51st Sig Bn

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True Political Support Of Veterans Is Shown By This Politician!

As I said, this is one of the examples I will put forth in dealing with those who are elected by us as citizens and veterans to represent us in legislation, assist us when dealing with government agencies, and essentially do what they were elected to do. So often they fail, so seldom those failures truly go public to show how ineffective they are in their elected positions.

The first example comes from a veteran, that during his time of service did any and everything asked of him, he performed his duty, his commitment during a time when many were hiding, moving to Canada or trying everything they could to prevent themselves from doing what was expected of all male citizens of that era. A duty that also meant placing themselves in harms way for their country and it's citizens when asked or told to do so by their government.

The draft was still a reality in those days, we were at war and even a war that was hidden and not acknowledged as such by the government. He stood up, he went in, he served and retired after years of service and honorable for his service, only to have the politicians turn their backs on him throughout the years and continue to do so. I would also like to point out, he did MUCH MORE than was required of him. He did his required obligation as a citizen at that time to serve his 2 years active duty, including a 13 month hardship duty in Korea as an enlisted man.

He continued to serve beyond that and much later retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 2. He deserves our respect for his service for country and certainly deserves the respect he WAS NOT SHOWN by his elected official.

Now laying ground work so you understand and believe the disrespect that was shown by this elected official. He is a Korean veteran during the years when the "cold war" was being fought which included the Vietnam war and the "Forgotten War" as service in Korea during these times came to be known. His duty included along the area of the DMZ in Korea. Yet the government does not acknowledge that his service was there and "alleges" that because the unit's primary base was some 15 miles away, denies that he went to the DMZ area. This unit, 51st Signal Battalion, did daily duty throughout the I Corps area as fully indicated in official Army reports and other government documents. (provided elsewhere on this site)

The personnel of the 51st Signal had remote sites in the DMZ areas (radio relay sites, communications center located in other areas and when doing field exercises ("war games") were in those areas the government admits to have used toxic agents. The 51st Signal Battalion also went on daily messenger runs (a responsibility established by organization that 51st Signal personnel would do)to include ALL units assigned in those areas. They also handled all hard line installations and wire maintenance throughout the DMZ area. That was their job, their responsibility and their duty as required by the higher headquarters, clear up to Department of Army's procedures and instructions. A duty that they performed honorably, unquestionably and with great pride while stationed in Korea. Whether they were at the unit's headquarters some 15 miles from the DMZ or when sent into the DMZ and other close proximity areas (in or near). These were jobs they did on a daily basis and covered ALL areas of responsibility including those in the exposed areas, not just at their unit of assignment location.

Then there came a time, many years later, when because of the decisions made by the VA and others, including the Department of Defense, he felt he was wronged when there was no admission that he had performed his unit's duties and his responsibility while in service there. Simply, they denied he was there and asked him, and all others that served there to prove themselves that the did their duty in the area of their responsibility. An almost impossible task because of not being able to get records, records claimed not available or found, records that had long since been destroyed or a multitude of other reasons.

He, like so many others, asked for information, help and assistance from his politician. His request was VERY specific in his letter to service in Korea, asking for himself and those that were in KOREA in dealing with agent orange exposure. What he got in reply from Billy Long Member of Congress was much more than a letdown, it was an absolute insult to him and his fellow veterans.

A digital copy of these communications was provided to insure the accurateness of the information provided here.

Here is his communication:



Dear Sir:

I am writing for some information. I, along with some friends who currently reside in other states, are US Army veterans, more correctly, veterans of service in South Korea in the 1968-1970 time frame.

What we are trying to do is to get our old unit, the 51st Signal Battalion, which was at that time the only Signal Battalion assigned to I Corps (Group), put on the list of units that have known exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange. To be eligible for VA benefits for Agent Orange exposure, a soldier that was assigned to the Republic of South Viet Nam only has to show that he was there, in-country, through his military records, whether those records are pay records, medical records, or orders assigning them there.

For those of us who served in South Korea, we do get VA benefits, but most all of those claims for Agent Orange exposure are denied since there is a list of units assigned that are listed as being in the DMZ or other areas close to the DMZ.

Our mission, while assigned to the 51st Signal Battalion, involved military training exercises, daily trips to all parts of the DMZ areas, such as the 2d Infantry Division, the 7th Infantry Division, as well as other units assigned there that relied upon the 51st Signal Battalion Motor Messengers for delivery of their classified mail, and other such items that could not electronically be transmitted to them.

We have put together a narrative that describes our duties, our mission, the exercises we participated in, as well as our proximity to those units that we supported, and are trying to find out how we can tackle this problem of getting our unit listed on that special list of units assigned to South Korea in that time frame so that our claims for Agent Orange exposure, and the resulting medical problems, can be treated and get some disability for those problems.

Of note is that so far about six of us have been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, which is directly linked to AO exposure. MOST LIKELY THERE ARE MANY MORE WE ARE UNAWARE OF, AND THERE ARE SEVERAL WHO HAVE ischemic heart disease ( IHD), ALSO RELATED TO a/o exposure. Plus a variety of diseases and conditions associated with A/O EXPOSURE. Writing up the narrative, the description, the mission, the history, is all a great learning tool for all of us, but we wish that our efforts might be justified not only for us, but to help those veterans in the future that are trying to get some compensation for the medical hardships that AO exposure brings with it.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Respectfully,

Name withheld by me
Chief Warrant Officer Two
United States Army, Retired



The response he received back dealt with absolutely NOTHING he inquired about or asked for:

March 20, 2013 Name
address
city withheld by me
MO 65XXX

Dear Mr. XXXXX,

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R.812, the Agent Orange Equity Act, sponsored by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA).
My comments: Where did this come from? H.R.812, there was NOTHING in there inquiring about a dead bill!

