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  1. Greetings All, I am wondering if anyone is familiar with being service connected for male infertility due to exposure to Camp Lejeune's toxic water? I was there for a full year from 84-85 with the 10th Marines (Hadnot Point water supply system). I know this condition is not on the presumptive list, but that doesn't mean that you cannot apply for anything else that may be attributable to a condition on its own merits--correct? Got out in 85 at 23 years old, got married for the first time in '98--since both my wife and I were older than average (I was 36 and she was 33), we started to try for a family almost immediately. After quite a lot of trying (no complaints there), we decided that maybe we should get tested--turned out I was the problem. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) focused on four chemicals that were prevalent (perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene), but the list of other chemicals found in the water is much more extensive. There is some limited info available that shows that TCE can cause male infertility, but not a lot. Some of the other chemicals that were identified are considered endocrine disruptors--many of these types of chemicals are known to cause problems with fertility. I have yet to find any info on concentrations of these other chemicals, but I'm sure it's out there if I dig hard enough. Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone has experience with this, or even if not, some general advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Huggy
  2. Blue Water Navy Outreach Requirements Were Met, but Claims Processing and Procedures Could Improve 09/02/2021 02:30 PM EDT Since 1991, veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides such as Agent Orange. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 extended this presumption to include veterans who served within 12 nautical miles of Vietnam. The objective of this OIG review was to determine whether Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) employees (1) notified Navy veterans of their potential eligibility to receive medical benefits under the act; (2) correctly determined the eligibility of the veterans who filed claims for benefits; and (3) made accurate decisions on claims. The OIG found that VBA met the outreach requirements outlined in the act. VBA employees also generally determined Blue Water Navy veterans’ eligibility for benefits correctly. However, VBA has not established procedures for its employees to follow when the computer search tool they use to determine ship locations during claimant service dates returns unlikely results (for example, providing an inland location in a search for an aircraft carrier). In addition, VBA employees inaccurately decided approximately 46 percent of veterans’ claims (2,100 of 4,600) from April through June 2020, which led to about $37.2 million in improper payments to veterans ($25.2 million in overpayments and $12 million in underpayments) during that period. About 95 percent of these errors resulted from VBA employees deviating from policies governing disability-rating decisions. The OIG made three recommendations to the under secretary for benefits: (1) establish procedures to follow when the ship locator tool provides unlikely results based on deck log coordinates, (2) ensure VBA employees understand how to accurately decide and evaluate herbicide-related medical conditions, and (3) begin periodic local reviews of rating decisions involving such medical conditions to mitigate error trends identified." Source Oversight Reports from VA Office of Inspector General
  3. The BWNVVA counsel is afraid to bring these actions because “I don’t want to piss them off” [leadership]. My thought is who cares if we piss them off. They have let us hang and denied passage of the Blue Water Navy Bills for at least 10 years. Although discharge petitions have not been very successful in the past, some have done what they intended. The thought of embarrassing the leadership is fine with me. They should be embarrassed! Pissing them off does not affect the outcome of the BWNVVA bill status, because we will lose nothing. We do not have presumptive status. Congress denies us at every turn. Since that is a fact we lose nothing. Perhaps this will turn it around. We can keep begging for our rights for another 10 years, or bring this to closure now. Let it be known that I do not represent the BWNVVA in any capacity. It's not clear to me whether a discharge petition was used in 1991 for HR 566. I do know there was a suspension of the rules to bring it to the floor for a vote. Whatever you call it, the bill was passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. "A discharge petition is a means of bringing a bill out of committee and to the floor for consideration without a report from the committee and usually without cooperation of the leadership by "discharging" the committee from further consideration of a bill or resolution. 563 discharge petitions were filed between 1931 and 2003, of which only 47 obtained the required majority of signatures. The House voted for discharge 26 times and passed 19 of the measures, but only two have become law. However, the threat of a discharge petition has caused the leadership to relent several times; such petitions are dropped only because the leadership allowed the bill to move forward, rendering the petition superfluous. Overall, either the petition was completed or else the measure made it to the floor by other means in 16 percent of cases." PL 102-4 Actions H.R.556 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992) 01/30/1991 Senate Received in the Senate, read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed in lieu of S. 238 without amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 99-0. Record Vote No: 9. 01/29/1991-2:26pm House On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays (2/3 required): 412 - 0 (Roll No. 16). For more information go to Text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/102nd-congress/house-bill/556
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