Public Service Guest Post: Are Veterans at Risk for Mesothelioma?

August 20th, 2012 by xformed

The below post was sent by Doug Karr, a former Navy Second Class Petty Officer, who asked if I would share this information. He can be contacted at doug.karr.usn @ for more information

Are Veterans at Risk for Mesothelioma?

Most people know that exposure to asbestos can create various health problems. This compound was used for many different reasons up until the mid-80s, and very few businesses warned their employees about the risks of exposure. However, today it is widely known that asbestos exposure can lead to such serious conditions as mesothelioma, or asbestos cancer.

Persons at High Risk
If people worked within such fields as maintenance, construction or sanitation when asbestos was widely used, they may have been exposed to it. However, recent research has proven that many military veterans have also been exposed to asbestos, especially those who worked on or repaired Navy ships. This leaves all of these persons with a high risk for mesothelioma.

How Were People Exposed to Asbestos?
The main reason asbestos was used years ago was because it helped make various compounds stronger. With that said, it was commonly found in many different construction supplies such as insulation, drywall, fireproofing materials, caulking and joint compounds.

Whenever people handled these materials by way of installations, sanding or removal, asbestos fibers were released into the air. With asbestos dust being so tiny, it was easy for people to inhale it, and it often remained in the air long after people were finished with their work.

Since the dust remained in the air so long, even people who were not involved with the construction work were often exposed to the chemical. People who unknowingly inhaled asbestos included cleanup crews, inspectors, sellers, buyers and even customers. The risks on navy ships were even greater.

The reason that seamen were more at risk was because of the tiny enclosed spaces onboard, which made it even easier for them to inhale asbestos fibers. In open spaces, asbestos has a chance to dissipate over time; however, this was not the case on navy ships. The fibers remained in the air, increasing people’s risks of developing mesothelioma.

Indirect Exposure
People who were in situations where they may have worked with asbestos directly, should certainly get tested for mesothelioma. However, even those who did not work with the chemical, but were in the vicinity at a time where they could have inhaled them, should be tested for asbestos cancer as well. This definitely includes veterans.

Many doctors suggest that even family members of people who were exposed to asbestos may be at risk. This is because asbestos fibers can cling to clothing for a long time, and they could dislodge in a totally different area from where the original contamination occurred.

How Does Mesothelioma Develop?
Years ago, when veterans inhaled these harmful fibers they did not know that the chemical could cause a deadly disease such as cancer. This is sad considering most construction product manufacturers knew that if people inhaled asbestos dust, they could develop cancer.

The mesothelium are mucus membranes that line most every organ in the human body. When people inhale asbestos fibers, the dust agitates the mesothelium, encouraging abnormal cell growth. Malignant mesothelioma is commonly found in the linings of the lungs; however, it has been known to develop in the heart and stomach as well.

What makes this form of cancer so deadly is that it can quickly spread throughout the body. While it begins as tiny tumors within the mesothelium, it tends to spread rapidly to surrounding tissues. It is essential to note that mesothelioma is not lung cancer; however, it can spread and develop into lung cancer.

Mesothelioma Legal Cases
If veterans or their family members have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, they should highly consider hiring a qualified attorney to help them get the compensation they deserve. Even though asbestos was banned years ago, it can take several years for mesothelioma to develop.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that can affect people who were exposed to asbestos. Many of these people are veterans, and most of them served in the Navy. Since it can take several years for asbestos cancer to develop, it is best for people to be tested for the disease as soon as possible.

Thanks, Doug!

Category: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Education, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy, Public Service, Supporting the Troops | Comments Off on Public Service Guest Post: Are Veterans at Risk for Mesothelioma?

Brain Injury Awareness Month: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

March 5th, 2010 by xformed

This CT scan is an example of Subdural haemorr...
Image via Wikipedia

Via backchannel, a request to highlight the “signature” wound of the current war: Traumatic Brain Injury.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month for the Brain Injury Association of America.  Pass the Word, please, as you can and know this is a very probable issue with our injured Vets.

