Introduction of the New Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, H.R. 299

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has applauded the introduction of H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.  VVA promises to work with the congressional cosponsors of the “much needed” bill to help get it passed.  The bill would authorize VA benefits for health conditions due to exposure to Agent Orange toxicity in the territorial waters of Vietnam.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2iqitGA AND  http://bit.ly/2jKtiVV

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VA Studies of Agent Orange Effects on Vets and Their Children

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its efforts to determine how Vietnam veterans and their children have been affected by exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/29rHuiP

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House Votes to Expand Benefits for Vietnam Blue Water Navy Vets

Veterans who served on Navy ships off Vietnam and have diseases linked  to Agent Orange were buoyed Thursday by House passage of a measure that could expand their Veterans Affairs benefits.  An amendment added to the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill would require the department to presume these veterans were exposed to the toxic herbicide and provide health care and compensation if they are sick as a result.

Read More: http://bit.ly/1XnYgPd

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List of Agent Orange Related Diseases May Expand

The VA is weighing whether to add several diseases to the list of health conditions presumed in Vietnam veterans to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange.  A  VA working group is studying a report issued in March by the Institute of Medicine to determine whether bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson’s-like symptoms should automatically make a Vietnam veteran eligible for VA disability benefits and health care.

Read More: http://bit.ly/1S3EF0Y

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VA to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will conduct hundreds of events in VA facilities across the nation on Mar. 29 to recognize, honor and thank U.S. Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices as part of the national Vietnam War Commemoration.  Thank you for your dedicated service, Veterans!

Read More: http://1.usa.gov/1UQR3Ww

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Agent Orange Law Change Raises New Concerns

Several weeks ago, the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees quietly allowed a provision of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to expire.  How significant that will be for Vietnam veterans and their benefits is disputed.  Committee staff and the VA agree the change has not impacted the VA secretary’s authority to decide to expand the list of diseases presumed connected to wartime herbicide exposure.  But there are concerns about a potentially significant increase in disability claims and backlogs.

Read More: http://1.usa.gov/1XoD7mJ

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Blue Water Navy Vets Fight for Agent Orange Benefits

The story of Blue Water veterans’ exclusion from Agent Orange benefits is long and complicated, with the fight still playing out in Congress and in federal courts. The Virginia Pilot newspaper and ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom, have joined together in an effort to tell the stories of veterans potentially exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam, including in the waters offshore.

Read More: http://bit.ly/1Yvz6hB

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Bipartisan Bill Would Expand VA Agent Orange Coverage

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) have introduced legislation that would extend Veterans Affairs Department benefits to “blue water” Vietnam-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange. Vietnam War veterans who served at sea are currently denied VA disability and health benefits for illnesses caused by Agent Orange.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1Mqp6iO

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VVA National President Strongly Supports Toxic Exposure Research Act

In testimony before the Subcommittee on Health, of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Vietnam Veterans of America National President John Rowan expressed VVA’s strong support for the Toxic Exposure Research Act (H.R. 5484).  “This bipartisan legislation is multigenerational in scope and will provide a process for evaluating exposures that may result in toxic wounds to veterans and their offspring,” said Rowan.

Read More at: http://yhoo.it/1v3QPOa

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Agent Orange Exposure by U.S. Air Force C-123 Crew Members

During the Vietnam War, U.S. Air Force C-123 aircraft were used to spray the herbicide Agent Orange.  After the war, the planes were used for cargo and medical flights.  Veteran C-123 crew members believe their illnesses—including cancer—are tied to their time on the planes between 1972 and 1982.  In 2013, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry concluded that “aircrew operating in this, and similar, environments were exposed to TCDD” [commonly referred to as dioxin, a chemical included in Agent Orange].  A bipartisan group …

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