The Agent Orange Equity Act would clarify the laws related to Veterans' Affairs (VA) benefits provided to Vietnam War veterans suffering from the ravages of Agent Orange exposure. In order to try to gain a better military vantage point, Agent Orange, which we now know is a highly toxic cocktail of herbicide agents, was widely sprayed for defoliation and crop destruction purposes all over the Vietnam War battlefield. It was also stored on U.S. vessels and used for vegetation clearing purposes around U.S. bases and landing zones.
My comments: We know it was used in Vietnam, we also know it was used in Korea, Korean veterans is what this communications as about.

Congress begins a new session every two years, and the 113th Congress started on January 3, 2013. Any legislation not passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President, such as the Agent Orange Equity Act, does not carry over to the next Congress. All bills must be reintroduced, and the Agent Orange Equity Act has not been at this time. I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind if similar legislation should come before the 113th Congress.
My comments: Once again, referring to dead legislation and with the sponsor of that legislation retired from office, he certainly is not going to reintroduce it.

Currently, VA requires Vietnam veterans to prove "foot on land" in order to qualify for the presumptions of service-connection for herbicide-exposure related illnesses. This issue has been the subject of much litigation and on May 8, 2008, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals upheld VA's overly narrow interpretation. Congress clearly did not intend to exclude certain veterans from compensation based on arbitrary geographic line drawn by VA. The Agent Orange Equity Act is intended to clarify the law so that every service member awarded the Vietnam Service medal, or who otherwise deployed to land, sea or air, in the Republic of Vietnam is fully covered by the comprehensive Agent Orange laws Congress passed in 1991.
My comments: "foot on land", "Vietnam Service medal" "Republic of Vietnam" let's see does that deal with this veteran and other KOREAN veterans service and what he seeks support for? HELL NO! IT DOES NOT! How about including in there those that received the "ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL, a sign of service during the affected period?

Meeting with many members of the Armed Forces and veterans throughout the state of Missouri, I understand the sacrifices that our veterans, active duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel have made. Addressing issues that affect veterans and servicemen and women is one of my top priorities. I know that our freedom would not be a possibility without the prior service of veterans and our brave armed forces stationed around the world today.
My comments: "is one of my top priorities" AS EVIDENCED BY YOUR RESPONSES TO THIS VETERAN!

Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Hearing the views of all Missourians gives me the opportunity to better understand how important issues could impact the people of the Seventh District and the future interests of the nation.
My comments: APPARENTLY YOU ARE NOT HEARING!

For additional information regarding current legislation, my representation of the Seventh District, and to sign up to receive my monthly newsletter, I invite you to visit my website at http://long.house.gov .

Sincerely,

Billy Long
Member of Congress



Now for my reaction

Now, why do I believe this politician was disrespectful. He generated a letter completely ignoring the correspondence sent to him. Show me ONE PLACE in there that he even stated the word "Korea". Can't do it, it's not there! Explaining the legislative process for a bill not even referenced? Seems that anyone with above average, average, and probably those below average intellect knows or should know that a bill that is not passed is not law and a bill must be brought back before congress before that congress can act upon it. Certainly someone that achieved officer rank in the military falls within the people who understands that simple part of legislative procedure, thus he implies "you are to dumb to understand and I have to explain this to you".

I'm sorry, but if this represents your abilities as an elected official to listen, HEAR, and act for those constituents that put in office. Perhaps their belief in your acting in their best interest is severely misplaced. You expect or demand respect yourself. Respect is earned, this veteran and other EARNED the respect that is shown to them. Since he himself never saw fit to serve, I guess he cannot be expected to show that respect deserved by those who did. Once again, a vet disrespected by those that did not serve! Does that bring those "flashbacks" once again of being called names like baby killer, war lover and such by those that were to cowardly to serve when they were called upon?

Some things never change, although we try to get them to. I guess his true colors are shown by his reply that didn't even relate to this vet's taking the time to communicate with him. He goes on my "Sorry and worthless representative" simply because he could/would not address the issue sent to him and responded in such a disrespectful manner to one so deserving of better.

My mother, who sadly is no longer with us, would have spanked my butt for being so disrespectful to someone so deserving. Yes, I was raised during a time were we were taught right and wrong and when we did not act accordingly, we were punished in a manner that could be remembered for a period of time rather than just having to play in the corner a little while. That is if the severity of the offense deserved it, which was not often since you well remembered it and only "I'm going to spank you" got the desired results.

Now for those of you who may say "he didn't send this, his staff did" or some such nonsense. It is signed by him, it is done with his permission, it not only gives the appearance that he personally did it, it is unmistakably intended to give that appearance. Therefore it IS from him. People in an office that relies on their staff members or others to send correspondence while in a position of responsibility have a personal and professional obligation to ensure that ANY correspondence sent as though it was sent by them personally is responsible for knowledge of what is sent out under their name. It is common practice in business and professional world to put initials or such at the bottom of correspondence that indicates who prepared the letter. Not showing such in this letter even moreso establishes that he is responsible for actual knowledge of it's content. If his staff does not reflect what he would say then who is ultimately responsible, the one who puts forth that he is actually writing back to his constituents or the person he entrusted the task? It's him of course, the buck stop here!

We have been made aware that a number of veterans have errors on their records or extreme problems getting their records even asking for politicians help!

That is another issue and I will relate and example of it a little later when I have gathered all the facts and put it together

Thank You!

March 5, 2013 by 51st Signal Battalion Korean Veterans

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