[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
92°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 21
1961 - CalArts grad (MFA '92) and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob SquarePants, born in Oklahoma; developed prototype for Spongebob while studying at CalArts in 1989. Estimated net worth in 2012: $90 million [story]


va_logo_veteransaffairsBy Catherine Trombley, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

In 1997, 10 years after retiring from a 34-year career in the Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve, Edward Kosakoski was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Though his last assignment in the Reserve was as commander of the 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, it was during the mid-1970s and early 1980s that Lt. Col. K was exposed to Agent Orange while flying training missions on several C-123 aircraft previously used for spraying the chemical defoliant in Vietnam.

Last week, VA service connected Col. K’s prostate cancer, awarding him compensation for his C-123 Agent Orange claim.

I’ve never met Col. K, but his story is captured in the claim file that his wife, Ingrid Kosakoski, filed on his behalf. That file shows a man who was drafted into the Army in 1953 and, after serving two years in France, had joined the Army Reserve, and who had received a commission in the Air Force Reserve after graduating from the University of Connecticut Pharmacy School in 1959. That file also shows that VA received Col. K’s claim prior to the recent regulation change.

After spending decades searching for proof of a connection between C-123s and the conditions known to be caused by Agent Orange, the Institute of Medicine issued a review that provided the supporting evidence VA needed to provide care and compensation to the Air Force and Air Force Reserve personnel who were exposed to Agent Orange through regular and repeated contact with contaminated C-123s and who also developed an Agent Orange-related disability.

USAF C-123When the regulation change took effect earlier this summer, it took VA just 16 days to grant Col. K’s claim. Granting this claim represents a welcomed success for hundreds of flight, ground maintenance, and medical crew members who were assigned tocertain Air Force and Air Force Reserve units from 1969 to 1986.

“I have only praise for the VA personnel who handled Ed’s claim in Baltimore and St. Paul,” Ingrid said. “They were professional and compassionate, and I would urge others exposed to Agent Orange with known disabilities to file claims as soon as possible.”

In a recent phone conversation, longtime C-123 advocate and close friend of Col. K, Wes Carter, also stressed the importance of not waiting.

“The Secretary and his staff have worked hard, along with C-123 veterans in getting to this point,” said Carter, who also chairs the C-123 Veterans Association. “VA is ready and eager, already reaching out and helping our aircrews and maintenance personnel who are ill.

“This is the time for C-123 Veterans to get their claims to VA if affected by any of the Agent Orange-associated illnesses. Call the C-123 hotline at 1-800-749-8387 for any questions. I also recommend that vets ask their local VA medical center’s environmental health coordinator for an Agent Orange Registry exam.”

If you or someone you know was exposed to Agent Orange (whether in in Vietnam or its inland waterways, an area the Department of Defense has confirmed use of AO, or as in Col. K’s case aboard a C-123) AND you have a condition presumed to be related to AO, please file a claim for compensation.

If you need help filing a claim or want to talk to someone, you have many options:

  • Speak with an accredited Veterans Service Officer who can help you gather records and file a claim online
  • Call VA at 1-800-827-1000 for advice
  • If you want the fastest decision possible, consider filing a Fully Developed Claim through ebenefits.va.gov. An FDC allows you to submit all your evidence up front, identify any federal records for VA to obtain, and certifies that you have no other evidence to submit.

