Compton: Parkinson’s, hypertension may be put on Agent Orange list

By George Compton
Friday, August 14, 2009

Q: I understand that the VA is considering adding Parkinson’s disease to the list of conditions caused by Agent Orange. Do you know where that issue stands?

A: The VA has a working group looking at adding ischemic heart disease, hypertension and Parkinson’s disease to the list of presumptive conditions from exposure to Agent Orange. The Institute of Medicine reviews potential conditions every two years and provides that information to the VA.

As a Vietnam vet with hypertension, I will keep watch on this. When a final decision is made, I will make that public.

Q: In the latest “Veterans’ Health Today” letter, 24 Hour Fitness has a special rate for veterans. What do you need for proof to get enrolled?

A: I contacted the 24 Hour Fitness in Camarillo and significantly lowered the rate I was paying. Your discharge, VA medical card, or military ID will work.

Q: What are the requirements needed to be eligible for the state Distinguished Veteran Pass program?

A: The Distinguished Veteran Pass program is for veterans who are residents of California and have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, veterans who were prisoners of war, and veterans with a service-connected disability of 50 percent or greater who served during a wartime period.

The free lifetime pass entitles the holder to the use of all basic state park system-operated facilities at no charge. This pass is also good for county parks. This office will provide application forms and specific details on the program.

For those veterans with a disability rating of 50 percent or higher, the VA will provide a letter stating that the veteran had an honorable discharge, their VA disability rating, and that the veteran served during a wartime period.

Proof of residency requires only a California driver’s license.

— George Compton, a retired Army colonel, is the veterans service officer for the county Human Services Agency. Send questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033, phone 385-6366, fax 385-6371, or e-mail [email protected].

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