Lawmakers are hoping to pass the reintroduced legislation supporting presumptive benefits for “blue water” Vietnam veterans that died on Capitol Hill last year.

Veterans exposed to Agent Orange in the US Navy without setting foot on Vietnam are fighting hard to win presumptive benefits similar to their counterparts that did set foot in Vietnam. The fight for presumptive service connection is vital to many veterans suffering from toxic exposure who are unable to prove the exposure or source of the current ailment.

That is an oversimplification of the law, but you get the gist of it.

Agent Orange Background

For newcomers to the Agent Orange issue, the term “Agent Orange” actually references a variety of herbicide cocktails the US government sprayed during the Vietnam War. The herbicides were used to kill foliage, but the toxins in them were also very harmful to humans and their children due to a chemical referred to as “dioxin.”

Vietnam veterans got sick and died after the war while the government played ignorant to the cause of the maladies for decades. In the 90’s, Vietnam veterans gained a lot of traction, and that traction has increased every decade or so.

But, due to the toxicity of dioxin, many of the sick veterans died before the government accepted responsibility for the matter. Hundreds of thousands of veterans have died from Agency Orange exposure, and the fight for benefits long eclipsed the length of that war.

Debt To Vietnam Vets

All the current veterans receiving VA benefits owe a debt of gratitude to our Vietnam veterans for the somewhat easier time we have in winning our benefits. Not to discount the fact that the system is still cumbersome and broken, but it is better than it was in the 80’s.

Okay, now we are all caught up until 2018, more or less.

Blue Water Vietnam Veterans

Blue Water Vietnam veterans have been fighting for the expansion of existing presumption laws to include those veterans who believe they were exposed and are suffering but who did not set foot on land or travel on inland waterways.

Last year, legislation that would have granted benefits to those afflicted stalled out in the Senate after a swift vote of support on the House side.

VA reversed its position of support to one of opposition, but what else is new?

Bill Left To Die Like The Veterans Needing Its Support

A small group of Senators let the bill die before a vote based on spin put on the legislation by the agency. Veterans lobbying in support of the bill claim it will cost around $1.1 billion over 10 years to fund. Meanwhile, VA says it will cost around $5.5 billion.

The agency has no problem jamming billions down its IT modernization bust, so I personally see nothing wrong with this bill regardless of whether VA is right on the numbers.

Let’s get real. The agency will burn through the budget anyway; why not give the money to sick and dying veterans rather than government contractors jamming their mouths full at the taxpayer pig trough?

RELATED: VA Appeal Denied After 30-Year Wait

This year, the House is already looking to revive the legislation that helps the 90,000 veterans seeking benefits for rare heart conditions and cancers linked to the dioxins.

“Thousands of veterans are still waiting for their government to deliver on its promise and grant them the benefits they have earned,” Chairman Mark Takano said in a statement. “The fact that politics got in the way of our duty to care for veterans affected by toxic exposure (last session) … is an insult to all veterans who served with the expectation that their country would care for them.”

Luckily for these veterans, a case is pending on appeal that may force VA to award the benefits it is fighting against. A legislative fix is always better, but a Court decision forcing the matter forward is better than nothing.

Feedback On Blue Water

What do you think about the fight for presumptive service-connection for these veterans?

Should VA force them to prove exposure and the direct effect of contact, or is it time VA adopt gentler laws for the last generation of draftees?

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Veterans and Disabled Veterans who this can you please email your Senators or Representative contract the Veteran Affairs Committee passed a new Benefits Law for Disabled Veterans who is 100.percent service connected definitely need to have Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist G4 implants for Free because their not work at a Veteran Medical Centers and don’t have a contract with Veteran Affairs Administration but they have Private Clinics wants all money upfront as a Concerned Veteran because if a Disabled Veterans is 100 percent don’t get the Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist G4 implants it’s definitely caused really bad Health Care also it cause really get bad gum disease and it cause Cancer Thanks….Semper Fi

  2. Cans keep getting kicked down the road don’t they? Burn pits/depleted U/nuclear accidents/radiation exposure/AO/environmental contaminants/various exposures/vaccinations, etc. Some things aren’t supposed to be openly discussed or known of. Results of years of testing nukes on our own soil but the “Atomic Bombs” are the greatest thing since sliced bread??

