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• chronic lymphocytic leukemia (now being expanded)

• diabetes mellitus (type 2)

• non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

• porphyria cutanea tarda

• prostate cancer

• respiratory cancers (cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea)

• soft tissue sarcoma (other than ocsteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)

Additional information about Agent Orange and VA services for veterans exposed to the chemical are available at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange.

Shaft notes

Mr. Shinsekirecently announced that the VA is offering bronze medallions to attach to existing, privately purchased headstones or markers, signifying a deceased’s status as a veteran:

“For veterans not buried in a national or state veterans cemetery, or those without a government grave marker, VA is pleased to offer this option that highlights their service and sacrifices for our country,” said Secretary Shinseki.

The new item can be furnished instead of a traditional government headstone or marker for veterans whose death occurred on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and whose grave in a private cemetery is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.

Under federal law, eligible Veterans buried in a private cemetery are entitled to either a government-furnished grave marker or the new medallion, but not both. Veterans buried in a national or state Veterans cemetery will receive a government headstone or marker of the standard design authorized at that cemetery.

The medallion is available in three sizes: 5 inches, 3 inches and 1 ½ inches in width. Each bronze medallion features the image of a folded burial flag adorned with laurels and is inscribed with the word “Veteran” at the top and the branch of service at the bottom.

Next of kin will receive the medallion, along with a kit that will allow the family or the staff of a private cemetery to affix the medallion to a headstone, grave marker, mausoleum or columbarium niche cover.

More information about VA-furnished headstones, markers and medallions can be found at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hm/hmtype.asp.

• Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, DC 20035-5900; fax: 301/622-3330; call: 202/257-5446; or e-mail sgtshaft@bavf.org.