"THE V.A. (VETERANS ADMINISTRATION) WANT
MY HUSBAND DEAD," SAYS WEEPING WIFE OF
ATOM BOMB TEST VET FROM MAINE - "THEY'RE
JUST WAITING FOR JIM AND THE OTHERS TO
DIE OFF SO THEY WON'T HAVE TO PAY ANY
DISABILITY CLAIMS" - LATEST APPEAL FOR
JUSTICE BY JIM WALLACE REJECTED DESPITE
LETTER FROM V.A. DOCTOR CITING "SERVICE-
CONNECTION" - STAFFER FOR CONGRESSMAN
MIKE MICHAUD (D-MAINE) DROPS BALL - ADDS
TO WALLACE FAMILY'S SUFFERING - "WE'LL
NEVER VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN," DISTRAUGHT
WOMAN VOWS - "WHO CAN WE TURN TO NOW?"
“Jim Wallace is only asking for the Veterans Administration to "do the right thing," and pay him a disability pension before he dies so his ill and aging wife will have something when he is gone. Riddled with cancer that has been diagnosed as the result of "ionized radiation" from his exposure to atomic bomb blasts in the 1950's, and backed up in writing for his claim of "service-connection" by a V.A. doctor, this Army veteran, who calls himself a "human guinea pig," has just about given up hope.
"I almost cry to think that my government would do this to us and then turn their backs on GI's like me after all these years," Wallace told MilitaryCorruption.com. "I'm so very grateful to you and our outstanding VFW State Commander (Jim Bachelder) for your strong support, but I'm sick of these phony politicians who make a lot of promises but won't even write a letter on your behalf."
George is referring to Congressman Mike Michaud of Maine. An affable legislator with a good "image" as a "friend of the veteran" in his northern Maine congressional district, the Democrat needs to take a good look at who serves on his staff and make sure they are adequately taking care of his constituents.
BROKEN PROMISES, INCOMPETENCE AND INDIFFERENCE
FROM MICHAUD STAFFER
When MilitaryCorruption.com, authorized by the Wallace family, contacted a Michaud staffer in the Presque Isle office, we were stunned at the incompetence and indifference displayed. Repeated promises to contact and update us were broken, time wasted, and the inevitable paper shuffling and bureaucracy took over.
"Why should we have to crawl on our belly to beg for a letter from our congressman?" said an angry and distraught Sandra Wallace. "Just because we're poor (she and her husband live on $800 a month in combined Social Security benefits) and don't receive a dime from the VA, why should we be treated as second-class citizens? There are three voters in my household and eight in our family here in Washington County. None of us will ever vote for Michaud again!".
Wallace's wife is also bitter about the treatment her very sick husband has received from the V.A. "They just want him and the other atomic vets to die off so they don't have to pay them any disability benefits." The Maine native wept over the telephone as she told MCC she'd "lost faith" in her government and the military that her husband proudly served as a young Army paratrooper.
AN APPEAL FOR JUSTICE REJECTED
The 75 year-old Maine man, who lives in pain every day of his life, once again got the back hand of the unfeeling bureaucrats and do-nothing politicians when his latest appeal for justice was rejected.
Wallace sent us a copy of V.A.'s latest denial of his claim.
"Thank God for Dr. John Gooey, who stuck his neck out on my behalf," Wallace said. "He wrote in two letters that ionized radiation was 'the most significant factor' in the development of my cancer, and 'as such, this condition should be considered service-connected.' "
"I hope they don't try and punish or retaliate against him. We remember the doc in our prayers every night. It's good to know there are a some people at the Veterans Administration who still put humanity before money.
V.A. DISREGARDS THEIR OWN EXPERT'S OPINION
The denial of Wallace's claim was written in lawyer-like verbiage. The callous rejection of the Wallace appeal blew off their own surgeon's contention by saying:
"The medical opinion provided by Dr. Gooey has been considered; however, we have assigned greater legal weight to the Under Secretary for Health's opinion, as review of the evidence indicates the VA opinion is of greater probative value (Owens v Brown, 7 Vet. App. 429 (1995). Dr. Gooey's opinion, although rendered by a specialist, was speculative and based upon the veteran's subjective history."
