Vietnam Era Veterans contracted Hepatitis C from air jet injectors in Basic Training
This petition had 130 supporters
Look at the photo (above). Each of these veterans now have Hepatitis C. Many thousands do because of this mode of inoculation. I'm one of them, fighting to survive. You can help us, and it won't cost you a penny.
My name is Joris Hines, I'm a disabled veteran, living in east central Florida. I enlisted in the Air Force in the Fall of 1974 on a delayed enlistment, and went active duty in April 1975. In Basic Training we were lined up outside a medical building, marched through in single file, and vaccinated using air jet injectors, and inoculated in both arms. The air jet guns were pressed firmly against my arms and had the blood of previous "victims" dripping from the nozzles of both jet guns. Instead of wiping the nozzle's clean, they would instead give a wipe to the airman and tell him to hold it firmly against the wound(s).
This resulted in them passing blood from one man to the next, right down the line. Hep C is known as the "Silent Killer", as you can have it for 25 to 30 years with no apparent symptoms. I went for many years living a very active and healthy lifestyle, no drugs or alcohol, and worked in engineering at Kennedy Space Center in my career that spanned 22 years, raising my son solo. In 2001 I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and my life has changed drastically since then. I began treatments that nearly killed me. In time I could no longer work. I struggled to be awarded disability from Social Security for 5 years, losing my home, and being separated from my son for the first time in his life. I was made homeless.
I was awarded disability from the V.A. 6 months after applying, and received a small pension, while still fighting for SSD. When I was at the Social Security office being awarded (finally, after 5 years trying) my disability, I asked the lady if my V.A. pension would cause any conflict now that I was going to be on SSD, and she assured me that I deserved both, as I was Honorably Discharged, and paid into Social Security all my working life. I collected both for a couple of years, and in February 2007 my V.A. check was not deposited. I asked them why, and they said that I was supposed to let them know when I started receiving funds from Social Security. They stopped all further V.A. disability checks, and started taking over $200 a month from my SSD check, to pay them back $32,000, leaving me approx. $1000 less each month to live on. I had to move to a small rental unit and was on strict rations so I could eat through each month. Six months passed and I got a letter from the V.A. telling me that I now somehow owed them $42,000! This is after they were taking money out monthly to pay them back... so instead of decreasing the debt, it somehow miraculously increased by $10,000 in 6 months, with no explanation!
I now have been fighting them for 9 years (and counting), and they totally ignore me, waiting for me to drop dead. That will happen soon. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in the fall of 2014. My attorney cannot comprehend this long endless wait. Neither can I. And I can't wait any longer. I don't have the time. They know that, and they don't care. Please sign my petition and help me push for my "Service Connection" so I can at least die with teeth in my mouth and chew real food. The treatments have utterly destroyed my once healthy smile. I've lost a lot of weight due to having to ration my food each month, and I have no real life anymore since I can afford nothing. I just wait. And wait. And wait. And soon the waiting will end, because I'll be dead.
If you truly care about the men who served with honor, and are tired of the excuses from the Veterans Administration (as I am), PLEASE sign my petition. I'm hoping this will help many, not just myself. There is an extraordinarily high number of Vietnam Era veterans like me who are in the same exact place I find myself, with Hep C, being completely ignored, and dropping dead before the V.A. does a thing. I'm hanging on by a thread. Please have mercy, and sign this petition. God bless you.
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