Reversal Of Agent Orange ‘Boots On The Ground’ Policy

37
3140
Advertisement
Get the Voc Rehab Guide

Boots on the Ground

Benjamin KrauseThe White House Office of Management and Budget this week may approve a reversal of VA’s Agent Orange policy of requiring boots on the ground for some veterans.

This possible change is the result of public outcry and political pressure following denial of benefits for the more than 2,000 veterans recently. These veterans were reservists exposed to herbicides while working on Fairchild’s C-123 fleet from 1972-1982.

Many of these planes were used in Southeast Asia during Vietnam and believed to contain harmful residue from spraying operations during the war. Reservists working on those planes are claiming entitlement to benefits from residuals of exposure to Agent Orange, the deadly herbicide our country used.

The claim is based around a January report from the Institute of Medicine that concluded many of the reservists had been exposed to the chemical residues on the aircrafts’ interior surfaces. As a result, the reservists suffered higher risks of health problems.

The proposed rule change would extend coverage under the 1991 Agent Orange Act to the reservists at numerous bases. These bases include Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio, Pittsburgh Air National Guard Base and Westover Air Reserve Base.

Imagine that, our country is still reluctant to acknowledge full responsibility for the harms we caused to our own troops from a war that ended forty years ago. Any idea how long it will take us to admit the harms we caused to our own troops from the current wars?

Source: http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/benefits/veterans/2015/06/13/agent-orange-va-moving-extend-benefits-c-123-vets/71170396/

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

17343

DisabledVeterans.org

Get our free daily newsletter.

37 Comments

  1. Ben, did you know the Gulfport Base in Mississippi had containers of Agent Orange stored on the Base? Those containers obviously leaked like all crap will and on TV it looked like this big operation but reality it wasn’t that big. Burning Dirt? It makes one wonder how far did this stuff leak to and did it hit ground water? You know Robin Roberts is from that area and was on the Biloxi News there. I am not saying she got cancer from it, but oddly many of my civilian friends from there did too? I mean not typical stuff either. I think I told you of those men I knew who had children at a base you know and the doctor stated you don’t want to see it, no, he did. It was his first child. But what will they do or ever admit to is the fact it is “THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING” as it does change a genome on the strand of DNA? HEY, MEDICAL IS MY GAME AND SCIENCE I ENJOY, IT WILL NOT CHANGE!” Oddly when you joined I was in NOLA at the clinic, two of us and I was the Senior Petty Officer, I so wanted to go to sea! Ah well! I did the job needed! Thankfully it wasn’t a whole lot to deal with when it came to decedent affairs! But I saw enough. My one friend who was due to retire ended up going and on the front lines-gave me location and time. But as Medical, “he knew chemical hit.” No offense to any Army Personnel, but it could just be a case of “recruiter mouth” ( gee, a couple I knew, the guy talked smack-um funny?) my sister who married this guy, oh he swore on the front lines-yeah and “tinker bell was with him too!” ( as he states he went to SFSU? Um one course? Professor in the Family! HA! Whatever!)

    BEN THIS SITE IS COMING UP STATING HACKED! CHECK IT!

    ( I AM ON THE GO FOR IT AND WILL DO AS NEEDED, DON’T PLAY WELL WITH LIARS! MAN, NERVOUS ARE THEY OR ONE? GOOD! BEST BE, TOO MANY KNOW AND MORE TO GO!) When I asked you about a school overseas, a reason was it was taught not just books but hands on. I think I will be rather busy here. GOING WEST COASTER BECAUSE I HAVE HAD MY FILL OF COW PATTY FRISBEE AND COTTON MOUTHS! ( SURVIVAL SKILLS ANYONE? TRUST I KNOW I CAN-AS MY ZEN WONDER STATED A THING I DID TO HIM, REPEAT PERFORMANCE TO CUB SCOUTS! A TRULY GOOD LAUGH-OH YEAH, ADMITTED, DAMN MOMS TEMPER RULES-PUSH THAT BUTTON? CAN I SAY SECRETARY OF THE NAVY? HOW ABOUT MAYFLOWER?) Not bragging, but it seems to be the questions my one cousin and i asked, NATURE OR NURTURE DNA OR ??? I think that got answered!
    ( TEXAS UNIVERSITIES WILL START TO NOT HAVE AS MUCH OVERSEAS STUDENTS WITH THE GOD AND GUNS IN COLLEGES!) LATER!

