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Death rates of Vietnam War veterans
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Death rates of Vietnam War veterans
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Eyeing death rates of Vietnam War veterans

WHEN Diane Lake began visiting her late husband's resting place at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, she became alarmed by what she saw nearby: memorial markers that showed many of her husband's fellow Vietnam veterans had died even younger than he had.
The markers, spaced along a wall where the ashes of her husband, Spc. 4th Class Robert Lake, and others are interred, indicate which war a veteran served in, along with rank and branch of service.
"I would look up on the wall and see this one was only 62 and this one was only 61, and say to myself these men were pretty young to be dying already," said Lake, whose husband was 65 when he died of an aggressive skin cancer May 13.
Lake, of East Northport, is among an increasingly vocal number of Vietnam veterans or their loved ones who are questioning whether participation in the Vietnam War is hastening the deaths of soldiers who survived it.
John Rowan, of Queens, national president of Vietnam Veterans of America, said his organization had been frustrated that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not done current research on the death rates of Vietnam vets. But he said he sees change coming. In September, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said his department has begun a study of the health impacts of the war, which he said would be complete in about three years.
"The insight we gain from this study will help give us an understanding of how to better serve America's veterans," Shinseki said in a news release.

Death rate concerns veterans
The VA study could go far in addressing concerns of Vietnam veterans groups who believe the war has had a devastating effect on their health and life expectancy. Their evidence is mostly anecdotal, though. Some experts familiar with limited data regarding veterans' deaths say they have seen nothing that supports the charge that Vietnam vets are dying at unusually high rates. Still, many Vietnam veterans believe it is true.
"The Vietnam guys are going faster than the World War II guys," said Joe Ingino, president of the Nassau County chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. He said he has come to believe this from stories he has been told across the region.
Examples on Long Island include a Medal of Honor awardee, Army Spc. George C. Lang, who grew up in Hicksville. Lang, who was paralyzed during a 1969 firefight, was 57 when he died of cancer five years ago.
Sharing a section of the memorial wall, known as a columbarium, in Farmingdale are the names of Staff Sgt. Leslie Garcia, formerly of Central Islip, who was 58 when he died of a heart attack this year, and PV2 Angel Gonzalez, of Manhattan, who was 53 when he died in 2009. The marker for another soldier nearby - Pfc Lawrence Gilmore was 61 when he died of a heart attack last year - reads "No more pain beloved son and brother."
"He was a loner, and never married," said his mother, Eva Gilmore, of Port Richey, Fla., who said Gilmore battled diabetes before he died. "He was in a lot of pain."
Many veterans note with alarm that the VA this year again expanded the list of more than a dozen diseases - including a host of cancers, Type 2 diabetes, and ischemic heart disease - directly linked to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides sprayed in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971. A diagnosis on the list can entitle a veteran to compensation related to a service-connected disability.

Other factors at play
Advocates say factors other than service in Vietnam also likely undermined the health of veterans. Because returning troops were rejected by a war-weary public, many turned inward, battling anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome on their own, often made worse by alcohol or drugs, experts say. And for most of the war, troop rations included free cigarettes.
"I can't say if his heart attack had anything to do with him being in the war because he was a heavy smoker," said Jocelyn McIntee, of Greenlawn, whose husband, Eugene, served in Vietnam in the mid-1960s, and died in 1992 when he was 49. "He really didn't talk about it, but do I think he came back with a lot of stress, yes. He saw a lot of people killed, and that must have been disturbing."
As early as 1987, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that troops who had been in Vietnam were dying faster because of risky or violent behaviors after their return.
In its 1987 Vietnam Experience Study, the CDC reported that the death rate for U.S. troops who served in Vietnam was 1.5 times higher than for troops who served elsewhere in the first five years after their discharge.
Violent deaths accounted for much of the increase in that study, with Vietnam veterans twice as likely to die from car crashes, suicide and homicide as were troops who served elsewhere during that era.
A 1996 study by Australia's Department of Veterans Affairs showed that Australian troops who served in Vietnam died younger than Australian troops who served elsewhere in the same period. They were twice as likely to die of lung cancer and three times as likely to die of cirrhosis of the liver, the study showed.
More recent data on the rate of Vietnam veteran deaths is anything but clear, says Mary Paxton, of the national Institute of Medicine, a sister organization of the National Academy of Sciences that evaluates health data for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Paxton said studies of U.S. veterans cannot be regarded as definitive because incomplete record-keeping by the U.S. military means researchers cannot reliably track the health outcomes of the 2.6 million Americans who served in Vietnam.