    Seems the Gov and VA is great at vilifying scientist who were spilling the beans about such crap as AO, burn pits to depleted U that cannot be contained once deployed. You know like weather/atmospheric conditions. Have an accident in one country then it’s years before we learn about something that may have set off alarms in several other countries, or how some things travel around the globe.

    Also damn odd is that if you ever meet one of those BWVs they can report on clean health in their family records until service over-seas or close to contaminated areas. Then say, the father vet becomes ill, has kids, kids are ill, then grand-kids have some issues linked to illnesses and issues of the same kind. What happened to the healthy family tree and chain??? Then them trying to get attention from the lords, bastards, prostitutes, in government is akin to exposing the incident of the USS Liberty. Which is forbidden and swept under the carpet too. As more die off, threatened, are ignored, history re-written.

    Like I have, go ahead and waste time and money contacting our fearless leaders called Congress people or reps/Senators only to get fed BS and passed along by their staff, females who aren’t supposed to be questioned to un-caring VSO types to phony state agencies who are too busy covering up all kinds of shit and corruption. While all we get on TV and by media is propaganda and more BS and distractions. And Joe and Sally Sixpack public couldn’t care less. Having more mob rule, more foes than friendlies in the vet community and elsewhere doesn’t help either. They all have to fit in to protect their herds and look hip, slick and cool. And very PC. This country is totally FUBAR.

  3. We who have been fighting this issue have known from the onset it was a money issue. The VA would rather spend the money on some one of their pet projects rather than on the vets. Korea is worse they are contending that you have to be in a certain window of time, in a certain place and assigned to certain units that were supposed to be in that certain place. Truth of the matter is it was used all over Korea from 1962 on and DOD knows it but again it’s the money issue. We have to put someone in charge of the VA that says “to hell with what it costs we’re going to help our vets.

  4. In Vietnam a Drug experiment was run on in-Country Vietnam vets with the use of Dapsone. Those in “I Corps” on the DMZ were ordered to take it daily, in addition to the once a week big orange pill, to see if it would help prevent falciprum (SP.?) malaria. The drug was being used to treat Hansen’s disease,. also know as Leprosy, and it seemed they were getting less of that type of malaria. In 1976 in Deadwood, South Dakota I was reading the local paper which ran a story on it. It mentioned it was Experimental, and that it was could cause cancer. When questioned the Spokesman replied that yes, but the lepers would die of their leprosy, well before they would develop cancers. It was run in an AP Press article according to the paper. Since it’s not been well reported I wonder what the ‘outcomes’ of the malaria reduction attempt were, but more importantly how many Vietnam Vets, in addition to the Agent Orange and Purple, Blues, etc. cancers develop other types of cancer? When will the VA release those results?

  5. To Veterans and Disabled Veterans express yourself what is more important building the Wall or Improve Veterans Health Care ….Semper Fi.

    • Too late Arnold. Sanctuary states and towns value a mass population explosion of foreigners and their FREE health care (reps, hospitals, and workers claim is non-existent) to meet their agendas first and fore-most, etc. Some news report Pelosi and others in their new gov want 50 plus billion more for over-seas foreign aid and more going to our so-called “allies” over Americans? While those like her give lip service to vets and live in luxury. VSOs, state reps and others have to side with PC-ness and the globalist rather than focus on the needs of tax paying Americans or vets. If we dare mention anything about us, our needs, or American borders we are labeled those evil “nationalist” instead of jumping ship and joining the global communist agenda and open borders so many seem to want/support. Especially in college towns or major metro areas. Nothing much is mentioned about Hollywood bringing in foreign anti-Americans, to our Northern borders being fairly open and all those visas being passed out like candy…. still. Or free to roam out of California with licenses and special allowances.

      Also fun is taking someone to an emergency room and listening to “illegals” (foreigners) their interpreter talk about some of the same symptoms and issues vets have after leaving their home countries. Promised quality American health care. About all the birth defects, health issues to loss of limbs still happening in ‘their home-land.” Odd huh? Or how American corporations are putting farmers out of business over yonder, pushing treated seeds on them and more. Oh and getting to read the magazine placed out in waiting rooms about “Diversity” the need of it, and “Tolerance” magazines put out by the like of the ACLU or SPJL idiots. Yep, things should be crystal to clear to all Americans instead of drinking all the Kool-Aid. No escaping the BS going if one cares to see, communicate, or hear.

