My AO Story
I was diagnosed with NHL in 2008. I went through a series of radiation treatments. I got an email from a friend. He told me of AO exposure to troops up on the DMZ in Korea in 1968 and 1969. He said I should look into the report. Indeed I did and was quite surprised to find that my unit was one of those units exposed to AO. I also looked into the types of conditions that the VA recognized. It hit home. I had been diagnosed with CA of the larynx, 35 years ago and I never smoked in my life! So I got with my local veteran officer. He said that I was his first veteran, with service in Korea in 1968-69 era, who had CA from exposure to AO. Needless to say, I filed a claim with the VA. I did most of the leg work myself. Like many Vet's, if you do not follow through yourself, your file just lingers in the VA regional office. I also looked on the internet and the library about my cancer's, and their residuals. I looked for strong medical papers from well known medical journals, not just something placed on the internet (beware of this type of misinformation). I also, by chance, ran into a follow Vietnam era Vet, who is a very wise person, when it comes to the VA and its internal workings. It took time for me to gather the information I needed, but it was worth it. My answer to all veterans is you have to be involved in your case if you want something done about the conditions caused by exposure to AO. I have the email address of the person who helped me with my case, and he is great. He'll call it as he sees it, but then he'll give nuggets of information that will help you in your case. Basically, you do not need a lawyer to file your claim or submit medical information. YOU CAN DO IT TROOPER!! Remember, there is safety in numbers (we have each other and we will leave no one on the field of battle).

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