Doug Karr

Doug Karr

Petty Officer Second Class, United States Navy Veteran

Posts about "mesothelioma"

Navy Uniform

In a heroic attempt to right an administrative wrong, two Navy veterans' organizations are suing the Department of Veterans Affairs and Secretary Eric Shinseki over the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Specifically, the suit alleges that the medical benefits that the VA offers does not cover treatments for conditions stemming from exposure to the lethal weapon.

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Under a directive from the Department of Veterans Affairs [VA], the Institute of Medicine [IOM] will convene a panel to determine what conditions constitute “Gulf War Illness.” Some Gulf War Veterans are concerned that the panel will be dismissive over some medical conditions while “lumping” other conditions together.

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American Flag with dog tags

Surprising or not, the Department of Veterans Affairs kept physical, paper files on each and every claim made by a veteran, and because the record keeping is cumbersome and archaic, many question why the VA has stuck to such an outdated claims system for so long, especially with the recent uptick of veterans needing support and services.

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Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a draft report from the Gulf War Veterans' Illness Task Force on the current state of Gulf War Veterans' health in the hopes to gather public opinion and comments in an on-going effort to improve the quality of medical care and types of medical services offered. Further, the draft report calls for an improvement in addressing the medical needs of Gulf War Veterans with “multi-symptom” illnesses and expanding the scope of clinical studies.

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2 0 1 1Nov15

The Hidden Cost of War: Homeless Veterans

Regardless of how you look at it, the sheer volume of veterans from the time of the Vietnam Conflict through current war efforts abroad who are homeless is tragic, devastating and entirely unnecessary. According to 100,000 Homes Campaign – an organization dedicated to providing homes to the homeless– there are nearly 76,000 homeless veterans today.

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2 0 1 1Nov11

Broken Promises: The Veteran Health Epidemic

On Veterans Day, its critical for all of us to remember, celebrate and honor the service of the men and women in arms today and, of course, our veterans.

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Sometimes, it’s difficult to grasp the fact that America’s remaining World War II veterans are all well into their 80s and climbing quickly into their 90s. Statistics show that we lose approximately 1,000 World War II veterans every day. They’re literally a dying breed, and before long, they will have vanished, taking with them the memories of the war that indeed shaped a generation.

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2 0 1 1Mar07

Program in Massachusetts helps vets stop smoking

The Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, along with the Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee and Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach were at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Boston today to announce an exciting initiative aimed at helping military veterans stop smoking and live a healthier lifestyle.

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Beginning on October 1st, President Obama’s $3.73 trillion dollar budget for the 2012 fiscal year will kick in. One of the first things I wondered as a veteran was, how will this new budget impact veterans and members of the military? I decided to consult a great article put out by the NY Times and break it down by agency.

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Now here’s an inspiring story! Army Specialist Caroline Barry has quite the impressive resume: she is a ten-time national boxing champion, a five-timeUnited States team captain, and has racked up the amateur awards too. At one time, Spec. Barry was ranked as high as fifth overall in the world, andhas received medals in six international tournaments, as well as having competed in world championships.

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2 0 1 1Jan10

As 2011 begins, new healthcare worries for veterans

Happy New Year - as 2011 begins, I look forward to another year of informing, educating and supporting the veteran community. is nowthe Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, and we're proud to offer folks even more information through the  Mesothelioma Community Resource Network, a place for those facing this cancer where they canlocate support resources. Please take the time to check it out, and if you’d like, Tweet us your feedback @veteransblog or @mesodotcom!

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2 0 1 0Nov08

Veterans Day 2010: Honoring Today's Veterans

Thursday, November 11, 2010 is Veterans Day. Last year, in my Veterans Day 2009 post, I gave you a brief background of the history of Veterans Day, and quoted the 2008 census to give folks a real idea of just how many veterans there really are living in the United States – because, interestingly enough, the average person really low-balls their guess! I talked about how vets are more likely than civilians to develop mesothelioma cancer, and shared a poem and a few quotes.

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A mother from Mansfield, Massachusetts has finally won a two-year battle to be buried next to her only son, who was killed in Iraq.

Denise Anderson, mother of deceased Iraq veteran Corey Shea, worked tirelessly to see Congress pass the “Corey Shea Act” this month, after the VA informed her that she could not be buried next to her son in a national veteran’s cemetery. Before the act was passed, the right to be buried next to a veteran was reserved for spouses and children.

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The American Veterans (AMEVETS) 2010 Symposium for 21st Century Veterans was held from August 9-11th in Louisville, Kentucky, and brought together over one hundred young war veterans to discuss a range of issues, including health benefits. 

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The Dept. of Veteran Affairs has released additional information for veterans with Gulf War Illness, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Gulf War. For those vets who served but do not yet receive the Gulf War Review newsletter [download it here], here’s some important information:

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2 0 1 0Aug09

VA adjusts medical marijuana policy

Veterans being treated with medical marijuana no longer need to worry about being cut from veteran benefit plans. The change comes from a departmental directive from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs stating that veterans prescribed medical marijuana in the 14 states where the practice is legal may not lose eligibility for VA health plans.

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If you haven’t already checked out our popular Twitter account, head on over to and follow us! We have 711 of the best following us for daily updates, including news, quotes and more of interest to the veteran and military community. We’re also on Facebook, so if you’re into social media become a fan of our Facebook page – we post links and other information there as well.

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A friend of the veterans’ blog wanted me to share this important information with veterans in the Houston County area of Minnesota.

Rob Gross, Director of Houston County Veteran Services, says that a large number of vets are eligible to receive hearing aids and eye glasses through a VA medical center. Those eligible must meet at least one of the following requirements:

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2 0 1 0Jul23

Soldier and veterans' advocate passes away at age 61

To serve your country is one of the most honorable things you can do in your life; but to continue that service and dedication as a veteran an advocate for fellow soldiers goes above and beyond.

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A recent study performed by The Gallup Organization has shown that active members of the military are happier and healthier overall than other members of the American workforce. However, military veterans were shown to suffer much worse than a civilian retiree.

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About Doug

  • 17 Year Navy Veteran
  • Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class, Surface Warfare Qualified (1986-1992)
  • Served on The USS Coontz DDG-40 and the USS Spartanburg County LST-1192
  • Awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for service in Desert Storm and Desert Shield

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