Legislation to Establish New Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions Introduced

Recent National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine reports have found an association between exposure to Agent Orange and bladder cancer, hypertension, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms. Last week, Reps. Westerman (R-Ark.), Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Tipton (D-Calif.), Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Cunningham (D-S.C.), Boyle (D-Pa.), Thompson (D-Calif.) and Kuster (D-N.H.) introduced H.R. 2201, the VFW-supported Keeping Our Promises Act, which adds the new conditions to the list of conditions presumed to be associated with Agent Orange exposure. Adding these conditions to the list would provide veterans exposed to Agent Orange an expedited avenue for care and compensation benefits. The bill would also force VA to evaluate and make a decision on future recommendations. The Veterans Corner will have more updates on this important bill.

Past Pennsylvania VFW State Commander Visits The White House

At the 119th VFW National Convention in Kansas City last July, then-94-year-old World War II veteran Allen Q. Jones asked President Trump if he could visit the Oval Office on his 95th birthday. Last week,  the president made good on his promise and invited three other WWII veterans to join Jones, who is a Life member of VFW Post 21 in Connellsville. The three other WWII veterans were 100-year-old Sidney Walton, of San Diego, 101-year-old Floyd Wigfield, of Cumberland, Md., and 103-year-old Paul Kriner, a Life member of VFW Post 1599 of Chambersburg.

POW/MIA Update

Army Cpl. Benjamin W. Scott, 19, of Alamo, Miss., was buried April 13 in Atwood, Tenn. In July 1950, Scott was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, engaged in combat actions against North Korean forces in the vicinity of Choch’iwon.

Navy Reserve Journalist 3rd Class Raul A. Guerra, 24, of Montebello, Calif., will be buried April 25 in Whittier, Calif. On Oct. 8, 1967, Guerra was a passenger aboard an E-1B Tracer en route from Chu Lai Air Base to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany. Radar contact was lost with the aircraft approximately 10 miles northwest of Da Nang, South Vietnam, and adverse weather hampered subsequent search efforts.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Walter B. Stone, 24, will be buried May 11 in his hometown of Andalusia, Ala. On Oct. 22, 1943, Stone was assigned to the 350th Fighter Squadron, 353rd Fighter Group. He was killed when his P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft crashed in northern France during a bomber escort mission.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Herbert J. Poindexter, Jr., 24, will be buried June 21 in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. On Dec. 7, 1941, Poindexter was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which capsized after sustaining multiple torpedo as it was moored at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crew members, including Poindexter.

* Please take time to remember what Easter is all about.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio