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Montana Veterans Monument

Several years in the making, the Veterans Monument located at 101 Hieronymus Park Drive is under construction. Vietnam Veterans of America Bitterroot Chapter 938 has been hard at work collecting names and donations. Construction started 14 October 2010 and continues. Fund raising continues to complete the Monument.

The Veterans Monument, to honor all honorable discharged veterans’s service to our country, engraved are their names along with service, dates, rate and statement.

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Latest News


VVA Condemns Obstruction of “Blue Water Navy” Bill by Sen. Enzi

IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 11, 2018 No. 18-25
Mokie Porter
301-996-0901

VVA Condemns Obstruction of

“Blue Water Navy” Bill by Sen. Enzi

 

(Washington, D.C.) — “It is beyond disappointing that a single senator, Mike Enzi (R-WY), has obstructed H.R. 299, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, a bill that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 382-0 and would assuredly pass in the Senate if the members of that body were given the opportunity to vote on it,” said John Rowan, VVA National President.

On Monday, December 10, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) brought up the Blue Water Navy bill on the floor of the Senate. When she asked for unanimous consent, it was the senior senator from Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, who objected, citing cost concerns and saying that it would cause “budgetary and operational pressures that would happen at the VA.”

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News from National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Nov. 15, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hypertension Upgraded in Latest Biennial Review of Research on Health Problems in Veterans That May Be Linked to Agent Orange Exposure During Vietnam War

WASHINGTON — The latest in a series of congressionally mandated biennial reviews of the evidence of health problems that may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War found sufficient evidence of an association for hypertension and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). The committee that carried out the study and wrote the report, Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018), focused on the scientific literature published between Sept. 30, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017.

From 1962 to 1971, the U.S. military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to strip the thick jungle canopy that could conceal opposition forces, destroy crops that those forces might depend on, and clear tall grass and bushes from the perimeters of U.S. bases and outlying encampments. The most commonly used chemical mixture sprayed was Agent Orange, which was contaminated with the most toxic form of dioxin. These and the other herbicides sprayed during the war constituted the chemicals of interest for the committee. The exact number of U.S. military personnel who served in Vietnam is unknown because deployment to the theater was not specifically recorded in military records, but estimates range from 2.6 million to 4.3 million.

Hypertension was moved to the category of “sufficient” evidence of an association from its previous classification in the “limited or suggestive” category. The sufficient category indicates that there is enough epidemiologic evidence to conclude that there is a positive association. A finding of limited or suggestive evidence means that epidemiologic research results suggest an association between exposure to herbicides and a particular outcome, but a firm conclusion is limited because chance, bias, and confounding factors could not be ruled out with confidence. The committee came to this conclusion in part based on a recent study of U.S. Vietnam veterans by researchers from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which found that self-reported hypertension rates were highest among former military personnel who had the greatest opportunity for exposure to these chemicals.

The committee concluded that there was sufficient evidence of an association between exposure to at least one of the chemicals of interest and MGUS, a newly considered condition. This finding is based on a recent study in which investigators found a statistically significant higher prevalence of MGUS in Vietnam veterans involved in herbicide spray operations than in comparison veterans. MGUS is a clinically silent condition that is a precursor to the cancer multiple myeloma, but only an estimated 1 percent of MGUS cases progress to multiple myeloma each year.

While some new studies suggest an association might exist between exposure to the chemicals of interest and Type 2 diabetes, the committee could not come to a consensus on whether this and the other available evidence continued to be limited or suggestive, or merited elevation to sufficient. Both newly and previously reviewed studies consistently show a relationship between well-characterized exposures to dioxin and dioxin-like chemicals and measures of diabetes health outcomes in diverse cohorts, including Vietnam veteran populations. The risk factors for diabetes, such as age, obesity, and family history of the disease, were controlled for in the analyses of most studies reviewed. However, some members of the committee believed that the lack of exposure specificity and the potential for residual uncontrolled confounding influences complicated attribution of the outcome to the chemicals of interest.

In addition, VA asked the committee to focus on three health outcomes: possible generational health effects that may be the result of herbicide exposure among male Vietnam veterans, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and glioblastoma multiforme. The evidence of association for exposure to the chemicals of interest and glioblastoma (and other brain cancers) remains inadequate or insufficient, the committee concluded. While it is appropriate for VA be mindful of the concerns raised about the possible association between Vietnam service and glioblastoma, the outcome is so rare and the information concerning herbicide exposures so imprecise, that it is doubtful that any logistically and economically feasible epidemiologic study of veterans would produce meaningful results regarding the association between exposures and the disease. For this reason, the committee recommended that VA should focus on fostering advancements to inform improved glioblastoma treatment options.

