US admits to using mustard gas on own troops in WWII, law signed to make VA benefits easier to obtain

 
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US admits to using mustard gas on own troops in WWII, law signed to make VA benefits easier to obtain

This has been a long time coming for these guys, the vast bulk of whom are now well over 80 years old:

President Donald Trump signed on Wednesday legislation making it easier for a Missouri World War II veteran and others of his generation to receive benefits to treat conditions from secret mustard gas experiments they were subjected to more than 60 years ago…

Previous VA administrators had not gone nearly that far in saying they believed the veterans’ claims, and VA case workers had repeatedly denied claims [WWII veteran Arla Wayne] Harrell, of Macon, Mo., despite mounting evidence proving vets were exposed at Camp Crowder in Missouri during the war.

“Mr. Harrell has waited a long time,” Shulkin said, adding that “this is a great day for Mr. Harrell and his family, as well.

“We are deeply appreciative of the 400 or so veterans that we believe have been waiting for too long to be recognized for what they deserve,” he said, adding that the bill “allows the VA to move forward and do the right thing.”

This effort was in part led by Senator McCaskill of Missouri, who put together this video about Harrell and others that lays out the difficulties in getting VA benefits:

Another in depth study by NPR suggested that most of the victims of this experimentation were minorities, who were tested against their white counterparts:

While some degree of study is of course going to happen, it’s been a national disgrace that we denied these servicemembers VA benefits from these studies for so long, and now it is too late for most of them.  It’s been 70 years since the studies, but at long last Mr. Harrell will get his service connection on these ailments.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.