  2. It’s simply amazing the DOD and VA have gone to great effort to cover-up and deny regarding the *many* ugly facets of Agent Orange and other dangerous Chemical and Biological Agents…0ver 40 years…yes, they are certainly just waiting for all to simply die off, sad, but simple as that.
    One particular USAF Base I was at for 4.5 years had a weapon storage area that was your typical three electrical fence perimeter and sensors in ground. While the inside perimeter had many OLD all concrete structures that had bank vault type solid/thick steel walls that had been welded completely shut and more concrete poured around structures.
    The outer perimeter also had same weapon storage area sealed, in-ground structures, that civil engineers re-routed a stream to flood 75% of these structures that ALL contained endless barrels of A. Orange, chemical agents, and biological and god knows what else.
    The ground water “bubbled and was acidic” after any rain or even dew on ground and during war games and exercises, one would have blistering of skin, etc. from being around all this.
    When Pres. Clinton decommissioned that USAF Base in 90’s, it was immediately placed within the top EPA Super-Fund Clean-Up Sites and to this day it still is undergoing soil steam treatments and MANY TONS of earth/soil removed by rail and can still be seen on Google Maps…that’s now over 20 years of clean-up of toxins we were ALL exposed to.
    I am thinking that thousands if not hundreds of thousands of corroding barrels of A. Orange and other nasty Agents are currently leaching into ground water/soil in bases all over the USA…and just recently it’s been discovered that 1000’s of A. Orange barrels were buried in open pits at military base(s) in South Korea.

    Interesting how the powers in charge continue to want to send our Troops into their wars *but* do everything possible to not pay for the “extended costs of such wars”. From A. Orange to whatever was given to us or exposed us to with the mandatory “Mobility Shots”, aka Gulf War Illness…and not even talking about the burning of oil wells and that mess because there were many military that received the shots but were not deployed, but yet while serving Stateside, the same odd health issues creeping-up…and imagine the DOD and VA will drag that out and deny, lie, wait for one to die, just as with the A. Orange.

    How does this make the USA as being one to “taking the higher road”, and going to war because of claims OTHER Countries have or may have same crap we have in our coffers? It’s hypocrisy, is what it is.

    That Agent Orange and other agents still corroding away underground in various locations remains as lethal as the day it as produced…this needs to stop and not only cleaned-up, but compensate Veterans properly for these “War Crimes”.

  3. I know somebody who might be able to track if there are perps who are pinging the site ,it is best to confirm in hard data so you have direct evidence. Norton shows that this site is hacked, I guess it is desperation when you have people that do this. lol They spoof your e-mail and install software on your computer. That’s why it is important to stay friends with your buddies that are computer nerds. They will tell you who,. the masked data transmission , the pinging events and so on. The main thing is presenting this to a court.

    • This would show ‘whoever they are’ to stop eves dropping. If it is who we think it is, it has been confirmed that what they are doing is illegal!!!

  4. FYI, Agent Orange was used extensively by U.S. rail road companies. I wonder how many trackmen or rail road employees had been exposed to this, and other, deadly chemicals to keep the rail lines clear of brush growing over? Not to mention the millions of homeowners situated next to the ‘rail lines’ or next to a rail yard?!
    I recently had a VA doctor state that I should be concidered a casualty of Agent Orange. I do have some, but not all, of the presumptives. But am not receiving any comp except for one. I have not been tested for many of them. And have been told to leave it alone, since I have a 100% total and permanent service connected rating already.
    What I’m concerned about is, when I die- and it is caused by something that I did not get compensated for, will my wife still receive her survivors benefits? I do have the progress report by the Doctor confirming what I state here!!!
    Any suggestions would be helpful…..

  5. I dont understand why this potential victory for C 123 vets is being described by the Gov as a ‘reversal’ of the VA policy of Boots on ground…if they just mean Boots on Ground -Vietnam.