TRANSLATION: "Even though one of our own doctors, who we deign to grant the description of "specialist," had the temerity to back you up on your claim that you're service-connected, Mr. Wallace, we have to look at the larger picture. If we pay you for this kind of disability, we'll have to pay others, and the cost would be staggering. Why that could cut into our ability to pass out performance bonuses to our regional bureaucratic bosses. No, sorry about that, but you lose, Mr. Wallace Just please, hurry up and die and go away. Oh yes. Thanks for your service to our country."
A DARK CHAPTER IN AMERICA'S TREATMENT OF IT'S "ATOMIC VETS"
For those of you who think MilitaryCorruption.com is being unduly harsh on the VA, one only has to look at the record and see the shameful treatment America's "guinea pigs" have received from our government over the past 60 years.
Did you know that according to Dr. David Bradley (a Naval officer who was exposed to atomic radiation at the Bikini Atoll bomb blasts in 1946) in his chilling book "No Place to Hide," cites: "Until the late 1970's, the U.S. government had made no epidemiological inquiries into the health of these servicemen, established no studies about long-term effects of their radiation exposure. As 'guinea pigs,' at least 250,000 U.S. troops directly exposed to atomic radiation during seventeen years of nuclear bomb testing, were neglected by their overseers
"Between 1946 and 1972, orders routinely sent American soldiers and sailors close to hundreds of atomic blasts. The logistics of their roles changed, as did the kinds of terrain. But what did not vary was the presence of radioactive fallout and official assurances that it was harmless. Continuing to reject service-connected radiation claims from veterans and their widows, the Veterans Administration asserted that servicemen had been exposed to harmless 'low-level' radiation.
"In 1977, pressure from publicized battles between the VA and atomic vets moved a federal agency - the Center for Disease Control - to conduct the first health study of America's nuclear veterans.
"The survey was confined to the 3,224 men who were in the Nevada desert military maneuvers at a 1957 atomic test code-named Smoky. An initial 18-month assessment released in 1979, discovered more that TWICE the normal leukemia rate among those servicemen. In more detailed statistics that followed, the federal researchers found nine cases of leukemia among these same soldiers - a ratio of nearly THREE TIMES the national average."
We could go on for many pages, but you get the picture.
WILL SEN. SUSAN COLLINS SEIZE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO GOOD?
"Who can we turn to?" pleads Sandra Wallace. We suggest Maine's junior senator, Susan Collins. Ordinarily, from past experience, we'd have little faith in her, either, but 2008 is an election year and she has a tough and slippery opponent in Rep. Tom Allen. We know him too. Collins can't afford to bungle this opportunity to help one of her more impoverished constituents. Especially since she comes from Maine's northern half and is a member of the VFW Auxiliary.
How about it, Sen. Collins? Are you willing to pick up the ball and run with it, the same ball so miserably dropped by Michaud's female staffer in Presque Isle? We'll be happy to keep our Maine readers posted on this.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: MilitaryCorruption.com wants to join the Wallace family in praise of a good and decent man who has been there for us all the way in this frustrating battle for justice. Jim Bachelder, the VFW state commander, is one of those rare individuals who lives and breathes veteran's rights. He knows what it's like to be given "the back of the hand" by cheap politicians who try and placate veterans with empty promises.
Those of you in Maine who read MCC, and there are several thousand of you we know about, if you're a VFW member, be sure to keep this man on as your commander. He is a credit to you veterans as well as the State of Maine. We cannot praise Jim Bachelder enough.
We also would like to say we are not happy with a "go along, to get along" drone who works for a certain service organization at the Togus V.A. Center in Maine. You know who you are. Maybe your paper-shuffling and lack of fire in fighting for veterans' claims pleases your friends in the VA hierarchy there, but it's been duly noted by us. Get with it and start doing your job the way it should be done, or you'll be looking for employment elsewhere.]