Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Posts Tagged ‘Veterans’

Thank You Veterans

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 11, 2012

Thank you to all who served 

With a special thank you to those who served again

and were sold out to

AIG, CNA, and ACE

by the US Government

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Racketeering, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Veterans Day 2012 Poster Available

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 28, 2012

THANK YOU VETERANS

Click here to go to Veterans Day Poster Gallery

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

VA Cost of Living Increase Blocked in the Senate by “unknown” Senator

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 28, 2012

Our guess, and it’s only a guess is Johnny Isakson

 Bergmann and Moore  September 27, 2012

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr4114eh/pdf/BILLS-112hr4114eh.pdf

After passing the House of Representatives, the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase for VA benefits was blocked in the Senate by an unknown Senator, according to Senate staffers who alerted Bergmann & Moore.

The Veterans COLA affects a number of key benefits for veterans: disability compensation, pension as well as survivor benefits. The uncontroversial bill adjusts VA benefits to keep up with inflation and easily passes Congress each year.

Until now.

Paul Sullivan, a Gulf War veteran and Director of Veterans Outreach for Bergmann & Moore, LLC, a law firm concentrating on VA disability law, said, “This secret hold is unconscionable: it will take up to $500 next year out of the wallets of disabled veterans and their families: money they need to pay their rent and put food on the table for their children.”

According to a statement this afternoon from Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, blocking the bill will reduce benefits starting in January for 3.9 million veterans and their survivors.

Please read the entire post at Bergmann and Moore

Posted in Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mesothelioma, Toxic Exposures, Veterans and Civilian Contractors

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 9, 2012

Mesothelioma and Veterans,  Civilian Contractors

Guest Post By Douglas Karr    August 9, 2012

Military members are exposed to plenty of risks that the average person would never have to deal with. In addition to the traditional dangers faced by military personnel, they are also at a higher risk for exposure to harmful substances. This is why military veterans need to be conscious of their risk for developing mesothelioma. This dangerous and rare cancer is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Most people never come into contact with asbestos. Veterans have more exposure, especially when they go abroad. A veteran needs to keep an eye out for symptoms in order to catch the problem early.

Exposure Through Overseas Deployment
Veterans are at much higher risk of mesothelioma when they are sent overseas. This is especially true in the age of urban warfare. Asbestos can most often be found in older buildings. Though most American buildings have been purged of the substance, this is not the case with many older buildings in places like Iraq. In urban warfare, these older buildings are often destroyed in firefights and air attacks. When that happens, the asbestos can make its way into the air, causing damage for any person who is forced to breathe it in.

The big danger for veterans in these areas is that they often do not know that they’ve been exposed. If you are simply walking through the streets of Iraq, you have no way of knowing what things you are breathing in. This can produce a significant risk. Those individuals who have served their country in Iraq should keep their eye out for the earliest signs of the disease. Though it is rare and most people will not develop mesothelioma, it is worth considering. Even short periods of exposure can be harmful in many instances.

The Military Functions That Bring About Asbestos Exposure
Not all military personnel are at the same level of risk. As veterans can attest, the military employs many different kinds of professionals. Not every person is out fighting on the front lines. Some people are directed with destroying buildings, while others are involved in construction. In the past, people have done milling or mining. These are jobs and functions that bring about much more risk. A report from the Department of Veterans Affairs confirms this heightened level of risk. That report indicates that any individual who has been involved in these special functions should be on the lookout for difficulties.

Understanding What Mesothelioma is All About
A veteran who is concerned about exposure should understand what to look for. It is a debilitating form of cancer that can move quickly. At its core, the cancer works on the chest and respiratory system. It can cause pain in that area and it can cause shortness of breath. People who notice intense amounts of pain or any blood in their mucus should be wary. It is important to catch this cancer at its earliest stages because it has a tendency to take hold in a hurry.

Posted in ACE, Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Cancer, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Toxic Exposures, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Army Wants PTSD Clinicians to Stop Screening for Fakers: Chances are they are probably ailing

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 3, 2012

While even the military realizes the dangers of delaying and denying PTSD Diagnoses and Treatment

The Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and their Overly Zealous Defense continue to brutally delay and deny diagnoses and treatment of PTSD to injured war zone contractors, most having served their country in the military.

