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JKBruns

Served at Edgewood Arsenal?

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My husband served in the military at Edgewood Arsenal during the years 1963 and 1965. During that time, as well as before and after, the military was conducting research on a variety of chemicals and drugs. Both human and animal subjects were used. Recently a law case found in favor of plaintiffs who were human subjects at Edgewood. My husband was drafted and assigned to be a lab technician in a lab testing a variety of materials to find one that would protect soldiers from a nerve agent attack. Sarin was one of the chemicals he worked with. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease about 4 years ago, but knowing what we know now about the symptoms of PD, he clearly has had it for many years before he was officially diagnosed.  We are preparing a claim arguing that his PD was caused by his service at Edgewood. Recently there has been a law case that found in favor of the thousands of soldiers who were human subjects. But there has not been any acknowledgment that those who worked in the labs were also at risk.

We are seeking other soldiers who worked at Edgewood Arsenal, but who were not test subjects, around the years 1963-65 who also developed Parkinson's Disease. If you or someone you know fits this description, please respond to this forum. Thank you.

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3 hours ago, JKBruns said:

My husband served in the military at Edgewood Arsenal during the years 1963 and 1965. During that time, as well as before and after, the military was conducting research on a variety of chemicals and drugs. Both human and animal subjects were used. Recently a law case found in favor of plaintiffs who were human subjects at Edgewood. My husband was drafted and assigned to be a lab technician in a lab testing a variety of materials to find one that would protect soldiers from a nerve agent attack. Sarin was one of the chemicals he worked with. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease about 4 years ago, but knowing what we know now about the symptoms of PD, he clearly has had it for many years before he was officially diagnosed.  We are preparing a claim arguing that his PD was caused by his service at Edgewood. Recently there has been a law case that found in favor of the thousands of soldiers who were human subjects. But there has not been any acknowledgment that those who worked in the labs were also at risk.

We are seeking other soldiers who worked at Edgewood Arsenal, but who were not test subjects, around the years 1963-65 who also developed Parkinson's Disease. If you or someone you know fits this description, please respond to this forum. Thank you.

Hello, JK.  I'm sorry to hear about your husband's situation.  Just FYI, I and my family and friends swam downriver from Edgewood Arsenal for years, as my grandparents had a cottage on the same river as Edgewood, and we heard their test bombing all day long but had no knowledge of what else they were doing.  Recently I found out that (no surprise) they dumped a lot of toxic things into the river.  We also drank and cooked with water from an underground well at the cottage which I'm sure was contaminated.  I've had signs of Parkinson's for years and years, though only in 2013 was diagnosed when the tremoring in one hand progressed to both hands.  I knew something was wrong and sought out help from the Hopkins Neurology Dept.

One of the MDS's there is very familiar with the situation at Edgewood, and I'm assuming he may have treated patients connected to or affected by it.  He told me that there was also a Clorox factory in the same vicinity.  Please PM me if you would like to have the name of the MDS.  Doctor/patient confidentiality may prevent his being able to name patients, but he would definitely have knowledge of the situation and might be able to give you some guidance.

Please keep us up to date.  I'll pray that your husband is included in a favorable law case for himself and others who worked in those labs.

Linda

Edited by Linda Garren
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Linda, This was very helpful. But I have to admit to being a novice using forums.  Not sure how to reply directly to you. Or to PM. Can you tell me how to do that. Thanks

 

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1 hour ago, JKBruns said:

Linda, This was very helpful. But I have to admit to being a novice using forums.  Not sure how to reply directly to you. Or to PM. Can you tell me how to do that. Thanks

 

Sure.  And we all had to learn, too, at some point.  :-)   An easier way, though, is just to e-mail me.  Would that work for you?  My e-mail address is lgarren@jhmi.edu.  I'm having such cognitive issues right now that I'd have a hard time explaining the PM way--which is not difficult--I'm just not focused enough at this point to explain it clearly...

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Yes, and so sorry for the delay.  I'll e-mail you right now to explain (and more importantly give you the information).

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Hello,

I was not even born in those days, however I have served U.S. Air Force, in the middle east and recently approved for Service Connection for Parkinson's Disease with the leading suspected contributing environmental toxin exposure being Trichloroethylene TCE and tetrachloroethylene PCE, which was found in the Camp Lejeune water supply.

