Special Agents and the VA

img_1644In early October, I wrote you about the desperate situation regarding Douglass Hubbard, former NIS Special Agent- Saigon. Doug had contracted a progressive and likely fatal lung failure due to exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange while in Vietnam. Without a transplant, Doug was certain to die.

Compounding the tragedy was that our Special Agents, despite wearing the uniforms of combatants and being exposed to the same threats, have been denied access to the VA and VA benefits due to their “civilian” status. Doug’s family was facing ruinous medical bills, and still is. But there is an update to the situation, and I wanted you to know about it.

Doug was fortunate. A compatible donor was found about four weeks ago. The transplant was performed and Doug was hospitalized for about a week. Admiral Tom Brooks marveled that Doug told him he was walking from his nearby apartment to the hospital. Before the operation, he was not able even to climb a flight of stairs and was on constant oxygen. Medical science surely is wonderful, but the good news on one front brings another challenge: keeping his body from rejecting the healthy lungs.

This is where the expensive part of the fight really begins.

Doug reports “the medications are horrendous, in particular the massive steroid dosages designed to prevent rejection. Co-pay for my first pharmaceuticals was more than $900. We are in a new phase...."

This is the beginning of a long-term cash outflow for medication and where the need for funding becomes acute.

You can find out more at the Hubbard website: http://www.hopefordoug.com

But as Admiral Brooks noted a few weeks ago, Doug contracted this disease on the orders of the United States Government, and this injustice must be addressed on all the levels of command from the NCIS to the Department of the

Navy to Congress and the Executive Branch.

Consider contacting your Congressman, and Senators who represent you to remind them after the election. We must take care of those who gave so much for their Country. It is a matter of honor.

- Vic

Copyright 2016 Vic Socotra