In fact they are still allowed to force PTSD patients to undergo psychological  interrogation by the infamous Dr John Dorland Griffith who has been discredited over and over again, and falsely accused injured war zone contractors of malingering.  Many PTSD claims were denied based on his paid in cash testimony.

In case after case treatable PTSD becomes a chronic lifelong condition, destroying lives, shredding families.

Ultimately costing taxpayers and our society as a whole much more in the long run but provide more profits for the insurer and ever more fees for attorneys on both side of this boondoggle.

The Department of Labor presented policy five years requiring PTSD Claims to be expedited but the policy was never implemented.

Wired’s Danger Room

In a big reversal, the Army has issued a stern new set of guidelines to doctors tasked with diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning soldiers. Stop spending so much time trying to spot patients who are faking symptoms, the new guidelines instruct. Chances are, they’re actually ailing.

The 17-page document has yet to be made public but was described in some detail by the Seattle Times. In it, the Army Surgeon General’s Office specifically points out — and discredits — a handful of screening tests for PTSD that are widely used by military clinicians to diagnose a condition estimated to afflict at least 200,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

The Army Surgeon General finds great fault with a dense personality test popular with clinicians that ostensibly weeds out “malingerers,” as PTSD fakers are known.

But the results of what’s known as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test are flawed, according to the report. PTSD sufferers often exhibit anxiety, insomnia, flashbacks and depression — all of which, some doctors believe, can be discounted under the test. The test devotes a large swath of questions to catching apparent exaggerations of symptom severity, seemingly inconsistent answers, or reported symptoms that don’t mesh with the typical signs associated with an illness.

“The report rejects the view that a patient’s response to hundreds of written test questions can determine if a soldier is faking symptoms,” the Seattle Times summarized. Where PTSD is concerned, that’s especially true. The condition is accompanied by symptoms that can differ markedly between patients: Some are hyperactive, others are lethargic; some exhibit frenetic rage while others are simply sullen and depressed.

“And,” the Times continued, “[the report] declares that poor test results ‘does not equate to malingering.’”

Those tests were the standard of care at Madigan Army Medical Center — which is a big deal. Located in Tacoma, Washington, Madigan isn’t just one of the military’s largest medical installations. It’s home to a forensic psychiatry team tasked with deciding whether soldiers diagnosed with PTSD were sick enough to qualify for medical retirement. In March, the Army launched an investigation of the Madigan team after Madigan’s screening procedures allegedly reversed 300 of the PTSD diagnoses among soldiers being evaluated.

The reversals resulted in some soldiers being diagnosed with “personality disorders” and others left with no diagnosis at all. Madigan allegedly used the tests to save money by limiting the number of patients who’d qualify for retirement. “

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Defense Medical Examinations, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, KBR, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Melt Down, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Suicide, Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Unnamed Military Veteran Civilian Contractor War Casualties

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 28, 2012

They too are the

BEST KEPT SECRET OF THE WARS

The Majority of ExPat Civilian Contractor Casualties first served their country in the military.  

Many of them gave twenty and more years of service before deploying in a civilian capacity.

Many of them were buried with full military honors.

Yet we are not supposed to know their names or even that they died in our wars.

Defense Base Act War Profiteers are encouraged to abuse the families they leave behind

You can see some of these nameless hero’s at

Our Fallen Contractors Memorial

Please keep them and their families in your thoughts today and everyday

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Misjudgements, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Vets invite others, civilian contractors, to new oasis at mall

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 8, 2012

The World  May 8, 2012

Andy Osborn, right, and Floyd Jackson enjoy their new meeting space

NORTH BEND — Vietnam veterans who came together years ago to help each other cope with the trauma of war hope to use their combined experiences to help modern veterans after they’ve returned home.

‘We saw the need for veterans coming back,” said Steve Hilton, a Vietnam veteran who helped found the new group. ‘It is a hard transition from the military back into civilian life.”

The group had the idea for years, but didn’t have a centralized, neutral location to meet until January, when they gathered enough donations to rent an upstairs room at Pony Village Mall.

The walls of the new Forward Operating Base 101 are covered with posters, plaques, maps, ribbons and American flags.

The group meets every Thursday night at 6:30, and starting this week, it will host a Wednesday night meeting just for veterans of modern wars, from the 1980s on.

