50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War September 2017

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The Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), Brookfield Zoo, and The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration will host The VIETNAM WAR 50TH COMMEMORATION ceremony on Thursday, September 7, 2017; and invites all eligible veterans to complete the enclosed application and return to Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs office no later than Friday, August 25, 2017.

ELIGIBILITY: Living United States veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the Vietnam War period of November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive one Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. The Lapel Pin, its shortened moniker, is used to help listeners and/or readers understand the weight of importance and symbolism represented in each element of this “lasting memento of the nation’s gratitude” presented to all Vietnam veterans.

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration

50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Application is due to Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs by

August 25, 2017 11:00 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.

http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/

Brookfield Zoo in the Swan Pavilion

The Pavilions at Brookfield Zoo are located near the North Gate entrance

8400 31st Street (1st Avenue & 31st Street) | Brookfield, Illinois 60513

 

The Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs requests the honor of all veterans’ who served during the Vietnam War (from 11/1/1955 through 5/15/1975) participation at The 50TH COMMEMORATION OF THE VIETNAM WAR ceremony, which will be held at Brookfield Zoos’ Swan Pavilion. The Vietnam War 50th Commemoration ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 7, beginning at 11:00 A.M. until 1:30 P.M. The purpose of this program is to recognize, thank and honor United States military veterans who served during the Vietnam War. Vietnam Veterans participating in the 50th Commemoration ceremony will be recognized with one Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin, Presidential Proclamation (2012), Certificate of Appreciation, and Resolution from the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Any Vietnam Era veterans interested in participating must submit the attached application. The commemoration aims to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW), or listed as missing in action (MIA), for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

Vietnam Wall scaled replica comes to Soldier Field June 2016

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BRINGS A SCALED VERSION OF THE VIETNAM WALL TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

CHICAGO, IL- Veterans and active duty members of America’s Armed Services travel great distances and make great sacrifices to preserve and protect freedom and liberty, the scaled replica of the Vietnam Wall is just one way we can remember the sacrifices of those that gave all during the Vietnam War. The United States Marine Corps invites you visit the wall when it visits Chicago, Illinois at Soldier’s Field from June 23-26, 2016. The event opens at 2pm on Thursday, June 23rd and is open 24/7 through Sunday, June 26th at 3pm. The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, June 24th at 10am.

The United States Marine Corps brings this wall to you as a part of its Commemorative Plan to remember the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The United States Marine Corps is a Commemorative Partner of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Vietnam Commemoration Office. One of the objectives of this office is to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW), or listed as missing in action (MIA), for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

The wall is an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. Across its 360-foot length the wall contains every single name etched on the original. At its apex, the memorial is an impressive eight feet tall.

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Agent Orange benefit screening process scrutinized in Congress

By Frank Matt

fmatt@mcclatchydc.com

WASHINGTON

A Vietnam Veteran is reflected in the Vietnam War Memorial Wall before a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War on March 29. Molly Riley AP Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article69227307.html#storylink=cpy

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is looking into whether a contractor thoroughly reviewed the files of Vietnam veterans who might deserve benefits for illnesses linked to exposure to Agent Orange.

A contractor that pre-screens veteran files for evidence of those illnesses often spent just minutes reviewing each file, internal company documents show.

The contractor, QTC Medical Services, reviewed files for 160,000 veterans. They were paid approximately $300 for every file reviewed under 2 inches thick and $350 for files more than 2 inches thick.

160,000 The number of veterans’ files reviewed to determine eligibility for Agent Orange benefits

An unsealed lawsuit and contract documents obtained by McClatchy shed light on the contractor’s pre-screening process.

The suit alleges that QTC — a Lockheed Martin company — did not give their employees the necessary training to spot evidence of illnesses linked to Agent Orange and pressured employees to work at a pace that made it impossible to thoroughly review the file.

