By Sandie Wilson -  VVA 310 Member and VVA Director at Large 

photo Sandie Wilson e1510778051923 300x300It has now been 45 years that a group of us has been working on getting something resolved for the health issues of your children related to your military service.    Most men took the approach of not needing health care, that was a woman task.  99 percent of the Vietnam era children are now adults.  Why worry?  Time solves everything.  Take 2 pills and it will be better.    Problem is not every health problem gets resolved.  Many last a lifetime.

Some of you had adult children follow in the parent’s footsteps and served in the Middle East or other contaminated areas.  Our government leaders said this would not be a repeat of Vietnam.  True, they did not expose this military to the 7 forever toxins used during Vietnam.  But they were exposed to 21 other toxins.  That means you can have grandchildren with birth defects resulting from the parent exposure to 28 different toxins.  When someone in your family becomes pregnant, are you increasing your prayers for the next 9 months?

I am requesting you take ACTION.  If you are a veteran told you were not entitled to benefits, the situation has changed.  Your retired income is probably small enough to qualify for VA health care.  Sign up today.  If you believe you were exposed sign up for the toxic exposure registry.  Now you probably are on many medications, VA delivery is a cost savings to which you are entitled.  The VA health care is a joint effort with Michigan Medicine and is outstanding.

VVA has a service rep at the VA Hospital.  The Washtenaw County veterans department has outstanding service reps.  With the increase in presumptive diseases, get your available disability rating increased.  This will help you and your dependent today and in the future.  Champ V is there for dependents even after you transfer to the other side of the grass.

VVA has been meeting with the Air Force, VA, NIH about the “Ranch Hand” research specimens for over a year.  A decision was made to transfer these 93 million body specimens to a medical storage facility.  Medical researchers will have access to the specimens and the original data.  This means current researchers will be able to access 30 years of longitudinal data.  The Prostate Cancer researchers are overjoyed.

A medical research statistician has published a published and vetted report on the birth defects obtained from the “Ranch Hand” data prior to it being “cleaned-up” by the liars in government.  That report closely matches the data in the Birth Defects Registry that veterans have utilized for the past 30 years.

In lobbying our Congresspersons, the first comment from this is show me the research that proves your issue.  We spent 8 years educating veterans and pushing Congress to get a law requiring research on toxic exposure for children and grandchildren of veterans.  President Obama signed the law. The first step a feasibility study was done by NIH.  During the Trump administration no progress.

VVA sent a letter to the current Secretary of the VA urging doing the research.  The Secretary responded it could not be done because there was not a national birth defect registry.

He was partially right.  There is not a government sponsored national birth defects registry.   In the 1980s,  41 states had state wide birth defects registries.  Today 10 states claim to have state wide registries paid for by the Center for Disease Control.     Each state determines the procedure for their state.  In 1994 the federal government issued a policy that each state would list any birth defect the child was noted to have on the birth certificate.      If it is on the birth certificate, it is a structural defect noted on the examination at birth.    In addition each state takes cord blood specimens to detect conditions which develop later but can be treated before they appear.  Most states test for 7 diseases.  Michigan tests for 25 diseases. 

The Birth Defect Research Center was started as a non-profit organization at the request of the judge on the Agent Orange lawsuit of the chemical companies producing the forever chemicals used in Vietnam and several state Agent Orange Commissions.  Its work is funded by veteran organizations and interested donors. 

Medical researchers involved with birth defects developed the questionnaire for registry.  It is the only registry that an individual or parent can use for inclusion of the person.  Which means it is able to include health problems which appear later, these are functional problems.

The registry should be the first research tool.  It is the most economical and is used to rule out causes.  The registry is 16 pages of very detailed questions.  They want to know facts about the mother and father, pre-natal, post natal, birth and after.  The results are separated in 4 categories: in Vietnam, Vietnam veteran not in Vietnam, Gulf War veteran, and not a veteran.  Questions are asked about any exposure to anything during the pregnancy.  The people working on the registry do not care if the parent was a bad person stoned all the time.  Character is not evaluated.  The researchers need to know if the child with a breathing problem had a parent that smoked marijuana weekly.   It is a comparison.  If the registry is asked about breathing problems it shows all the breathing registrants and if 80% smoked marijuana.  The idea would be to study the effect on the respiratory system of the offspring.  The registry is the most economical research tool and should be the first utilized before other tests are developed.       

You all know there is a section of the population that have not vaccinated the children for the common childhood diseases.  These diseases should have been and any were gone by vaccines.  But parents did not vaccinate because of fear of autism.  Those diseases are back and some are deadly.

About 6 years ago, personnel at Birth Defects Research Center reviewed the non-veteran entrants with autism.  There was not much difference between those reported as being vaccinated and those not vaccinated.  But the majority of the pregnant to be mothers reported taking acetaminophen (Tylenol).      Could this common pain and fever drug that has been around for many years be the problem?     This observation was reported at a seminar of medical researchers.

2023 A report of several medical research studies on Autism and Acetaminophen taken by the mother during pregnancy links Autism and the drug.  The multiple studies had been peer reviewed and vetted before being published in the medical journal.  Autism and acetaminophen are linked.  The diagnosis of Autism should decrease if child bearing women do not take the drug during pregnancy.  Children’s health should improve by getting them vaccinated to prevent disease.  In case you missed it,  VACCINES ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF AUTISM.    

As of this date approximately 3000 veteran families have registered children and grandchildren with health problems which could be related to military toxic exposure of a parent.  3.5 people served during the Vietnam War.  Eighty nine thousand are currently VVA members.  Three thousand is not a sufficient number to indicate problem in this group?  You can do your part.  Register your effected and affected offspring on the BDRC register.  On the internet go to  Complete the registration form and become part of the solution.