Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Time to Stand Tall and Come Together

The recent Haas decision was a severe setback for all of us Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans, our families and survivors.

You may be depressed, and possibly ready to drop the whole thing.

And you would be wrong.

You may very well be closer to achieving victory than you have ever been since the DVA unilaterally decided to stop Agent Orange benefits to us in 2002.

What's that he said?

We said you are likely closer to benefits now than anytime since the 2002 cutoff.

First, the NVLSP is asking for an en banc review of the Haas decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This review asks the rest of the court's justices to look at the decision and make a judgment as to the validity of the decision. There can be more than a few different outcomes from this review...and that is dependent on whether the court agrees to conduct an en banc review. Trying to get a timeline for this action is nearly impossible since there is very little history to to go on as this is a rare occurance.

If the en banc review fails, the next step is the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, there are other efforts for you all to get behind. We have said for a very long time that we should not place all our hopes and prayers on the Haas case, and the last court decision bore us out on that.

Even though we have had little success in getting the attention of Congress focused on the Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act, we should continue hammering away at our Senators and Representatives to get on board the bill and sponsor it.

Another initiative would be to ask Congress to pass a resolution modeled along the lines of the Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act [an idea sent to us by one of our readers - and a good idea it is, too!] that expresses the will of Congress on the matter. This idea may see more success than passing the act itself. Once passed, such a resolution could be used to force the DVA to roll back the blockage of benefits for Blue Water Veterans.

Other legal efforts seek to move for granting of benefits for anyone who applied between the cutoff date in 2002, and whenever the new "definition of service in Vietnam" goes into effect. Said claim denials were done via agency error, and as such, prior policy should still have been in effect [the DVA never posted the changes for Public Comment before making the M21-1 Manual change in 2002, thus depriving the public of due process in the change.] Courts take a dim view of such events.

We are in more than a "hurry up and wait" mode, we are also in an action mode, and the more pressure you place directly on your Senators and Representatives the greater the chance of achieving success. It may be to your benefit to have an attorney represent you if your claim is denied.

Pressure. Multi front pressure. It is classic military strategy and tactics. So the last thing you can do right now is quit.

Consider this a recall from liberty, the ship is getting under way and heading for sea and action. It is time to come together and pull in the same direction. Do not allow your spirits to flag, but stand tall and let's go spit in the eye of the DVA!


”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 Bush 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

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

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.


  1. Anonymous11:49

    I don't understand something.
    When we got ower pay at sea we went through a line. And in this line each person had something special he was to do Ex. Base pay, Over sea pay , Combat pay and at the end of the line you got your money. How we BWV hear that the BWV was not Combat Vets, There must be a log or spread sheet that breakes this down, and that the Fed. Goverment admitted that we were Combat Vets because they paid us Combat Pay.

  2. Only according to the PResident, the Congress, the Courts, and the DVA are we not combat veterans.

    We know better, but officially they all deny we served in Vietnam.

    Here's how ludicrous it is: by their definition John McCain did not serve in Vietnam!