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The Edgewood Saga Continues

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  • HadIt.com Elder

well the VA finally admitted I was at Edgewood, in response to a letter I wrote Senator Craig, they had Renee Szybala, Director, Compensation and Pensions reply, she stated that I arrived at Edgewood on 10 July and was sent home sick and never used in any tests, I was discharged before testing began according to her. I know she was basing her info on what someone at VARO Columbia told her but they lied to her, my records show I arrived at Edgewood on 25 June 74, was admitted to the hospital at Aberdeen on the 3rd and discharged from the hospital on the 10th of July, back to Edgewood and I was there thru Aug 22, 1974. They are insinuating that after I was discharged from the hospital I was rejected from the program, that is far from the truth, it wouldn't have taken from the 10th of July to Aug 22 to send me packing. I wonder how they are going to account for that time period. here's a copy of the letter I sent to Senator Craig, he is the one who forced them to address the test issue finally after 3 years of ignoring it.

Dear Senator Larry Craig, 12 Oct 2005

Approxmately two weeks ago I contacted your office about the failure of the VA to address the issues of my health caused by my participation in chemical weapons or drug tests at Edgewood Arsenal in 1974.

I received a letter in the mail today signed by Renee Szybala stating that my records showed I left Edgewood Arsenal on the 10th of July and never participated in any tests.

The only thing in my records dated the 10th of July is a release from the hospital at Aberdeen back to the test program.

Contrary to what ever the person told her from Columbia SC about my file some one is lying. My record from Edgewood shows that I departed Edgewood on the 24th of August 1974.

I remember being in Washington DC on a day off or late in the day, it was the attraction of the century, a President resigning from office. I was there to watch President Nixon leave the White House on Aug 9th I believe, I have suffered a stroke and my memory isn't the best.

I feel sorry for whomever it was that gave Ms Szybala the bad information from the file, but I will take my records to the BVA, I can prove my case there.

I have tried to get the matter resolved at the Regional Office level, but it is now obvious that they will sink to any level necessary to keep from compensating veterans.

I would like to thank you for the effort you and your office did expend on trying to get me a resolution to my problem. You have done far more than anyone else, and that speaks highly of you and your office.

She had also made a comment about mustard agents and lewisite, I have no idea on what I was exposed to over the 2 month period. We were never told what was in the needles or the gas.

The fact that 74.43% of the men used as test subjects are dead or disabled out of the 7120 men, speaks volumes as to the long term health effects of being at Edgewood Arsenal.

25% of them men there were classified as level D's and not exposed to any chemicals or drugs.

It implies to me that nearly every man used there has either died prematurely or become disabled. This is shown in the March 2003 report from Dr William Page of the IOM MUFA unit.

Senator after the past three years of fighting with the Regional Office, I am tired, of the lies, the ignorance of the issue of being used as a human guinea pig, completely until I received Ms Szybala letter filled with misinformation.

You did make the VA finally address it, they lied their way out of it, why I don't have a clue, I have the records to present the judge at the BVA hearing that I left Edgewood on August 24 1974, not the 10th of July as she was mis-informed.

All I know is I had a stroke within 12 months of discharge from Desert Storm, I was used in the test program and I am totally disabled. Service connecting me as 100% disabled is not a fantasy it should have happened before now, and I will present my case to the BVA judge.

I personally don't comprehend the effort that the Regional offices go to to deny claims, the cases speak for themselves, is there bonuses for denied claims?

You are not responsible for the actions of the VA, but as the chariman of the Senate VA Committee you should be aware of the efforts they are going to in preventing honorable veterans from receiving compensation, I feel sorry for whomever it was that lied to Ms Szybala about the day I left Edgewood, I am sure she is not going to be happy about this, But it still doesn't resolve my claim.

Senator, the Congress and the Senate should really reconsider the case to allow veterans to use attorney's in a system similar to the SSD claims system. This would be much easier on me and my heart problems than all the stress of dealing with the VA is causing.

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