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House Veterans' Committee News
Track the House Committee Actions

Senate Veterans' Committee News
Track the Senate Committee Actions

President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors

Bob Dole and Donna Shalala, acted as Co-Chairpersons on this committee. Here is the WEB SITE with the main and subcommittee reports Reports on recommendations. There is also a link to the YouTube video.

As of July 31, 2007, the Commission is officially closed.

The Task Force on the Future of the Military Healthcare

What? Dead in the Water?

Empty Words?

National Town Hall Meeting Tour

The Commission on the Future for America's Veterans has announced their intentions of having Town Hall Meetings. The Commission was created by five of the country’s most influential veterans groups - The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Here is their updated last posting.


Task Force on Returning Global War on Terror Heroes

Formed to improve the delivery of Federal services and benefits to Global War on Terror (GWOT) servicemembers and veterans.

Folks, if they had wanted to do something about it, it would have been done. So, where are we?

Veterans Disability Benefits Commission

Official Web site:

An eye-witness report from Fred Gersh on the May 9, 2007 Committee Meeting

On Wednesday May 9, 2007 the Veterans Disabilities Benefits Commission in Washington, DC took up the Chemical Exposure Hazards subject regarding Vietnam Blue Water Veterans. As you may recall, the last time they reviewed this issue was during the September 14, 2006 meeting at which time the recommendation was to "table" the subject, because of the pending legal actions in Federal Appeals process. In discussing this issue, the board reviewed the action that had occurred since the last meeting, noting the "stay" order and that the appeals process continues. Thus the outcome was to continue watching the legal process. However the Commission will look at this subject again before their report to the President and the Congress is finalized and submitted September 30, 2007.

Some of the Commissioners did voice comments that there definitely should be a statement in their report, particularly where there is some expedited procedure for quickly validating and ruling on these chemical exposure issues. Beside the Vietnam Blue Water Veterans issue, the Commission also covered the Fort McClellan, AL. chemical exposures of LSD and PCB and the Camp Lejeune, NC herbicides in the drinking water issue. The Commission also instructed their staff to also include "Immunizations and accompanying side effects" as another chemical exposure issue. Copies of the power point slides shown during the meeting are now posted on the Commission"s website. See:

After the meeting concluded on Wednesday and during Thursday's session (5/10/07) I spoke to several of the Commissioners I have met during my attendance since May 2005 at these monthly public meetings. The comments I received were generally one of encouragement. But as you all know the courts have the issue at this point. I would still encourage each of you to submit a letter to your Senators and Congresspersons as going on record requesting their involvement in supporting the August 16, 2006 Haas vs Nicholson decision in favor of the Vietnam Blue Water Veteran that he does not have to be in-country to qualify for the VA presumptive benefits. There have been some excellent examples of sample letters posted on the Blue Water Navy website that can be tailored to your specific Blue Water circumstance. Also, I know there are several of us how can assist in preparing more of these letters.

On Thursday I listened to the PTSD nearly 4 hour presentation/discussion by Dr. Nancy Andreasen who was the team leader of the National Science Foundation, Institute of Medicine, Special Report. Already the news media reports have picked up on the glaring findings on how PTSD is poorly evaluated in various VA C&P patient evaluations. The Veterans Disabilities Benefits Commission is continuing their review of this report and I expect during the June, July and August meetings further discussions will occur. These slides are also available for viewing in the Commission's website.

Additionally on Thursday I spoke to several of the Commissioners about the Civilian Agent Orange Act of 2007 HR 972 to make them aware of this new pending bill that is being processed in the House of Representatives.

Fred Gersh

IOM Committee to Review The Health Effects In Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides

There is a committee from the Institute Of Medicine reviewing several important things, including Presumption of Exposure.

The Institute of Medicine has several projects underway regarding Veteran and Deployed Forces Health issues.

General Information on the Institute of Medicine and their work with veteran issues can be found at

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