      • The wall is a joke – won’t work. Taller ladders are not a new concept. The tunnel is the same length, it just needs to be deeper by a couple feet on both sides. One alternative is land mines. They are very effective, and, now also considered a war crime. But hey, the US didn’t sign-on anyway. Just think how many mines you can lay for a couple billion dollars. Do the math. Two thousand miles = ten million lineal feet. Average about five per lineal foot (depending on matrix) and you’d need about 50 million mines. The really spendy ones are only $30 (made in China would be cheaper of course). So budget $1.5 billion for hardware, and another two or three for digging and some advertising. Just make sure the contract doesn’t go to a Beltway Patriot who will farm out the installation to pop-up contractor hiring illegals as labor.

        Or, spend a billion on enforcing the laws Reagan put in place prosecuting rich white employers, who, happen to be donors to both parties. When is the last time you heard of a prosecution?

        Kool aid comes in many flavors and colors.

      • Not getting updates?

        The wall is a joke. But hey, Trumpster’s buddies Israel has them, the Pope has them so why not the open air prison camp of ‘Murica?’ Soon check points will be all over the place along with our new needs for proof of citizenship for the new drivers license coming out here. Or you can’t fly minus them. They must have that “red star” on them to proceed through or be validated. Besides with the technology they have today securing the border should be easy enough besides keeping people in as well as out with ‘walls.’

        Our own killer gov years back sprayed Paraquat and other agents on reefer plots in hopes to kill off users and growers. Fast forward. Today they allow for “Round-Up” and other stuff to be used all over the place with more illnesses and issues rising at alarming rates. As we watch the bare-foot kiddies play in parks or bark-parks where all those chemicals are used. Along with other nasties they push on us. So the gov nor the FDA and others have shown what they are all about and how uncaring they all are. Seeing fit that countless numbers of us live in constant pain, loss of quality of life over simple pills/meds that others who aren’t responsible enough to manage their own lives demand they control everything in ours. It’s all intentional.

        One legion before the last I was a member at until I found out the idiot president/commander who sat in place for years by nefarious means, and corruption, started spraying Chlordane inside and out for pest control. Chlordane!!! Been illegal for years. He had a garage full of that shit. Supposed to be concerned about vets with AO issues. A mere whiff of that stuff makes me ill. Few cared about that either. We live in a nation of brain-washed idiots that care for nothing but themselves, agendas, Hollywood, sports, and puppies/kitties.

        An aside from all that we “whiners,” those BWVs and others are expendable and wanted simply… gone. Oaths make us automatically “nationalist” defenders of America and the big C. We are also the enemy of many due to being “Baby Boomers” who had it all handed to us on “silver platters” according to many out there and the SJWs to unions/AFGE, etc. Like Oprah and others have openly stated… “old people need to die off” so the young can rule. Infiltrating some groups in the past and college kiddies the high prices of everything is our fault. All the corruption is our fault. Shitty health care and it’s costs are our fault. High prices on education is our fault… oh us oldies over thirty. Over population, not enough free stuff to everything wrong out there seems to be all our fault or our BB generations fault. To many little activist and ilk out there we are including those in health care are the enemy and the “old ways” or “mentality needs to go.”
        “https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/workforce/how-iu-health-is-attracting-millennials-retaining-new-nurses.html”

        Yeah IU who controls the universe. Put lip-stick on the pig and the VA that is joined at your hip along with those at the top. Make room for the “refugees” and pink haired Marx-feminist who are already part of the VA and health care teams that seem to take our issues as a grain of salt. Ignore more serious issues with that ‘old people need to die off mentality. Right.

    • Improvements in veterans health care, it would be soo much more beneficial for the country.
      The wall is just another diversionary distraction designed to divide.