    AO claims of Thailand vets as well as some Korean vets ( or their survivors) have been won due to AO exposure.

    Also Guam, Okinawa, and even in CONUS, veterans have proved exposure to Agent Orange,and have been compensated for it if they have a AO presumptive disability..

    Military.com info on this issue has not been hacked:

    .http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/06/11/va-nomination-on-hold-in-senate-over-agent-orange-dispute.html?ESRC=eb.nl

    I have known and interviewed on our radio show Kurt Priessman, the first Thailand vet and also James Cripps the first CONUS vet.AO (Fort Gordon)
    as well as Charles Kelley, the notable writer and also a very aggressive AO advocate.

    Priessman is responsible for the VA AO Thailand Directive.

    The full story of Wes Carter’s determination to prove these planes were exposed to and years later, still contained evidence of AO is at http://www.hadit.com in our AO forum and at his C 123 web site..

    Most of the info there at hadit on AO comes from me as AO has been the most important vet issue of my life….even before my husband was in the initial AO Settlement fund ,and even before he died of AO disabilities…disabilities the VA had malpracticed on.

    I consider myself an expert on Nehmer but these vets will not fall under Nehmer at all…
    maybe that is were the ‘reversal’ conflict lies….
    NVLS was very generous in taking theit time ( the lawyers who won Nehmer) to help me explain Footnote One of the 2010 Nehmer regulations at the ww.hadit.com web site..

    The 2010 Nehmer decision on Parksinsons, IHD, and Hairy Cell B Leukemia had a very favorable EED condition .for MANY AO vets who filed ( or their survivors) under the 2010 Nehmer Regulations.(Footnote One)

    Nehmer solely involves “Boots on the Ground- Vietnam.

    I helped a vet reverse a proposed reduction (Brown Water Navy.).because we proved he had One boot on ground, and not two.

    Long story and lots of work but he succeeded in reversing their proposed reduction,based on no boots on ground..

    Good thing ..they could have taken away his kids Chap 35 DE benefits and both kids were set for college when VA pulled this BS on him many years ago.

    .

    • correction NVLSP National Veterans Legal Service Program….

      Their head Nehmer Lawyer Rick Spataro was superb at answering all of my questions on the 2010 Nehmer, specifically the Footnote One codicil because that is what brought very favorable EEDS to many AO vets and also to widows of AO vets like me.,who fell under the 2010 Nehmer provisions.

      I do not believe Nehmer will change however, and have no idea if Blue Water Navy every succeeds in gaining equity for sailors on ships not on the VA AO ships list but still within limits of the AO exposure…..to include Danang Harbor vets…..many advocates are still pushing for that….

  6. Here’s another question which I feel needs an answer, Why haven’t the many ‘groups’, which claims to want to help others, no matter who ‘they’ are, coming forward and showing their dissatisfaction over what our elected and appointed officials are doing? It seems to me, and others, if all groups were to band together, and protest, our voices would be heard loudly. Then these officials could not pass it off any longer. They would have to take action and fix ALL broken government agencies… At least that’s my opinion…..

  7. One of the oddest awards (from the black hole..ooops I mean from the AMC) was SC to a vet exposed to AO in Alaska.

    Although there had been confirmed AO spraying on a small swath of the Alaskan pipeline, by the US Army Corps of Engineers.many years ago ,the only piece of evidence mentioned in the award was a newspaper article from Fairbanks Alaska, detailing the spraying.

    I saw nothing in the award letter that indicated this vet had been in the USA Corps of Engineers at the specific time of spraying.

    The article is no longer available on the net.

    I guess there was more to this vet’s evidence and since the award was from AMC, it didn’t go public, like BVA decisions do.

    But Nothing is impossible.

    I am a civilian but imagine AO was sprayed around all types of perimeters as well as officer’s quarters, to keep the weeds down as well as kill cover..

    Kurt Priessman was a dog handler in Thailand. and said many dogs, sniffing around the perimeters would get sick and die. He attributes that to the AO.

