Non caring Congress for Navy Vietnam Veterans

Dear Editor, It has come of a common opinion amongst Vietnam War Veterans that Congress tends to exclude mostly Blue...

Dear Editor,

It has come of a common opinion amongst Vietnam War Veterans that Congress tends to exclude mostly Blue Water Vietnam Veterans for VA benefits. This group of veterans never had boots on ground Vietnam, yet just the same they are sick due to Agent Orange exposure. It seems Congress and the VA consider these veterans not worthy.

There are limited benefits to those who served in Country and those who served at sea are excluded, yet Agent Orange was in the drinking water onboard Navy ships causing sickness years later. How many more of us have to die in agony until there are so few of us left that the amount of dollars to care for those left won’t matter much. Is this what America is about none caring attitude by our legislators? Where does it say in our Constitution and Bill of Rights that our veterans need NOT be cared for when in need? “A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the Country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards” Theodore Roosevelt.

Over 175,000 Navy veterans are the unsung casualties of the Vietnam War.It is not about Democrats and Republicans, It is about Americans who fought a thankless war. Maybe this is why Congress is reluctant to provide VA benefits, a Thankless War.

Several years past, legislative Bills have been introduced for this groupof sailors only to fail in committee. Presently there are two new Bills,House Bill HR-969 and Senate Bill S.681, both are titled The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Act. If either of these Bills arepassed, Navy Veterans will receive their VA benefits. The American people can help by calling and writing to your members of Congress and Senators to support these Bills.

Sincerely,

John Bury, USN Retired

Vietnam War Veteran

Media, Pennsylvania

6 thoughts on “Non caring Congress for Navy Vietnam Veterans

  1. Blue Water Vets were originally included but Bush II excluded them by fiat. Writing Veterans off has been going on since the French-Indian Wars. In my opinion and experience as both a Brown Water and Blue Water Sailor, Veterans get a better deal from Democrats. However, It's the Democrats who usually get us involved in Wars, including Vietnam.

  2. America can do something brazen. One Million people write to the President and eclose $1. Then ask him to add $100,000 to your $1. That amount of money will care for Vietnam veterans for the next 10 years, after 10 years there will be none of us left.

  3. America can do something brazen. One Million people write to the President and eclose $1. Then ask him to add $100,000 to your $1. That amount of money will care for Vietnam veterans for the next 10 years, after 10 years there will be none of us left.

  4. For Immediate Release
    Wednesday, June 24, 2015
    PROGRESS MADE FOR NAVY VETERANS OF VIETNAM WAR, MEETING WITH VA SECRETARY SCHEDULED
    In the wake of the Veterans Administration decision to grant benefits to the C-123 pilots and crew for exposure to Agent Orange, focus has shifted to the Blue Water Navy veterans and pending federal legislation to remedy a flaw in VA policy. Legislation introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, [D-NY], along with Sen Steve Daines [R-MT] is scheduled for a "mark-up" hearing before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on July 14.
    In another development, VA Deputy Secretary Sloane Gibson has agreed to meet with Military-Veterans Advocacy Executive Director, Commander John B. Wells, USN (Retired), on July 6. This meeting will involve a full-blown discussion on the Blue Water Navy issue ahead of the July 14 hearing. Discussions will center around the viability of the VA’s "boots on the ground" policy, which has mandated that only servicemen and women who served on land are eligible for Agent Orange benefits. Military-Veterans Advocacy has argued in court and before Congress that the presumption of exposure should extend to the territorial seas.
    The VA has also indicated that it does not intend to appeal the Court of Appeals for Veterans claims decision in Gray v. MacDonald. In that case, the court found the exclusion of bays and harbors from the presumption of exposure was arbitrary and capricious and ordered the VA to revisit its regulations. The decision to forego an appeal suggests the VA will re-write regulations regarding bays and harbors within the Republic of Vietnam.
    Companion legislation in the House of Representatives, introduced by Congressman Chris Gibson [R NY], continues to draw increased interest. Currently, 230 members of the House have signed on to the bill as co-sponsors.
    Military-Veterans Advocacy is a Louisiana-based non-profit that advocates in Congress and in the courts on matters concerning members of the armed forces and military veterans. Cdr. Wells is a retired U. S. Navy surface warfare officer and an attorney whose practice emphasizes Military and Veterans law.
    In a statement, Wells stated that he views “The upcoming meeting with Secretary Gibson is a great step forward for all veterans,” Wells said. “We intend to assist the VA in a positive way to resolve all coverage questions with the Blue Water Navy and other victims of toxic exposure."
    The issue is broader than Agent Orange.
    "We need to take care of our veterans," Wells said. "These men and women have put their lives on the line to defend this country. We as a nation need to take care of them. For too long the VA has been concerned with bureaucracy rather than benefits. The agreement to provide coverage for the C-123 veterans was a step in the right direction. We hope to continue this progress with the Blue Water Navy and other veterans who have been improperly denied benefits."
    For more information, visit http://www.MilitaryVeteransAdvocacy.org and find the organization on Facebook.
    ###
    Media Contact
    James Hartman
    (504) 458-4600
    james@jameshartman.net

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