‘A lot of the younger guys have trouble relating to the older, Vietnam veterans,” said Andy Osborn, who will host the gathering for the younger veterans.

Osborn, who served in Iraq from 2005 to 2007, said once the veterans make it to the group, they often find it easy to relate to the older veterans, like Hilton, who served in the Vietnam War.

‘When we came back we didn’t have places to go,” Hilton said. ‘We feel compelled to help these guys who are coming back now. Through our experiences we can give advice, let them know they are not alone.”

Osborn said veterans from all branches of the military are welcome. He also welcomes people who worked as civilian contractors in modern war zones.

Osborn worked in Iraq as a police advisor, training Iraqi police officers, for a civilian contractor hired by the State Department. Although he was not enlisted in the military, he saw combat, and often worked and fought alongside soldiers. And he returned home to face the same difficulties readjusting.

‘Nothing could prepare me for how hard it was going to be coming back,” he said.

He was nervous to attend a FOB gathering, he said, worried the others wouldn’t accept him as a veteran; worried the group would be therapy; worried he would be looked down on.

When Osborn finally did attend the group meetings, ‘It got a lot better for me,” he said. ‘It is what helped me make the final step back into society.”

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A cost of war: Soaring disability benefits for veterans, while the cost of civilian veterans disabilities is kept in the dark

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 27, 2012

CNN Money A cost of war: Soaring disability benefits for veterans

Daniel Brink of South Africa was severally wounded and disabled working in Iraq. His medical care and indemnity are the also the responsibility of the US Taxpayer under the Defense Base Act only no one has the integrity to be honest about it.

After more than a decade of continuous warfare, the cost of disability compensation for wounded veterans is surging to mammoth proportions.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expects to spend $57 billion on disability benefits next year. That’s up 25% from $46 billion this year, and nearly quadruple the $15 billion spent in 2000, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

“This is the cost of going to war,” said Larry Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as assistant secretary of defense during the Ronald Reagan administration. “We’ve made so much progress in medicine [that] you’re going to have a lot of people survive their injuries who didn’t in the past.”

About 4,500 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq and about 1,800 have been killed in Afghanistan. Some 633,000 veterans — one out of every four of the 2.3 million who served in Iraq and Afghanistan — have a service-connected disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Please read the entire article here

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, Injured Contractors, Iraq, Political Watch, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Marine’s Suicide And A Family’s Fight For Compensation

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 28, 2012

“Danelle will say her husband died of a battle wound, it just took him 2-and-a-half-years to die.”

Here and Now Boston  February 28, 2012

There is no doubt the U.S. military has beefed up its suicide prevention efforts in recent years, adding mental health staff to deal with the huge influx of returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan but the suicides continue–an astonishing 18 veterans killed themselves each day, according to a recent Washington Post article.

The piece was written by the paper’s military reporter Greg Jaffe and it centers on the 2010 death of a former Marine, Maj. Jeff Hack, who killed himself more than two years after he left the military.

As Jaffe writes, Hackett was a standout Marine, plucked from the enlisted ranks to become an officer. But serving in Iraq, when 13 men under his command were killed, turned him on himself. After his first tour, he tried to retire early, but the Marines said “no” and sent him back for that second tour.

Once he came home for good, what happened will sound familiar to the families of other returning vets with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Heavy drinking, erratic behavior, and finally suicide in an America legion hall in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

What happened after Hackett’s death is really the subject of Greg Jaffe’s story, because while the Veterans Administration acknowledges Maj. Jeff Hackett died as a result of chronic PTSD connected to his Iraq experience, it still denied his widow Danelle a $400,000 life insurance claim.

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, PTSD and TBI, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Veterans Day

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 11, 2011

To all our Vets here at Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

And a special Thank you to Michael Leon, Gordon Duff, and the entire Veterans Today Network for their support and their efforts everyday to assist Veterans and Contractors alike.

Thank you also to our friends at Veterans for Common Sense for their tireless efforts to support Veterans

Posted in Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

DU – You Don’t Have To Inhale Or Ingest It For It To Make You Sick

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 26, 2011

A must read for all war zone workers and veterans

Concentrated “Depleted” Uranium Munitions Emit: Alpha + Beta + Gamma rays + Neutrons + X-rays, Can Wreak Havoc in the Human Body While Waiting to be Used in Battle!