“This lawsuit raises a number of serious questions,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida, the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, in a statement to McClatchy. “Every veteran’s VA claim deserves a thorough and objective review. Our investigation will continue until we are satisfied that’s the case in this situation.”

QTC Medical Services and Lockheed Martin, citing ongoing litigation, declined to comment.

This lawsuit raises a number of serious questions. Every veteran’s VA claim deserves a thorough and objective review. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Agent Orange benefits are a moving target for the Department of Veterans Affairs. An ongoing class-action lawsuit — Nehmer v. Department of Veterans Affairs — requires the VA to review old veteran claims when new illnesses are linked to Agent Orange exposure.

That gives veterans who were previously denied benefits an updated review.

QTC reviewed 65,000 files for ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and hairy cell leukemia potentially linked to herbicide exposure in Vietnam, as well as 95,000 files for peripheral neuropathy. Only the files flagged by QTC as potentially eligible were sent back to the VA for a final decision.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program, who filed the class-action suit, told McClatchy that since 2010, they’ve identified more than 1,600 cases in which the VA failed to recognize and pay the required retroactive Agent Orange compensation, resulting in an additional $42 million being paid to veterans and their survivors.

Barton Stichman, NVLSP’s joint executive director, said they are paying close attention to the allegations against QTC to see if pre-screening is where veterans are falling through the cracks.

“If the contract or QTC did not ensure a process that was compliant with the Nehmer Court Orders, then the cases that were not flagged by QTC would have to be reviewed again.” Stichman said.

The lawsuit against QTC, brought by former claims file analyst David Vatan, was dismissed on grounds that Vatan did not know the terms of the contract, so whatever evidence he presented about how QTC performed the reviews, he could not prove the company misrepresented its work. Vatan and his attorneys have appealed.

McClatchy obtained the full contract with QTC through a Freedom of Information Act request.

$175 million Amount of fiscal year 2015 QTC contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs

 

QTC’s contract stipulates the company must train its employees before they review files for Agent Orange-related conditions based on a guide provided by the VA. Vatan’s lawsuit alleges he and other analysts were not formally trained and were never given the VA’s training guide.

Instead, analysts were given a “reference manual” from QTC that omits much of the background information on relevant medical conditions included in the VA’s guide, as well as details about what supporting evidence for benefit eligibility might look like in a veteran’s file.

The contract also states that QTC must review each veteran’s entire file.

But QTC’s reference guide permits analysts to abbreviate the process, using summaries of prior benefit decisions printed on colored sheets of paper.

QTC’s senior vice president of operations, Dr. Margie Shahani, testified to Congress in 2008 that it would take a qualified analyst 60 to 90 minutes to review each claim file, an equivalent of seven or eight files per day.

Internal documents show QTC’s analysts worked much faster under a competetive performance rating system. Some analysts averaged nearly 30 claims per day and those who reviewed fewer than 12 to 15 were reprimanded for poor performance.

In the response to Vatan’s complaint, Lockheed Martin’s lawyers argued the contract did not spell out how much time they should spend on each file. “There is nothing inherently wrong with QTC encouraging people to work quickly,” the motion reads.

It takes 10-12 minutes for an experienced (analyst) to process one file in the computer system alone. How was the review conducted? Former QTC claims file analyst David Vatan

When one of his colleagues reported reviewing 50 files in a day, Vatan complained to a Lockheed Martin ethics officer. Vatan pointed out that 50 files a day would leave the analyst just 12 minutes per file if he or she worked two hours of overtime and took no breaks. “It takes 10-12 minutes for an experienced (analyst) to process one file in the computer system alone,” Vatan said. “How was the review conducted?’

Both the Department of Justice and the VA Office of the Inspector General investigated the allegations in the lawsuit, but neither chose to intervene and neither would comment on their investigation.

In fiscal year 2015, QTC’s various contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs exceeded $175 million.

Frank Matt: 202-383-6159, @fxmatt4

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article69227307.html#storylink=cpy