  6. “Veterans lobbying in support of the bill claim it will cost around $1.1 billion over 10 years to fund. Meanwhile, VA says it will cost around $5.5 billion.” I’m pretty sure that anything the VA DOESN’T want, they just cook the books to make it look so very, very expensive. Then if something passes, they grossly mismanage the funds so that it goes WAY over budget, Kind of like a “See, we told you so!” when they appear in front of Congress and give their vague answers to Congressmen, if they can answer anything at all, take the “fith” etc. The Lie, Deny, till they Die is so very true if you’ve gone to the VA for any length of time, it’s so painfully obvious. Did I leave out that they’re rarely held accountable- for anything. That too.

  7. The VA is a prime example of the “tail” wagging the dog”! To take ANY statement from the VA at face value, is like buying drugs on the street corner. You have no idea what your actually receiving!
    The VA told thee Senate that the Blue Water Bill could have over 400,000 claims! This was not presented under oath.
    The VA under oath at the Federal Court of Appeals stated that the amount of claims would be approximately 80,000 to 90,000! Big difference. Also the VA redefined THEIR definition of inland waters, denying that Harbors and BAYS are included in “inland waters”. According to the VA, any Brackish WATER (mix of salt and fresh water) is extensions of OCEAN WATER! LORD HELP US! What is even more insulting, is that Blue Water Navy are considered “Vietnam ERA Veterans” NOT Vietnam Veterans!

    • Richard L Shafer,
      Hate to inform you that all Vietnam Veterans, during the Obama Administration, we’re classified as “Vietnam Era Veterans”! His theory was he didn’t want “(non-)boots on ground vets” to be discriminated against! Thereby making everyone equal in his eyes!
      How’s that for some more bullshit!

      • This is completely untrue. What was done under the Obama Administration was to **clarify** rules put in place by GW Bush that gave veterans “the benefit of the doubt”, which the VA managed to wriggle out of, until the Obama Administration & Congress played the word game back at the VA.

        If you served in active combat during the Vietnam War, you are still a Vietnam Veteran. You are ALSO a “Vietnam Era” veteran. If that bothers you, don’t use it.

        We need to stop this petty BS. The Man is the only one who wins when are hating each other.

  8. let’s stop harping so much about the wall ,we have heard enough trumpet so shut the hell up. if you were that persistent about the blue water navy veterans that bill#299 could have passed as long as you leave mr. enzi the traitor living in wyoming out to pasture. so stop talking about a wall trumpet, we are tired of it and no more i want to hear about a border wall.besides mexico will pay for and build a wall, so drop it and don’t let me hear no more about a wall. now how about you mr trumpet start helping our veterans and our active military and our citizens of this country. do your job man .

  9. May I please point out that R or D, L or R (see what I did there), or T vs H, etc… has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue under discussion? Thanks.
    So, YES, I believe that Veterans who deployed to Vietnam, to the gunline, to blue-water interdiction, to assist irregular formations in Laos, Cambodia, Thialand, and S/N VN, who were based on are flew over those areas, or who operated or maintained equipments employed in support of the Allied effort to maintain the independence of South Vietnam and the viability of Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, should also receive the presumption of service-connection.

  10. The VA knows all about the issues. Why then won’t they just make things right for us Veterans?

    The VA would work so much better if most Vets seen the VA as an allie instead of the enemy. It would be better all the way around and for all parties.

    But a change like the above would surely need to be initiated by the VA. They hold the cards and they know it.

  11. I’ve recently read the VA is giving a presumption of connection to all Veterans who contract ALS, since there is a high incidence among us. I was re-reading the “Agent Orange listed” cancers by the VA when I saw it, this was a few months back. I still wonder who directed the Dug Experiment on in-country Vets in “I Corps”, and how valid was that Experiment. It would be nice to know what type of “ticking time bombs” ( I use that term since it’s been an overblown term of fear by REMFs who assigned it to all Vietnam Vets) are expected or present in our bodies. Too late, too little, and too often, is the motto of denial and obfuscation.

  12. OT FYI to Ben and others that may not want to miss this show. May win an Emmy.

    ‘SECVA Town Hall
    Watch Live – January 17th at 1PM ET
    Secretary Wilkie and VA leaders will discuss the state of VA, community resources, department priorities, and answer questions. ‘
    January 17th, 1PM – 3PM Eastern Time

    “https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/89/28837”

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