For those who have long supported the Soldier’s Angels Voice Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops (VALOur-IT), this is one of the things the program has been addressing, along with the coputer contact with the world, by providing GPS Units for those wounded service members who are getting out and about. The reason: TBI has an associated symptom of loss of short term memory, and the GPS Units help remind the driver where they were headed.  (Note:  You don’t have to wait until this November to donate to VALOur-IT…SA will be happy to accept donations all year long…even today to help this great cause)

Below is the article Chelsea asked if I could post to help get attention to the cause:

Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Military

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is becoming a common wound of modern warfare. It has even been coined the “signature wound” of the War on Terror. While TBI is becoming more prevalent in wartime activity, many service men and women continue to go undiagnosed. Institutions, like the US Department of Veterans Affairs, are working to make quick and accurate diagnoses in order to prescribe appropriate and effective treatment.

TBI is caused by forced trauma to the head, either by being shaken or hit. The severity of a TBI varies from case to case, but symptoms range from mild concussions to a debilitating state. The majority of TBI’s acquired by military personnel are classified as mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). Initial symptoms of MTBI consist of loss of consciousness, disorientation, loss of memory, headache, and temporary loss of hearing and vision. They are often partnered with anxiety, irritability, difficulties processing information, limited concentration amongst other problems experienced down the road. While MTBI is most common amongst the men and women of the armed forces, more severe cases of TBI are happening much more frequently and often require the victim to attended specialty rehabilitative nursing centers, like CareMeridian.

The most common cause of a TBI in the military is due to blasts. There are three degrees of blast injuries where a TBI is common; Primary (due to blast itself), Secondary (due to objects being propelled by a blast) and Tertiary (due to a collision with a third party object). According to the Veterans Health Initiative, active male members of the military from the ages 18-24 are hospitalized with a TBI at a rate of 231 per 100,000 and females 150 per 100,000. Based on military force projections this would mean that 4,141 military personnel are hospitalized on average each year with a TBI, and these numbers often rise during wartimes.

The best prevention for veterans to avert the long-term effects of a brain injury is to recognize the symptoms of a TBI. Once the symptoms are identified an individual should take basic precautionary measures in order to begin the healing and recovery process until a more specific diagnosis can be made.

Service men and women give so much to protect this country and they deserve to come home to a happy and healthy life. Creating awareness about TBI will help ensure their long term health. By helping our veterans, their friends and their families recognize the early warning signs of a TBI, treatment can be sought as early as possible.

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Category: Air Force, Army, Biology, Blogging, Charities, Coast Guard, Education, Jointness, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy, Public Service, Science, Supporting the Troops, Valour-IT | 5 Comments »

Spreading the word: VALOur-IT Business Cards for 2009

October 17th, 2009 by xformed

Blogs get so far, email reaches more…but what about handing our business cards in the office or at the bar or the networking meetings and seminars you attend for the next few weeks?

First off, I’ll say this: I’m not graphics artist and I’m no savvy marketeer. If you can do a better card…please do, just know you will be running a tight deadline to get them in your hands in a quantity to get to lots of people inexpensively fast, beginning 10/26. I’m going to “carpet bomb” the local area…in hopes of getting one more method of exposure for the VALOur-IT campaign moving this year.

I designed these (set up for 3.75″x2.25″ for full bleed):

Click on the pictures to get to the ones made for 300dpi, if you’d like to borrow the artwork for your purposes to promote the Soldier’s Angels VALOur-IT 2009 fund raising campaign.

If you’d just like a bunch to show up at your door (no shipping cost!), has these on file and mine were ordered yesterday. Jamie is the owner and can get some headed your way, too.

Here’s my plan and feel free to steal this, also

Enlist the many people I know locally to hand these out in the circles of influence thay travel in. I’m in a great networking organization, Free Networking International (which is free, btw), that has over 40 chapters meeting weekly in just the multi city area around me. Between all the chapter directors and other events held, I will have help. I’m also going to go to neighbors, two of the local Chambers of Commerce where I know the office staff (they talk to many people each day) and drop them off there, too.

After tht, I’ll put them out to the local businesses I go to and have gotten to know the owners there, too.

So, what’s so hard about that? A few thousand cards should be good reminders to check out the Soldier’s Angels site for donations when they get home and clean out thier pockets and purses from the days work.

Anyhow, Jamie is cost effective and better yet…can have them at your door 3-5 business days after the order. No set up, it’s all done. Just get the word out!