If you (or your loved one) meet certain conditions, such as financial hardship, advanced age, or terminal illness, VA can expedite your claim – just make sure we are aware of your situation. You or your VSO can notify us in writing, or by calling 1-800-827-1000. If your situation is dire, don’t wait.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018
Officials Yet to Confirm Identity of Body Found in Stevenson Ranch
A decomposed body believed to be that of a missing Santa Clarita man was found in Stevenson Ranch Saturday.
Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018
CSUN Journalism Professor Nabs National Teaching Award
Professor José Luis Benavides has spent the past 15 years building California State University, Northridge’s Spanish-language journalism program into a nationally respected enterprise that sees its alumni landing jobs at news organizations around the country.
Monday, Aug 20, 2018
SCV Home, Condo Sales Softened in July, Resale Prices Climbed Higher
Realtors helped close escrow during July on 215 single-family home sales and 90 condominiums throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Friday.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center is excited to announce a new acrylic/oils art class with artist Susan Taylor Tredway, Wednesdays, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Senior Center Offering Acrylic/Oils Art Class
During the month of August, the Community Development Commission/Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (CDC/HACoLA) hosted its annual series of Back to School Jams at the Carmelitos, Harbor Hills, Nueva Maravilla, and South County (Scattered Sites) public housing developments.
County Distributes School Supplies to Public Housing Youth
In August, the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective (formerly Arts For All) announced $748,400 in one-year matching grants to 42 school districts, including three charter networks through its Advancement Grant Program.
3 SCV Schools to Receive Almost $65K in Grants Supporting Arts Education
Join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce's Latino Business Alliance council, as they host their 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Gala Black Tie event.
Sept. 8: Latino Business Alliance’s 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Gala
A decomposed body believed to be that of a missing Santa Clarita man was found in Stevenson Ranch Saturday.
Officials Yet to Confirm Identity of Body Found in Stevenson Ranch
All Locked Up’s newly constructed Super-Quality RV and Boat Storage facility has now opened for full-featured, high security, high-cleanliness RV and boat storage.
SCV’s Newest RV, Boat Storage Facility Now Open for Business
Santa Claritans will have a musical treat in September with the much-awaited "Motown in Town 3," a dinner show & dancing event at the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom in Valencia on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. The event benefits the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center's building campaign.
Sept. 9: Motown in Town 3 Benefiting SCV Senior Center’s Building Campaign
The relationship between a human and a horse is rewarding and unique.
Oct. 7:  Polo Expo for Veterans
Here is the list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Aug. 23-25:
Aug. 23-25: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
Friends of the Santa Clara River will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of their group.
Sept. 16: Friends of the Santa Clara River Celebrating 25th Anniversary
Professor José Luis Benavides has spent the past 15 years building California State University, Northridge’s Spanish-language journalism program into a nationally respected enterprise that sees its alumni landing jobs at news organizations around the country.
CSUN Journalism Professor Nabs National Teaching Award
A new gas station and convenience store could soon be coming to a vacant lot at the southeast corner of Sierra Highway and Friendly Valley Parkway.
New Gas Station, Convenience Store Proposed for Vacant Friendly Valley Lot
1961 - CalArts grad (MFA '92) and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob SquarePants, born in Oklahoma; developed prototype for Spongebob while studying at CalArts in 1989. Estimated net worth in 2012: $90 million [story]
As Princess Cruises fleet expansion continues, the premium international cruise line reveals the name of the ship it will launch in 2020 – Enchanted Princess.
Princess Cruises Reveals Name of Fifth Royal-Class Ship
The College of the Canyons football program will kick off the 2018 season on the road at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 vs. Saddleback College, in the first of 10 regular season games slated for the 2018 campaign.
Sept. 1: COC Cougars Kick Off 2018 Football Season
The next Santa Clarita Community College District’s Board of Trustees meeting is set for Wednesday, Aug. 22, starting at 4 p.m.
Aug. 22: COC Board of Trustees Business Meeting
Realtors helped close escrow during July on 215 single-family home sales and 90 condominiums throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Friday.
SCV Home, Condo Sales Softened in July, Resale Prices Climbed Higher
Bridge to Home is expanding its services to homeless people in the Santa Clarita Valley with increased funding from Measure H, and its new offices are getting a makeover donated by a local painting company.
Bridge to Home Expands, Gets Makeover from SCV Painting Company
Patricia Giggans has been elected chairperson and Priscilla Ocen has been approved as the vice chair of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, which works to boost transparency and increase trust between communities and the Sheriff’s Department.
LASD Civilian Oversight Panel Elects New Leadership
The city of Santa Clarita's Planning Commission will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 21, starting at 6 p.m.
Aug. 21: Santa Clarita Planning Commission Regular Meeting
Ty Culbreth delivered one of his season’s best performances, but the bullpen failed to protect a one-run lead in the eighth as the San Jose Giants rallied to beat the JetHawks, 4-1, on Sunday at Municipal Stadium.
JetHawks Bullpen Falters in Late Loss to Giants Sunday
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its crime information and public safety report for Castaic-Val Verde (Zone 2) for the week of Aug. 6-12, 2018.
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, Burglary, Petty Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
California State University, Northridge will mark its 60th anniversary by inviting alumni from across the decades to take part in a Grand Reunion celebration at the campus Oct. 14-16.
CSUN to Celebrate Its 60th Anniversary with a Grand Reunion
Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive people in the Santa Clarita Valley on Tuesday, according to an advisory from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
SCV Air Quality Unhealthy for Sensitive People Tuesday
State tax revenue on cannabis sales jumped from $60.9 million in the first quarter of 2018 to $74.2 million in the second quarter, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration reported Monday.
Cannabis Tax Revenue Hits New High in 2nd Quarter 2018
The city of Santa Clarita is seeking community feedback by noon Friday, Aug. 31 on a public safety grant proposal for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.
City Seeks Community Feedback on Proposed JAG Grant Application
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of film and television productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley the week of Aug. 20-26, 2018.
‘Santa Clarita Diet,’ ‘Killer Therapy,’ ‘Dead Wrong’ Now Shooting in SCV
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has published and will distribute 10,000 copies of its 2018-2019 SCV Business & Community Guide this week.
SCV Chamber Publishes New Business, Community Guide
The California Transportation Commission has approved funding for more than 100 transportation projects funded entirely or at least partly by $690 million from SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, including rehab of the southbound Highway 14 offramp to Sierra Highway.
State SB1 Funds to Help Rehab Highway 14 Sierra Highway Offramp
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit were seeking the public’s assistance in locating Jennifer “Jenny” Sison Mariano Monday, and she has been found and is "doing OK" according to a relative.
Missing Stevenson Ranch Woman Found, ‘Doing OK’
A federal judge in Los Angeles approved a settlement Friday requiring the Trump administration to prepare and implement plans to protect eight “wild and scenic” rivers in Southern California, including Piru Creek west of Santa Clarita.
Feds Settle to Protect Piru Creek, 7 More California Rivers
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia is proud to support National Breast Feeding Awareness Month during August and announces its designation as a breast milk drop-off location.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Supports Breast Feeding Awareness Month
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its crime information and public safety report for Saugus (Zone 4) for the week of July 30-Aug. 5, 2018.
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, Fire in Saugus
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has redesigned portions of the website for easier access to the most frequently used online services.
DMV Launches Updated Website with Improved Online Services
The Lancaster JetHawks dropped the middle game of their three-game series in San Jose, 6-2, to the Giants to on Saturday night at Municipal Stadium.
Series Even After JetHawks Fall to Giants Saturday
A federal judge has approved a joint plan by the Justice Department and American Civil Liberties Union to reunify parents who were deported without their kids under the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, though whether they will be allowed to return to the United States to seek asylum remains in limbo.
Judge OK’s DOJ-ACLU Plan to Reunite Kids, Deported Parents