It has been 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, but Blue Water Navy Vets are still fighting for Agent Orange Compensation. Even though most didn’t step foot in Vietnam, some 90,000 Navy vets who served offshore during the Vietnam era may have been exposed to the toxic chemical and continue to seek well deserved benefits for their service-related disabilities. It has been found that Navy ships in near-shore marine waters collected contaminated water; the runoff from areas sprayed with Agent Orange. Distillation methods used on their ships actually concentrated the Agent Orange in the water. The distilled water was used in showers, to wash laundry, to prepare food and of course, in all the drinking water on the ships.
Earlier this year a bill was introduced by United States Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, [D-NY] to amend Veterans Benefits under U.S. Code: Title 38. The bill is meant to
clarify presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam, and for other purposes.
After Sen. Gillibrand introduced S. 681, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2015, on March 9, 2015, it was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. If passed into law, the presumption of service connection for diseases associated with Agent Orange, would include the territorial seas of the Republic of Vietnam.
As with any new law, progress is slow, but many veterans organizations and advocacy groups are hopeful. On 05/13/2015 hearings were held by the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Since that time 34 co-sponsors have signed on. (A “cosponsor” is a senator or representative who adds his or her name as a supporter to the sponsor’s bill.)
John Rossie, Executive Director of Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association, urges veterans that were in the Territorial Waters of Vietnam to file immediately for veterans’ disability benefits. He states:
This bill is supported by virtually every veterans organization. I am happy to report that MOAA (Military Officers Association of America), the American Legion, VFW, FRA (Fleet Reserve Association), AUSN (Association of the United States Navy) and others have consistently focused this bill in their sessions with members of the House and Senate. Their comments, as well as our on have been well received.
Cameron Firm PC has certified Veteran Appeals Lawyers on staff who will fight with you to secure the benefits you deserve. We understand the sacrifices you have made. We will keep you posted with updates on this important pending legislation.
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