No 'massive die-off'
But her reading of research has convinced her that there is no epidemic of early deaths among Vietnam vets.
"I get calls from veterans who say they are dropping like flies, but that doesn't seem to be the case," Paxton said. "I think they are at somewhat higher risk, but there is not the massive die-off that is being claimed."
Paxton referenced a 2004 update of the 1987 CDC study, which followed 18,313 male Army veterans.
"Death rates from disease-related chronic conditions, including cancers and circulatory system diseases, did not differ between Vietnam veterans and their peers," the report said.
To families of many Vietnam veterans, the statistics only go so far, as many now wonder whether their service in Vietnam so long ago is threatening their lives a second time. That's a question that tugs at Diane Lake, who said it became clear her husband knew he would not live past 65.
"He said, 'Diane, I don't have much time,' " she said, recalling his words shortly before his death. "He was with us another 10 days, and he was gone."

Is Governor Chris Christie, good political friend of Mitt Romney, delaying a call for a transparent investigation for fraud and perjury charges surrounding New Jersey Supreme Court Official Robert Correale and his powerful and influential former law firm, Maynard & Truland?

Please call Governor Chris Christie's office at 609-292-6000 and state that John "Jack" Cunningham's allegations deserve a 'honest' New Jersey State investigation.


Please
pass this request for calling Governor Chris Christie to ALL your families and friends 'on and off' the internet. It's about time, New Jersey's state government faced this Cover-up.

Insist on honesty in government and protection of our fundamental rights, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
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GOD  BLESS  OUR  VETERANS
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Their mission: Pressure the State of New Jersey into investigating Corruption/Cover-Up charges against New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics,
Former Vice-Chairman Robert Correale, and his former law firm
 
 

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In Vietnam, Webmaster Jack Cunningham served (24/7) in a Vietnamese peasant-farming village.   At times, there were only four (4) Americans in a village of 2,000 homes.
Jack is holding his M-79 grenade launcher.   The weapon was nicknamed "The Blooper" because of the sound the weapon made, when it released a round.
 
 
 
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Please call Governor Chris Christie (609-292-6000) and ask him to answer combat-wounded, Vietnam veteran John "Jack" Cunningham's registered letter his office signed for on November 20th.    Details at: http://pronlinenews.com/?p=1834
 
 
 
 "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation."
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Proud Vietnam Vet, Proud Tea Party Patriot, Webmaster Jack Cunningham

Help end Government Corruption in 2010

 
A state Supreme Court attorney ethics Vice-Chairman Robert Correale misuses his high level government and court office to Cover-Up and block ethics violations and legal malpractice charges against his own law firm, Maynard & Truland.  After eight years, the Cover-Up leads all the way up to the Governor's Office, the Attorney General's Office, the state's Supreme Court and Superior Court.
Disabled Vietnam vet, Jack Cunningham's ethic complaints start with Robert Correale's and his law firm's gross negligence, over-charging per hour, false billing, lack of communications, coming to court unprepared and open perjury to the New Jersey Supreme Court and Superior Court systems.   (Evidence are Maynard & Truland's own contact, invoices, court-filed letters, court-filed documents and court-filed sworn statements, NJ Supreme Court attorney certifications, etc.)
 
Thanks to some dedicated, honest State Legislators, Jack Cunningham is no longer in this battle alone.   Please read the below letters. 
 
It's going to another level.  It's proof that in America, the little guy can win, if he or she does not give up...

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State Senator Steven Oroho's office has already completed a preliminary investigation.
 
UPDATE
New Jersey State Senator Oroho's office has received enough calls. I can't thank you enough.

Please direct your calls to Gov Chris Christie at: 609-292-6000. It's time "new", Governor Chris Christie asks for a formal investigation of the Cover-up.
John "Jack" Cunningham vs. New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics
 

Gov. Christie can ask State Senate Steven Oroho all questions.
 
 
 
A real David and Goliath story
Eight year corruption battle against his State Government may finally come to light...
 
 
 
Above the Law
Disabled vet battles over 9 years to bring them to justice.
 
 
When does a Superior Court transcript go missing, before it could be typed?
When a state Supreme Court official is being tied for legal Malpractice.
 
 
This same Supreme Court Official Commits Perjury to Supreme Court (Evidence)
(See if you can recognize the perjury)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor
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Please press the below ship diagram to link to their website.
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The Mesothelioma Cancer Center assists Veterans

 who have received a mesothelioma diagnosis

Ben Grayson       ben@asbestos.com
National Awareness Coordinator & Veteran Liaison
Mesothelioma Cancer Center

(407)965-5755 -- direct line