There are relatively few studies on the health effects of paternal chemical exposures on their descendants, and none address Vietnam veterans specifically. Therefore, the committee recommended further specific study of the health of descendants of male Vietnam veterans.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms and myelodysplastic syndromes are diseases of the blood cells and bone marrow. The committee’s search of epidemiologic literature yielded only one relevant paper on these diseases — a study of these cancers in Vietnam veterans that was reviewed in a previous update. Given this paucity of research, the committee recommended that investigators should examine existing databases on myeloid diseases to determine whether there are data available that would allow for an evaluation of myeloproliferative neoplasms in Vietnam veterans and others who have been exposed to dioxin and the other chemicals of interest.

Although progress has been made in understanding the health effects of military herbicide exposure and the mechanisms underlying these effects, significant gaps in knowledge remain. The committee restated recommendations for research activities outlined in previous updates in this series, including toxicologic, mechanistic, and epidemiologic research. Such work should include efforts to gain more complete knowledge through the integration of information in existing U.S. Department of Defense and VA databases.

The committee noted that the difficulty in conducting research on Vietnam veteran health issues should not act as a barrier to carrying out such work. There are many questions regarding veterans’ health that can only be adequately answered by examining veterans themselves, thereby properly accounting for the totality of the military service experience.

The study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit nationalacademies.org.


CHRISTMAS EVENTS IN THE BOZEMAN AREA

Christmas Holiday Activities

Red Kettle Salvation Army bell ringing every Friday from 11/16 – 12/21 from 1000-1800

Festival of Trees for Liberty Place.  We decorate a tree and then it goes to auction with the money raised going to Liberty Place. A home for people who have suffered from a brain injury,

Hope and the Holidays toy and Christmas meal giveaway to needing families

Christmas party for the veterans at the Bozeman Lodge. Giving each veteran resident an appropriate military branch blanket


MONTANA VETERANS AFFAIRS

It’s official.  Joe Foster has retired.  The new Division Administrator is Kelly Ackerman.  Kelly has been working for Joe for many years in the claims area with veterans across the state.

Another change in the Department is the Billings Service Office will be relocating from their current address on Enterprise where they have been sharing a building with the VA Vet Center.   Their new office will be on the Montana State University Billings Campus with goals to better serve veterans and those actively furthering their education.

 


NOVEMBER EVENTS IN THE FLATHEAD

 Nov 8th 1000 hrs Place Flags @ Vets Cemetery

                Nov 9th 1000 hrs Help Vets home residents at CFalls High School for Veterans Program

                Nov 9th  1415 hrs Lakeside Elementary Veterans Program

                Nov 9th:  The Patriot’s Pen awards for Cayuse Prairie School will be held at 2:45 pm.  Mike Stone/Ed Byrne will  present awards

                Nov 10th 1000 hrs Funeral Flag Line , services for Member Poul Houlberg FVCC Art &  Tech 139   John Wise – S.A.A & Honor Guard

                Nov ??? Veterans Summit?

                Nov 11th 1000 hrs 100th Anniversary WWI Remembrance, Vets Home, dough Boy restoration unveiling 

                Nov 11th  1100 hrs   VVA Plaque  Ceremony and unveiling Vets Home

                 Nov 11th 1430-1730 hrs Free Vets & Family, Buffet Hilton Garden RSVP- 758-3561

                 Nov 12th:  0900 hrs Swan River School will hold their Veterans Day Program Mike Stone will present the 3 Patriots Pen awards.

                 Nov 12th 1000 hrs Bigfork High School will hold their Veterans Day Program     Ward Marshall will present the Voice of Democracy Awards. Spaghetti Dinner at VFW Post 4042 after the program at Bigfork High School.  Veterans and Children 5 and under free, other $7.00.

                 Nov 12th Glacier High School Veterans Program ???

                 Nov 16th 1400 hrs Agent Orange Town Hall Libby

                 Nov 22 Thanksgiving at the Vets Home

                 Bingo– Nov 29th at MVH 1330