Monday, September 10, 2007

Dear Senator Akaka, An Open Letter

The following letter was faxed this morning to Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Chairman, Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, regarding his proposed legislation [S-2026] to ban Blue Water Navy Veterans from ever receiving benefits under Agent Orange legislation that was passed in 1991:

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10 September, 2007

Senator Daniel Akaka
Chairman, Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs
141 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Akaka,

Why?

Why would you propose legislation [S-2026] that would retroactively bar Blue Water Navy Veterans of Vietnam from receiving presumptive eligibility for benefits under Agent Orange legislation passed in 1991?

Why would you propose legislation that flies directly in the face of the August, 2006 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Haas v. Nicholson?

Why would you propose legislation that flies directly in the face of scientific evidence* that connects Agent Orange and other dioxins directly to a rapidly increased death rate among Blue Water Navy Veterans of Vietnam due to Agent Orange related diseases?

Why would you propose legislation that will adversely affect U.S. military recruiting efforts by abandoning care of Veterans affected by wartime conditions, and in this case, conditions created by our own government?

Why would you make an effort to deny Blue Water Navy Veterans benefits for a set of diseases linked to the use of Dioxins in Vietnam, that have caused their death rate to exceed that of those Veterans who served on land in Vietnam?*

Senator, why would you propose legislation that in effect denies an entire class of potential litigants the right to pursue civil court ordered compensation from the chemical companies that manufactured the dioxins used in Vietnam during the Vietnam era?

We can think of only one reason that you would do so: corporate protectionism. We pray we are wrong.

We would love to have you respond to these questions, Senator Akaka, and would gladly publish your response in the same space in which this letter appears –
VNVets Blog, located at: http://vnvets.blogspot.com/.

Certainly, Senator, you or your office, was lobbied to propose this legislation.

We would like to know who those lobbyists represent.

Senator, your website calls you a “strong and vocal advocate for veterans.” We urge you in the strongest terms to live up to that billing by rescinding this proposed legislation, and in fact, reversing its intent to ban Blue Water Navy Veterans from receiving benefits under Agent Orange legislation by aligning it with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Haas v. Nicholson. Blue Water Navy Veterans of Vietnam fought loyally and honorably in that conflict, and deserve no less.

Again, please be assured that your response to this letter will be published in full and unedited in the same space in which this letter is published
[
VNVets Blog, located at: http://vnvets.blogspot.com/].

Respectfully,

VNVets Blog


*References:

1.
Australian Vietnam Veterans Mortality and Cancer Incidence Studies
Located at:

http://www.dva.gov.au/media/publicat/2006/vietnam_health_studies/index.htm

2.
New Zealand TV3 report on dioxin contamination
Located at:

http://www.tv3.co.nz/VideoBrowseAll/PoliticsVideo/tabid/370/articleID/31428/Default.aspx?articleID=31428#video?articleID=31428


3.
Australian National Service Vietnam Veterans: Mortality and Cancer Incidence
Located at:

http://www.dva.gov.au/media/publicat/2006/vietnam_health_studies/vvnsr/index.htm

4.
EXAMINATION OF THE POTENTIAL EXPOSURE OF ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY (RAN) PERSONNEL TO POLYCHLORINATED DIBENZODIOXINS AND POLYCHLORINATED DIBENZOFURANS VIA DRINKING WATER
Located at:

http://bluewaternavy.org/aussie/aussie_final_report_water.pdf

5.
Co-distillation of Agent Orange in Evaporative Water Distillation
Located at:

http://bluewaternavy.org/aussie/diox-019.pdf

6.
REPORT TO SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ON THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS AND EXPOSURE TO AGENT ORANGE [Zumwalt Report]
Located at:




Note: If desired, more links to scientific evidence will be provided on request.

CC:
Honolulu Office [via fax]
Hilo Office [via fax]
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VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." -- President Abraham Lincoln

"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious." --President George Washington

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1 comment:

  1. Marcella Messer00:18

    Thank you so much for posting this letter. Will be sending one like it! Marcella and Carl Messer

    ReplyDelete