to one year.
In other news of interest to veterans, construction has begun on the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington. It is expected to take a year to complete and is expected to be dedicated in the fall of 2014. On Aug. 10, President Obama spoke about the memorial: “That memorial will honor your courage in war. But it will also pay tribute to your bravery in the other battle you have fought, the fight to recover from the wounds of war. And this may be your greatest triumph of all. Because rather than being defined by what you lost, by what you can’t do, you’ve inspired America with what you can do.”
To learn more about the memorial go to their website: www.avdlm.org.
From The Retired Enlisted Association’s newsletter, here’s some information about the Camp Lejeune water supply issue: From the early 1950s through the late 1980s, people living or working at that U.S. Marine Corps Base were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene and other chemicals.
According to news reports, veterans and family members who served on active duty or resided at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 1987, may be eligible for medical care for 15 health conditions: esophageal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, renal toxicity, hepatic steatosis, female infertility, miscarriage, scleroderma, neurobehavioral effects, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The Department of Veterans Affairs published a proposed regulation Sept. 11 which discusses how the department will improve health care to eligible veterans. The VA is working on regulations for family member care and will publish these separately.
Regarding veterans health care for former Camp Lejeune residents, veterans can receive care now if he or she is eligible. They don’t need to wait for the proposed regulation to become final. For family member health care reimbursements, there is information available on what you can do now if you have one of the covered conditions. Call 1-877-222-8387 and ask to be added to VA’s Camp Lejeune database. VA will contact you when regulations are published.
Pray for the families of the fallen.
Stan Spangle Sr. is a 21-year veteran of the Marine Corps, serving in Korea and Vietnam. He’s a member of numerous veterans organizations. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.