From Multiple Horses’ Mouths: More, Much More on Ignored and Suppressed US Government and Military Data that Show the Threat of Harmful Effects of “Consolidated Quantities” of Concentrated “Depleted” Uranium (DU) Munitions

by Elaine A Hunter at Veterans Today

I am quaking in my genes knowing the mayhem men manufacture

Heads up people concerned about the harmful effects of concentrated “depleted” uranium munitions, this is very important. This article is not an easy read. If you or anyone you know and love has been around “consolidated quantities” of concentrated “depleted” uranium (DU) munitions please read it anyway. They are a threat to the health of workers, military and civilian, national and international while they are in fabrication, transit or just sitting around waiting to be used in battle. The concentrated DU in munitions is not inert; it does not suddenly become radioactive only when it is fired in battle.

When I plugged in to what is broadcast on the internet, I was mystified that all the concern was about DU inhaled, ingested or embedded as fragments. Those aspects ARE important, without a doubt, and the most obvious. Yet unless the rest of the story is made known, the rest of the causes of illnesses and deaths of those exposed to concentrated DU will continue to be ignored. The rest of the story is this: it is not necessary for the munitions to be used in combat for them to make a person sick, even sick unto death.

From what I knew from first-hand experiences with uranium as a physics lab assistant, I knew from the get-go (2003 for me) that this would be a hard sell to the anti-DU activists who have been at it for years and anybody else affected by this radioactive quagmire. Yet I knew in my heart and mind that the beta radiation, gamma rays, x-rays and neutrons factors were essential to get the rest of the story. Thus I searched and waited, searched and waited for conclusive evidence from a source far more authoritative than myself. Research is to search and search and search and search again, sometimes for years.

Killer it is….    Please read the entire story at Veterans Today

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Toxic Exposures, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Epidemic: Over 400,000 Traumatic Brain Injuries for Vets Coming from Iraq and Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 26, 2011

With like numbers of Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, similar casualty rates though we do not know who they are, why are contractors not receiving screening and medical treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries? 

The Defense Base Act Insurance Companies deny diagnoses and treatment for TBI for the precious years that are so vital to the injured contractors recovery.  Years that no amount of money can ever bring back.

“We now know that the brain can heal. It has an intrinsic plasticity that allows it to recover, and this is particularly true for the young brain.”

A recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that “neurons in the adult brain can remodel their connections,” thus “overturning a century of prevailing thought.”

The DOD has long resisted the diagnosis of mTBI, as it has avoided paying for a successful – but expensive – way to treat it. The price of that resistance is escalating suicide rates and domestic violence incidents among returning soldiers. In 2010, almost as many soldiers committed suicide as fell in battle.

By Conn Hallinan at AlertNet

America faces a huge challenge in caring for the shocking number of traumatized war vets.

“We are facing a massive mental health problem as a result of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a country we have not responded adequately to the problem. Unless we act urgently and wisely, we will be dealing with an epidemic of service related psychological wounds for years to come.” — Bobby Muller, President Veterans for America

According to official Defense Department (DOD) figures, 332,000 soldiers have suffered brain injuries since 2000, although most independent experts estimate that the number is over 400,000. Many of these are mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), a term that is profoundly misleading.

As David Hovda, director of the Brain Injury Research Center at the University of California at Los Angeles, points out, “I don’t know what makes it ‘mild,’ because it can evolve into anxiety disorders, personality changes, and depression.” It can also set off a constellation of physical disabilities from chronic pain to sexual dysfunction and insomnia.

MTBI is defined as any incident that produces unconsciousness lasting for up to a half hour or creates an altered state consciousness. It is the signature wound for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where roadside bombs are the principal weapon for insurgents.

Most soldiers recover from mTBI, but between five and 15 percent do not. According to Dr. Elaine Peskind of the University of Washington Medical School, “The estimate of the number who returned with symptomatic mild traumatic brain injury due to blast exposure has varied from the official VA [Veterans Administration] number of 9 percent officially diagnosed with mTBI to over 20 percent, and, I think, ultimately it will be higher than that.”