    ,

    • this is in response to berta simmons on AO sprayed on pipeline in Alaska. Thank God I found this. My husband served 18 months in Alaska and he now has several medical issues to include parkinsons, peripheral neuropathy, and ischemic heart disease. Have been unable to find anything about anyone else being exposed to AO in Alaska. How can I get info concerning this vet with AMC and this article. I am desperate for this info. We have filed claim but I feel it is going to be denied. Can you give me any info on any of this. Thanks

  8. So very glad that something is finally being done for some Vietnam Vets from the new administration at the VA

    • Many Vietnam Vets have suffered for years with no help from the VA. I lived with and still see the daily struggles of a Marine vet who has been blind since around 1980 from scar tissue on his retinas. Just because He only used limited terminology when seen by VA doctors-specialists, No one in authority helped him understand that crawling through those jungles getting mud in his face and eyes should have been contamination enough to have caused his blindness and jungle rot to his hands and feet. The father of three children who could not recognize his children except by their voices and movements because his visual field was affected by scars on his retinas. His request, once again as in years past is still being pushed aside. He has not heard from his appeal for over a year again and is still believing eventually—He is now almost 67 years old. I hope to get this to Mr. Robert McDonald

  9. C-123’s were used extensively once they returned stateside. I spent quite a few hours on them, and the goo inside the aircraft was taboo for us to touch – and it was not hydraulic fluid. But we had to sit in it and wipe it off the skin. The aircraft had their rear doors permanently off, and the tailgate was always open. Virtually anyone who was on these aircraft were subject to contamination. There are scientific studies supporting these conclusions, but the VA came up with some inane conclusions designed to keep from paying any pensions.

  10. This is bullshit. I handled, mixed by hand and power sprayed AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES ON ANDERSEN AFB GUAM FROM SEPT 68 TO JUN 78 directly exposing thousands of air force arc light vets and they deny all that then they pull this residual shit 50 yrs latet..this is real BULLSHIT

    • Did you ever wonder why some people have allergic reactions to common items like medicines while others don’t? Why some can die from a peanut allergy while others have no problem with it? I’m always amazed at some who claim there is no problem from being exposed to X because they were exposed to it and had no problem from their exposure. Look up the synergistic effect of mixing 2 chemicals or mixing 2 medicines, and you might understand how some can be affected by an exposure to something while others are not. The information might cause you to hesitate in calling thousands of your fellow veterans liars.

    • Msg Foster, you might want to investigate the history of the VA. It is filled with multiple scandals, deceptive practices and deceitful practices from its inception. The history of the VA, is to not give Veterans truthful answers no matter what. The Administration and Medical sides will do and say anything which will NOT allow any veteran to receive the proper “conditions” (or diagnosis) printed. So the vet will not receive the correct compensations. For example; lets say a vet was diagnosed with ‘periferal polynuerapathy’. This is one of the ‘presumptives’of A/O. Well, why doesn’t the VA say it. Instead, the VA only hints at it. Never admitting to it. Just like they will never admit to what had happened to the Gulf War Veterans….
      I say this as I am a “Dual Service Veteran”.
      U.S. Army 1966-69, Vietnam 1967-69 (tour of duty.)
      U.S. Navy 1975-82 Beirut, Lebanon 20 June,1976 “Operation Fluid Drive”, the evacuation of civilians from the main airport….
      I got medals from both militaries. Those and a $1.49 will get me a cup of coffee at most places.
      I was diagnosed with multiple medical problems in 1981. The Navy attributed them to the “exposure of an unknown source”, “possibly a dioxin.” At which time the Navy, after lengthy medical examinations, decided to give me an “Medical Discharge under Honorable Conditions”.
      I hope and pray you do not have, or receive, the medical conditions which plaque thousands of veterans. If you do, then have fun trying to explain to a VA employee as to the “how, where, when and under what conditions you feel you sustained these conditions!” Then you will understand what we have had to endure……

      • Of couse I had to do that. I was at Andersen AFB Guam from Sept 68 to Jun 78 refueling B52s and handling, mixing and power spraying Agent Orange herbicides on Andersen AFB Guam and off base. They didn’t believe me till 2009 when an NCO found me with pictures and more. Surely you heard our 262 B52s dropping loads.