If I can help you in anyway possible in your claim process let me know. 

 

The biggest single piece of advice I can give anyone considering a claim for Service Connected Disability is DO NOT attempt to do so without a good Veteran Service Officer. Much like medical professionals, not all VSO's are the same, and using criteria similar to that you would use to rate a medical professional will be a good guide to help you find a good Veteran Service Officer as well.

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Hello Gulfvet,

First of all, thank you for your service. I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with PD as a result of your service.  We have a friend who also served at Camp Lejeune and received compensation for PD based on his service there for the same reason. But he is much older than you and served at about the same time as my husband did. So the problem with the water there must have been a problem for many years. Disgraceful. I wonder how many others were affected. Do you know? Is there a way to find out how many veteran's have PD and where they served?

I've also read an article about the Gulf War syndrome which suggested that PD should be monitored in Gulf War vets since there may be a connection considering all the different chemicals, including sarin, that they might have been exposed to. If I can find the article I'll send it to you.

I do appreciate your advice about Veteran Service Officers. The one we are in contact with was recommended to us. He spent quite a bit of time with us gathering our information and was able to identify what we needed to do to strengthen our claim. I'm getting a little nervous though, since I sent him an email a week ago,l a few days after our visit, and I haven't heard back. 

If we're not satisfied, is it a problem to switch to a different service officer?

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No it typically is not a problem to switch to a new VSO if needed, however please keep in mind that even VSO's are overwhelmed by the current number of claims, especially those who are employees of the State Veterans Affairs.

 

I did not serve at Camp Lejeune, but had in exposure to the very same chemicals as was discovered in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. According to the IOM all Gulf War veterans were, this being published in the 2010 IOM report which was commissioned by legislation. 

I typically have to go in person to see my VSO and can expect a long line/wait to see her. 

The data regarding the number of veterans with Parkinson's Disease has been requested multiple times with Congress even passing legislation compelling the VA to publish the data. The IOM requested it as well especially in regards to PD, however it has not been published that I am aware of. I will add that even the latest volumes of the IOM Gulf War Health clearly indicates that Gulf War veterans will have to reach 60 years old, before they  should be highly concerned with PD.  This basically provided the VA a source of denial of GW PD claims for years to come.

I will add that the IOM has been renamed/restructured since the last of ten GW volumes and the Camp Lejeune assessment, which caused the creation of the Camp Lejeune presumptive service connected conditions for 7 adverse health outcomes of exposure to TCE and PCE solvents found in the water supply, which Gulf War veterans were exposed to as well. 

 

I was able to use a combination of all reports to establish my service connection.

 

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Thank you, GulfWarVet, for this additional information. Again your information is very helpful. So while you weren't born yet, my husband at age 77 is well past 60 years old,  over 50 years past his service. And while at the time he felt he was lucky not to get sent to Viet Nam, he had a time bomb, PD, set to go off many years after his service. 

Do you have any suggestions of next steps in terms of getting the VA to comply with the legislative directive to gather and release info re # of vets? 

Thanks,

Jean

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Not other than creating a large number of collective voices loud enough to make a difference. 

I have not found a way to accomplish this so far, but continue to reach out to others to get involved.

I myself did not realize how large the "family" of veterans with Parkinson's Disease is, until I became a member of it myself.

I am a moderator for the Veterans with Parkinson's Disease Facebook group, with new members joining daily unfortunately.

With the combination of military service being one of the most environmentally hazardous occupations known to exist and with 90-95% of all PD cases at least having some relationship to environmental exposures, it would be hard to not see some level of connection between military service and PD.

 

Unfortunately, the VA does not easily recognize the obvious all the time.

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Thanks Gulfvet, I have joined the FB group. What a wonderful resource. Lot's of good info.  Thanks for your work on it. It's so important.

I plan to contact my congressional representatives and senators about getting the VA to collect and release info re : # of vets with PD and where they served. Do you have the name and number of the legislation that compelled the VA to release the info?

I just saw the list of places where the VA acknowledges there was exposure to chemicals that are presumptive re: PD. Quite a list. I need to carefully examine the EPA superfund lists of chemicals dumped at Edgewood. On my "to do" list! 

 

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