Friday, September 13, 2013

Update on Legislation Efforts


Recent events regarding the effort to pass HR 543 need to be noted by you. 

First, in his testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs on September 10, 2013, National Commander of the American Legion made the following remarks: 
“Agent Orange remains a concern, as thousands of veterans exposed to the toxin are left behind when it comes to vital treatment and benefits. The American Legion remains committed to ensuring that all veterans who served in areas of exposure receive recognition and treatment for conditions linked to Agent Orange. Time is running out for those veterans not designated as having “boots on the ground” during the Vietnam War. Studies indicate that “blue water navy” veterans may have experienced higher exposure rates to Agent Orange than those who were on the ground, due to water-desalination systems on the ships; this has never been satisfactorily addressed by VA.
“The time is now to recognize all Vietnam veterans for their exposure to Agent Orange, not just those veterans who had boots on the ground.”

Indeed, it is long past due.   The involvement in the Vietnam War began for the US 49 years ago last month with the Tonkin Gulf Incident. 

We think a half century of obfuscation, denial, and delay on the part of both Congress and the VA is more than abysmal, it approaches criminal malfeasance.  But Veterans Service Organizations like the American Legion, and the VVA, FRA, and others are keeping our issue before Congress.  For that, we owe them a debt of gratitude. 

In other news, some of our readers are to be congratulated for accomplishing the following additions to the list of members of the US House of Representatives to the list who have signed on to cosponsor HR 543:

H.R. 543: Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2013

Sep 12, 2013 — New Cosponsor
Sep 11, 2013 — New Cosponsors
New Cosponsor: Rep. Dina Titus [D-NV1]

Our thanks go out to those who worked to get these Representatives on board. 

Keep up the pressure!

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--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

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

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