Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time for direct action

Our good friends have done it again.  Since Congress apparently has had the lights go out due to the placement of their heads, FRA has bypassed Congress and added a direct appeal to Secretary of the VA David Shulkin.

Please take this seriously and take action today.  If the Secretary rescinds the 2002 rule change it will automatically revert to providing presumptive exposure to all on the basis of two things alone: receipt of the Vietnam Service medal [or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Vietnam] and a disease on the VA's list of AO related diseases.

What this avenue would do is a thousand times better than the bills in Congress, and far less expensive.  Those with prior denied Blue Water Navy claims will see them reversed and granted.  New claims will be far easier to process since they will not have to spend money and time on researching which ships entered territorial waters, how long they stayed, where they were inside territorial waters, and will have to do that for every time the ship entered territorial waters.   Multiply that by the 500 or so ships that earned the VSM or the AFEM-VN and you can see clearly that it would take years to accomplish the research. 

Instead, you present your claim with a DD 214, and a Page 4 of the Personnel Record, which you should have gotten, and a doctor's statement of diagnosis of a disease on the VA's list of AO Related diseases.  Instead of months, or years waiting on claims if the territorial waters are made a requirement, the claim wait time could take anywhere from weeks to several months.

This approach set up by the Fleet Reserve Association is the way to go.  Get your documentation together.

AND BY ALL MEANS USED THE FRA's ACTION CENTER TO SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO SECRETARY SHULKIN.  Be nice.  It isn't his fault, but he can fix it.

Here is the FRA's announcement:

Ask VA Secretary to Help "Blue Water" Vietnam Veterans
FRA supports the “Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act” (H.R. 299 & S. 422) that would clarify that service members serving off the coast of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict have a presumption for filing disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for ailments associated with exposure to the Agent Orange herbicide. Studies demonstrate that the desalinization process used on Australian and U.S. Navy ships off the coast of Vietnam magnified the exposure of the Agent Orange in the water.

The VA Secretary could help these veterans by implementing a regulation. FRA has met with the VA Secretary and we have been informed that he is reviewing the policy. Please use the Action Center to ask the VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin to implement a regulation giving these veterans a presumption for filing disability claims with the VA for ailments associated with exposure to the Agent Orange herbicide.

Click here to reach the BWN Action Page and send a message to the VA Secretary.

Go do it now.  It takes less than three minutes.  I did it in two.  

We keep saying this, but if you aren't a member of FRA, you should be.  No other organization has pushed the BWN fight as far as FRAClick here to reach the FRA Membership Page.

Join today!

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

Copyright © 2005-2017: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Thirteenth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.