  11. Once again; rather than the VA doing the right thing and treating and compensating these individuals exposed to this stuff they drag it out and ignore the evidence just to keep from treating and compensating 2000 more people? Reading some of the other comments, that number may be higher.

    How many have died waiting for our government to do something about it? What will happen now that it looks like the VA will have to accept these claims? The VA will now force the individuals to prove they were exposed and during the period presented?

    Congress needs to have more true oversight of the VA. This should have been resolved decades ago.

    • Here’s a historical fact, which came out a few years ago. Vietnam veterans are dying off faster than WWII veterans. Because we had more illnesses than those veterans. This was reported in one of the VFW magazines.
      It seems the, “Deny, Deny, Deny until they Die.” Saying is appropriate in this situation. As it will be appropriate in the decades to come. Where veterans of future wars will have to deal with a government agency that will care LITTLE to NOTHING for their medical needs!
      I believe this is a sound opinion!!!!

  12. Do y’all think the VA is doing this (a small crumb) to get everyones mind off the “Veterans Suicide Rate”! Just wondering!!!!!????

  13. The reason for the denials are the same as they ever were, and the same as Gulf War vets and those after us have faced…a shockingly high burden of proof. The demands for this proof are as if everyone has an industrial hygeienist along side them in battle, and once evidence is found, an attorney or some similar to preserve chain of custody. Even then, the VA demands specific medical evidence, when they know no research would show what is demanded. Once research shows it, such as an official IoM study (no private medical research is acceptable, it must come from a government flunky), then the VA might claim more research is needed. Only after enough vets are dead then Congress gets tired of hearing about it, passes presumptive legislation, which the VA ignores again. All of the above is why it takes 40+ years for veterans to see medical care for medical problems we should be treated for from day one. Why from day 1? Nobody can tell me that the VA does not have enough medical treatment data on medical problems within a specif group of vets to say the problem is not prevalent among that group and should be considered service connected. Like ALS in Gulf War vets, the VA knew how much higher the prevalence was in that group, but denied it until the data was leaked. Congress passed legislation, and the VA tried acting as if they did vets a favor by presuming it service connected…never mind all the dead vets by that time, and the hell they put families through by denying service connection.

  14. The United States Single Integrated Operational War Plan(SIOP)was one of McNamara’s projects,along with Project 112/SHAD. I wonder if anyone besides myself thinks McNamara’s middle name”Strange”was fitting. In circa 1962 the SIOP placed,moved,stored and kept ready the TM-76B weapons system(ICBM nukes)on Okinawa with an order from McNamara that stated “Do Not Publish in Anyway” . They were pointed at China,and Vietnam. When one thinks about nuclear destruction being launched from Okinawa,then chemical and biological color banded defoliants(orange,purple,blue,etc.)being tested,used and stored there for the SIOP deployment, it should not be very hard to connect the dots. Since 80% of the military supplies,to Vietnam came from or thru Okinawa,is it possible that Robert “STRANGE” McNamara and the DOD had a “DO NOT PUBLISH IN ANYWAY” Gag order placed on this information also !!!!

  15. The va has added disabilities presumptively service connectable as credible scientific evidence is amassed and studied. At first, we had to prove we were located when and where AO was sprayed. The government had records and maps of documented AO use and if our 201 file did not confirm location then our claim would be denied. Then the VA issued a rule change conceding exposure to all of us with verified Vietnam service. As the years went by VA added disabilities to the AO presumptive list as it was discovered there was a higher incidence of a disease in Vietnam vets compared with other populations. We did not have to prove AO caused a disease, only that studies reflected even a slightly greater incidence with Vietnam service.

    If these reservists were documented as on board aircraft carrying AO, then they should be eligible for the same benefits as those of us in country. I think there is a higher likelihood that they were exposed than someone who spent their tour near Saigon or Danang or anywhere else there was obviously never a need for defoliant spraying. Seems fair to me.

    • Excuse me? Danang wasn’t contaminated with the AO?

      I suggest that you read the Hatfield Report on line , whereby, not that many years ago Dioxin levels due to AO at Danang were 300 times higher then they were during the war. That is not only where the planes landed, refueled and took on more AO,but where thousand of Marines were contaminated by virtue of there MOS and orders.