Serious consequences from mTBI are increased when troops are subjected to multiple explosions and “just get blasted and blasted and blasted,” in the words of Maj. Connie Johnmeyer. Out of two million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 800,000 have had multiple deployments, many up to five times or more.

But mTBI is difficult to diagnose because it does not show up on standard CAT scans and MRIs. “Our scans show nothing,” says Dr. Michael Weiner, professor of radiology, psychiatry and neurology at the University of California at San Francisco and director of the Center for Imaging Neurodegenerative Disease at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center.

They do now.

An MRI set to track the flow of water through the brain’s neurons, has turned up anomalies that indicate the presence of mTBI. However, the military has blocked informing patients of results of the research, and if history is any guide, the Pentagon will do its best to shelve or ignore the results.

The DOD has long resisted the diagnosis of mTBI, as it has avoided paying for a successful – but expensive – way to treat it. The price of that resistance is escalating suicide rates and domestic violence incidents among returning soldiers. In 2010, almost as many soldiers committed suicide as fell in battle.

MTBI is hardly new. Some 5.3 million people in the U.S. are currently hospitalized or in residential facilities because of it, and its social consequences are severe.  Please read the entire story at AlertNet

Posted in Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Insurance, Injured Contractors, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller, Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Troops have 10 more days to get stop loss benefits

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 7, 2011

If you served before becoming a contractor or know someone who did you may want to pass this on.

By Ed O’Keefe at The Washington Post  March 7, 2011

Veterans and service members who had tours of duty extended between Sept. 2001 and Sept. 2009 have 10 more days to apply for one-time hardship pay.

Veterans and their beneficiaries may apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay until March 18, the Pentagon announced last week. Congress extended the program as part of the two-week continuing resolution.

Eligible service members may submit a claim to their military service and receive $500 for each full or partial month served in Stop Loss status, or the involuntary extension of a tour of duty.

Pentagon officials estimate about 145,000 service members, veterans and beneficiaries are eligible to receive the payments, but only about 78,000 have done so thus far.

Interested, eligible individuals should visit http://www.defense.gov/stoploss for more information.

Posted in Afghanistan, Iraq, Veterans | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Veterans of the first Gulf War can’t get treatment; Army admits medical records were destroyed

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 14, 2011

Veterans Today

St. Petersburg , Florida — Operation Desert Storm, which pushed Iraqi troops out of Kuwait but kept Saddam Hussein in power, took a huge toll on American servicemen and women.

159,705 veterans were injured or became ill, and 10,617 veterans have died of combat related injuries or illnesses since the initiation of the Gulf War during August 1990.

Since the second Gulf War began, there have been another 5,884 casualties. (Not including contractors, veteran contractors)

Most of the veterans we talked to for this story say they are aware when they sign their name on the dotted line, they might not come home or could be wounded. However, they say that is part of the job.  The Gulf War veterans were talked to also ask us not to identify them.

As one told us, it’s the government and he knows what the government is capable of doing and he doesn’t want his name out there.

One solider trying to get help from the Veterans Administration for combat-related injuries says he has been turned down, because his records are missing. He says he has all the medical records for the time he was in the states, but the records for everything that happened outside of the country are gone.

The VA has heard similar complaints before, but a letter from Department of the Army that has never been made public before says after Desert Storm ended, units were told to destroy their records since there was no room to ship the paperwork back to the states. The letter goes on to say it was in direct contradiction to existing Army Regulations.

Please read the entire post at Veteran Todays here

Posted in AWOL Medical Records | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

2010 VETERANS DAY POSTER AVAILABLE

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 11, 2010

posted by Michael Leon at Veterans Today The 2010 National Veterans Day poster is available for download via the Veterans Day Web site.

The poster was designed by Ron Bergan, of the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. The Veterans Day National Committee selected his design from more than 40 submissions as part of a national poster search. Bergan’s poster was inspired by a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

“It [the Wall] was functional, beautiful, and simple and I could not comprehend all the names that were on it,” Bergan said.

The same might be said of his poster, which depicts a listing of U.S. military campaigns above a draped U.S. Flag. In addition to VA facilities, the poster is distributed to federal buildings, military installations and regional Veterans Day events. It will also grace the cover of the program booklets distributed at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11.   Veterans Today

 

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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