PRESS RELEASE: May 29th 2014
St Petersburg, Florida
Today a man by the name of Charles Hummer who is a 100% disabled Vietnam War vet with “ Agent Orange”, uploaded his story on You Tube about his difficulties with receiving proper medical care at Bay Pines VA Medical Center in St Petersburg, recently renamed the C.W. “Bill” Young Medical facility at Bay Pines,
He taped his story a few days ago on Memorial Day when he traveled close to 150 miles from his home in North Port, Florida to attend the ceremonies honoring the dead in the Bay Pines Military Cemetery adjoining the health center. He made this trip to attend the ceremony to honor the soldiers and at the same time his father who was a World War II First Lieutenant who was severely wounded and eventually died from his injuries many years after his discharge, his name was Charles Hummer also.
While at the solemn ceremony he was able to meet newly elected U.S. House Representative David Jolly who was a speaker at the ceremony along with the keynote speaker Annette Kirk an American Gold Star Mother. Mr. Jolly is on the House Committee of Veterans Affairs that Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller heads, and they are charged with getting to the bottom of this Veterans/Patient mess. He then left and drove home for a total of almost 300 mile round trip. The most amazing part of this story is Charles would have to make that trip two additional times the same week to receive treatment at the health facility.
The reason he has to travel so far especially when he has a much closer, brand new VA facility in Lee County that was built and opened in December 2012 to replace the older facility is interesting. His Doctor of 12 years and his supporting care was at the older facility and he was very satisfied with it. But Charles has been fighting another battle you see his home built in 2006 has Contaminated American Drywall manufactured by US Gypsum and he has been seeking help for that since he discovered why he and his wife were constantly sick after moving into it. He has a Certified Independent Testing lab report that spells out that the drywall is toxic but as of yet his builder Adams Homes of Northwest Florida and the manufacturer refuse to do anything about it.
Mr. Hummer was forced to move onto his seven foot by 27 foot back porch for the last few years while he is fighting this problem. What does this have to do with and what is the connection to the newly built Lee County VA facility? The first time Charles walked in the building for treatment shortly after it opened he noticed the same characteristics of toxic drywall were present in that facility. After some research he found it was the same drywall manufactured by the same company US Gypsum causing the same problems.
He reached out to his Doctor and some of the facility employees who admitted that they too were experiencing some of the same symptoms of illness derived from breathing in the toxic gas emitted from the drywall. These symptoms have now been documented as “real” in a health consult report released by a department of the CDC on May 2, 2014 verifying all the health complaints that were reported by others who had toxic drywall in their homes and workplaces. Charles met outside of the facility with the head of the Lee County center to explain to her what was happening and the only choice he was given was to go to another VA facility for his treatment. That is why he travels almost 300 miles round trip to seek medical treatment, but this took two years of negotiating and dealing with bureaucracy before he could get plugged back into a new Doctor and facility. They cannot for some reason take care of his needs in one trip so he continues to make as many as three long trips in one week.
Charles Hummer made his video to tell his story but also to help others who are dealing with toxic drywall, many who still don’t know why their families seem to be sick in their newer homes and workplaces. Also he wants to help the Vets who visit the Lee County facility for their medical treatment. Most people know about Chinese Drywall and they think it has been dealt with, this is different this is American made drywall by a large US manufacturing company and as of yet they deny they have a problem with their product.
Charles is fighting this fight by himself even though he has contacted every politician he could and told them the story and in the most part being ignored.
But he is strong minded and determined and will continue fighting to resolve this problem. Charles explains it with this analogy, a large multi billion dollar global corporation called BP, contaminated the seas with their product and is paying dearly for it, yet other multi billion dollar American corporations have polluted the land and our buildings with their contaminated product and they get away scot free.