      My last course at American Military University in 2007 was a science course and I learned that dioxin, as a Persisent organic pollutant, has quite a long shelf life..

      Saigon…the very first vet I met who was instrumental in getting my husband into the AO Settlement fund ( the lawsuit against Dow, etc) served solely in Saigon.

      Although VA did not recognize him as being exposed to AO then, they sure would now.

      Danang, my husband was 1st Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 1stMARDIV, 1St Marines, Rolling Thunder, Ops Starlight 1965-1966.

      He died with 2 AO conditions contributing to his death. He was directly below the spraying of one of the tropical jungles. They thought the enemy was finding cover in the dense tropical areas , but the enemy was hiding in the vast underground tunnels.

      And the Saigon vet? they probably sprayed the weeds around the officers quarters with it to keep the weeds down. He was an Attache.

      The devastation of AO to the Vietnamese was horrendous as well.

      I dont think the question is how much exposure did any veteran get there, as that does not matter, ….the question is will VA be fair in acknowledging their exposure
      and, if they have any AO presumptive disease, will VA properly compensate them?.
      ..

  16. Does anyone have any information that I could use to confirm my medical conditions while I served on an aircraft carrier that was in the Gulf of Tonkin. I served there in 1970.

    • I assume for have a copy of your SMRs obtained with a SF 180 via the National Archives Web site.
      Other medical issues could be ‘confirmed via Buddy Statements.

      Every unit has a web site.And a Buddy can give an eye witness account, with enough details to often support the veteran’s claimed contentions.

      You are seeking a ‘nexus’, proof of the inservice cause of your current disabilities.

      The SMRs, and even the Personnel file can often help, and I told a vet to add any disciplinary actions to his SF 180 request

      he had been thrown into the brig due to a Captain’s Mast with no other serious discipline problems.

      I helped him prove this was the first manifestation of his documented and continuous Manic Bi Polar disability.

      He never gave up on continuous prosecution of his claim and his retro was almost a quarter of a million.

      Buddy statements need a detailed eye witness accounting of the incident ,injury, etc etc. The buddy must give VA their contact info and how they witnessed the incident ( same unit, same time and place)

      Sleep Apnea claims ,for example, can succeed often with buddy statements of snoring in service as well as Personnel records saying the vet had been often tardy for duty and was sleepy on the job.

  17. Veterans serving on Okinawa, 1965 through 1970 WERE exposed to Agent Orange. The herbicide was stored and used at Army , Air Force, and Marine compounds regardless of D.O.D. Denials. Army’s own Operation “Red Hat” lists the THOUSANDS of 55 gal drums of A/O shipped FROM Okinawa to the US disposal installation on the Johnson Atoll in the S. Pacific for destruction in 1971. Barrels were buried in various locations on Okinawa to hide the fact that A/O was used around the Northern Jungle Warfare training center, Kadena Air Base, Nike missile sites,US Army Dog School training sites (Yomitan Village Air Strip, and Machinato, Torii Station Radar installation, US Marine Air Base Futenma, Camp Kue, Camp Mercy, and Machinato (Makinamoto) storage and warehouse facilities. See articles appearing in the Japan Times (Jon Mitchell) and in the Stars and Stripes Military News. The D.O.D. denies the reality because it was in direct violation of treaty agreements between US and Japan for Military base operations on Okinawa. A lot of the affected Veterans have already passed. The D.O.D plans on sidestepping responsibility via attrition. “Deny , Deny, Deny, until the old Vets Die”. They are winning because none of the Veterans service organizations want to get involved.

  18. I served with 1st SFG Okinawa from 1967 to 1971– I was all over that island in all the places mentioned where AO was sprayed. I saw spraying several times, although I can not say what was being sprayed I do know they were spraying for weeds and ground cover. I saw spraying around Yomitan jump zone, Camp Kue, and other sites. I Have been bothered by blisters on my feet and high blood pressure. I am currently drawing 50% comp for blood pressure, skin rash, back and hip problems ,and some hearing loss. I have tried to make a claim for the blisters on my feet based on my time on Okinawa and have been told many times that the VA does not admit to any use of AO on Okinawa.

