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VA News

Viagra and Skin Cancer

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Skin Cancer 001


Veterans who have certain health issues such as diabetes or hypertension often are prescribed Viagra for erectile dysfunction secondary to their medical issues. Viagra, generic sildenafil citrate, dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow. It is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which have been found in numerous studies to be linked to an increases risk of metastasis of skin cancers such as melanoma and basal cell carcinomas.

Soft Tissue Sarcoma due to Agent Orange Exposure

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Soft Tissue Sarcoma


The purpose of this blog is to create recognition of a disease called Soft Tissue Sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcoma is a type of cancer that could be related to a Veteran’s military service. That’s because soft tissue sarcoma is one of the illnesses on the list of “Presumptive Diseases”. Click here for a list of other presumptive diseases and eligibility requirements. The VA assumes that certain diseases can be related to a Veteran’s qualifying active military service. The gradual developing nature of soft tissue sarcoma may lead someone to prematurely dismiss the negligible symptoms of an otherwise serious health problem. Additionally, we will discuss possible steps to take to ensure you get the information and care you need should your symptoms be associated with soft tissue sarcoma. In most cases, it’s not clear what causes soft tissue sarcoma but the VA presumes some soft tissue sarcomas in Veterans are related to their exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service.

Post 9-11 Vets who are married face higher suicide rate, UConn/VA study finds

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Military News


A new survey of post 9-11 Vets found that those who are married or in a live-in relationship are, as a group, at greater risk for suicide than those who've never been married. Older female Vets who are married are at the greatest risk, according to the survey from the University of Connecticut and Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Air Force Accidentally Dropped A Humvee Over North Carolina

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Humvee Dropped

A military vehicle was mistakenly dropped from a plane over Harnett County on Wednesday, but no person or property was damaged, according to Fort Bragg officials.

The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, better known as a Humvee, was to be dropped via parachute as part of a routine test at Fort Bragg, which is known as the Home of the Airborne.

The testing involved a pallet onto which the Humvee was loaded.

Tom McCollum, a post spokesman, said the vehicle was prematurely dropped from an Air Force C-17 about 1 p.m.

The plane was about a mile from Sicily Drop Zone, flying at an altitude of 1,500 feet, when the Humvee and pallet were dropped about a minute too early, McCollum said.

All three parachutes opened, he said, and the vehicle landed in a wooded area between two homes on Walter Lane, off Gilchrist Road, which is between Johnsonville and Spout Springs, a little more than seven miles north of Fort Bragg’s drop zones.

There was no damage to any of the homes or residents. The only damage was to several trees and the vehicle itself, McCollum said.

James Grant, 78, lives in one of the homes. He said his wife was outside, saw the parachutes opening and yelled for him.

Grant heard the crash as the load, weighing a total of 3 tons, hit the ground.

“It sounded like a car crashing,” Grant said. “When it happened, my wife and I went to see. We saw a parachute laying on the road.”

The couple initially was concerned that a soldier might have been making a jump and was injured. Grant called 911, he said.

“That’s when everybody came,” Grant said, referring to firefighters and law enforcement.

“A few minutes later, they told us there might be explosives and had us all move back.”

Bobby Brown and his wife live on Gilchrist Road, on the opposite side of Walter Lane.

The Browns were inside the residence when they saw parachutes coming down behind a relative’s home across the road. Then, Brown said, they heard a crash. He, too, said it sounded like a car crash.

The Humvee landed about 300 feet behind a home.

The heavy drop was being conducted by soldiers from the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, McCollum said. The unit tests new equipment and procedures to support the aerial delivery and transportation of military equipment.

A crane was brought to the site to lift the Humvee and pallet onto a large flatbed truck.

Because the equipment was being tested, it was considered classified, McCollum said.

Military personnel and Harnett County Sheriff’s Office deputies kept spectators at a distance as the Humvee was removed from the site.

The Humvee and pallet were wrapped in a green tarp and strapped to the truck bed, which hauled them back to Fort Bragg.

The incident is under investigation, McCollum said.

Humvees are manufactured by AM General. Each vehicle weighs more than 5,000 pounds and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Air Force Stops Ordering $1,280 Coffee Cups

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Coffee Cups


The Air Force has pumped the brakes on units trying to order its infamous $1,280 coffee cup “until further notice,” according to Air Force Times.

  • The move comes days after Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) received a response to his query on why the Air Force was spending that much on a so-called “hot cup,” which heats up liquids on KC-10 aircraft.
  • “While I appreciate that the Air Force is working to find innovations that would help save taxpayer dollars, it remains unclear why it cannot find a cheaper alternative to a $1,280 cup,” Grassley said in a statement on Friday.
  • Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson wrote Grassley in an Oct. 17 letter that he was “right to be concerned about the high costs of spare parts” while explaining that some of the contractors who supply the cups have gone out of business or don’t still manufacture them.
  • Amid media scrutiny (including here at Task & Purpose), an Air Force spokesman on Tuesday told the Air Force Times that units trying to order a hot cup through its supply system will see a message telling them, “do not order until further notice.”
  • “Everyone recognizes that the costs are excessive,” Col. Chris Karns told The Times. “That’s why the change came about. I don’t think you can find a single person who believes what was paid was an acceptable cost.”
  • The Air Force has been working to adopt more widespread use of 3D-printed handles for the cups — the most breakable element that required a full, and far pricier, replacement — which it has offered through its Rapid Sustainment Office in some cases.
  • A 3D-printed replacement handle costs roughly 50 cents.


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