Category: Military | Comments Off on Spreading the word: VALOur-IT Business Cards for 2009

Monday Maritime Matters

August 31st, 2009 by xformed

It was a few days of interesting handshakes. Older gentleman and his wife pushing their shopping cart through the new WalMart “Neighborhood” Grocery Store. Looked to be Korean War vintage. I stepped in to his personal space, after spying the “US Navy Veteran” blue ball cap and introduced myself. When did you do in the Navy? I was an airframe mechanic. What airframes (now the tricky part…you had to be there)? “Oh, SBDs and F6Fs.” My head was going tilt….but I had set the filters for 50s stuff…Then…I caught on. I complimented him on how well time had treated him, while I reframed. Wow! SBDs! I have always liked those planes.

Then, As reported in the prior post, breakfast with men from WWII (A rear gunner on PBMs, turned officer and Naval Aviator after the war, to RADM Charles B Hunter, USN (Ret) who earned the honor of wearing the Navy Cross for a single plane night mission into Hanoi, where he managed to dodge the SA-2s and still put his 18 500lbs MK80 series bombs on the intended primary target…and then got back home. He didn’t tell me that. I found it the web:

As the air war went on, year after year, the naval command adopted different tactics to improve the effectiveness of the carrier strikes, while minimizing losses of men and planes. One approach was the use of two or single-aircraft strikes. One such operation involved the all-weather, day-night A-6 Intruder attack plane crewed by Lieutenant Commander Charles B. Hunter and his bombadier/navigator, Lieutenant Lyle F. Bull. They volunteered to carry out an extremely risky night attack on a railroad ferry slip in Hanoi, which was ringed with a lethal array of surface-to-air missile batteries, antiaircraft artillery sites, and MiG bases. On 30 October 1967, the Intruder launched from Constellation in the Gulf of Tonkin, flew fast and low through the mountain valleys of northeast North Vietnam, and got to within eighteen miles of the target before the enemy discovered its presence. Then, the on board electronics intercept equipment indicated that Communist radar had detected them. Hunter flew the plane close to the treetops and “jinked” to left and right to avoid the SA-2 “flying telephone pole” surface-to-air missile that soon lit up the night as it streaked at and then past them. In the glow of antiaircraft fire and searchlights crisscrossing the sky, the intrepid aviators pressed home their attack dropping eighteen 500-pound bombs on the railroad ferry slip. The pair saw the ordnance obliterate the target as they banked and escaped into the night.

He knows both my COs from MILWAUKEE (AOR-2). Just a normal guy, with a ball cap with embroidered pilot wings, sitting in a cafe on a beach near the gulf.

I got invited to attended regularly. I’m honored. I’m hoping they will entrust me with some sea stories, and actual reports of the times as they were.

Today, enroute the innards of where America now does business (Panera Bread), I stopped to intorduce myself to a man with a “Vietnam Veteran” ball cap. Started as a “Deck Ape,” became and EM, then the S2 Ensign decided he could cut hair and he became the Ship’s Barber on USS PURVIS (DD-707). Left after on hitch, got his electrical engineering degree and worked building big plants all around the Middle East and even worked for President Johnson, he proudly told me. He has my card and an offer to call and get a free cup of coffee out of me for the price of a few sea stories. I thanked his wife for allowing me to share him for a few minutes, which I do to acknowledge them allowing my random interruptions. She smiled and told me it was alright.

I look forward to what ever phone calls come my way, hoping to catch some first person stories I can share, or just keep to myself and know I heard a bit of real history or two.

Category: Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on Monday Maritime Matters

Memorial Day 2009: Map the Fallen Tribute to Iran and Afghanistan KIAs

May 25th, 2009 by xformed

Sean from San Francisco has used his geoscience education to create a Google Earth Map layer of those who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been at this for a few years now, and it now complete.

Helpmates divx

On Any Sunday dvdrip

The Return of a Man Called Horse divx

Orgazmo movie full

Amazon Women on the Moon movie

Take a minute and read of the research and connections to many organizations to indicate the home of record for each of the service men, and see the tribute it will create for their families and friends.

Fitting news for a day such as this, as we remember those who went before us and gave us the gift of continuing freedom beyond their time on this earth.

Category: Public Service | 1 Comment »

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