  19. I find it amazing that in this country of ours that one PERSON has so much power that he can decide on his own if a Bill won’t become law.
    Let us look at how a Bill becomes law;
    1. A member of Congress introduces a bill.
    2. Committees review and vote on the bill.
    3. The Senate and the House debate and vote on the bill.
    4. The President signs the bill—or NOT.

    Now the last step mean the President can SIGN or VETO the BILL. BUT if over 290 of the House of Representatives votes to override the VETO and at least 67 Members of the Senator votes to overturn the VETO then the Bills because law. Seems Fair to me that because ONE Person decide that the bill should NOT become law then a Super Majority can over ride the VETO.

    Now if you think I am talking about the President, you would be wrong. Let me give you an example.

    There is a Bill in the House of Representative, HR-969, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act that has 334 Members of the House of Representative that support the Bill. Now when I went to school I did learn the 334 is greater than 290. YET in the House Veterans Affairs Committee ONE PERSON, the Honorable Congressman Jeff Miller is deciding, since he is the Chairman that HR-969 should not go to the Floor for a VOTE, EVEN if there is more than a SUPERMAJORITY already in the House SUPPORTING the Bill.

    In the Senate there is ONLY 45 Members Supporting S-681, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. This is 45% of the Senate that supports the Bill. I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be at least 6 more members of the Senate would vote for the Bill, but that is a guess. It would be nice if Senator Johnny Isakson would also bring the Senate Version to the Floor for a VOTE.

    Now to be fair to both of them I understand they were waiting for the CBO score of the Bills. The CBO has stated that the Bills will cost about $2.4 Billion over the period of 10 years. So that excuse is over. They are also waiting for a Write Up from Secretary McDonald of the VA and the VA was waiting for a Write Up from the Navy. Well the Navy has provided the Write Up telling the VA there were no way they can test a Ship that may have been exposed to Agent Orange back in the 60’s and early 70’s. Too much time has passed for anything to still be there.

    All members of Congress are sworn in with the following oath:
    ‘I AB do solemnly swear (or Affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or
    purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’

    It’s easy for Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans to understand this oath because it is very similar to the oath we had to take when we joined the Navy. So the oaths states they are going to follow the Constitution. It some what easy to understand, well, if you can understand the Constitution.

    Now MY UNDERSTANDING of the Constitution is that both the Members of the
    House and Senate are elected to represent the will of the people that not only elected them but who they represent. This is easy enough for me to understand. Now of course not all constituent are going to agree so they should do as a majority of the constituent want, which is if they are in favorite of the Bill it would seem that their constituent are in favorite of the Bill.
    Now to me it seems that at least Chairman Jeff Miller is either Breaking the Law or Violating the Constitution by not allowing the Bill to go to a floor for a vote. They are deciding what they want and not what a majority of the fellow Members of Congress are wanting. So it seems that the most Powerful Person in OUR government is NOT the President of the United States but the Chairman of the Veterans Affair Committees.

    These are my opinion. I’m not a lawyer; this is done with some research and guessing. I have been working for about two years helping to get the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act along with many others. I started the Blue Water Awareness Group on Facebook under 2 years ago and there we have many great members working towards the same cause in getting the Members of Congress to understand why we feel they should bring back the benefits that were taken away from Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans in 2002.

    Many of us have the effect of being exposed to Agent Orange; in my case I have Prostate Cancer, which is on the list of diseases that Agent Orange cause. I also have Thyroid Cancer, which there is now finding evidence that Agent Orange may cause problem with the Thyroid. Yet the VA says that I couldn’t have been exposed to Agent Orange since I was stationed on a ship. Yet there are studies both here in the US and in Australia those shows that members of the Navy may have been exposed to Agent Orange by the way of the way the water on Naval Ships distilled for cooking, cleaning, bathing and all the other reason water is used. BUT the VA along with Congressman Jeff Miller don’t believe it.

    Mike Yates
    Blue Water Navy Awareness
    [email protected]

  20. I was in the reg air force from 70 to 74 I loaded and unload the c-123 at Norton AFB, and in Hawaii. I was trying to see if I was covered for the Agent Orange. I was just told by the VA I have server Heart Decease

Comments are closed.