Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Attention Vietnam Era Veterans of Okinawa

An article was recently published in the English edition of The Japan Times that discusses the plight of those Vietnam Era Veterans who's service was on the Japanese Island of Okinawa. Many barrels of herbicides were stored on the island and to some unknown extent it was used there as well. Read the story Evidence for Agent Orange on Okinawa, by Jon Mitchell, in The Japan Times.

The story of these Veterans is the same as those who served on Guam, in the Philippines, on Johnston Island, and so on. These Veterans are the subject of the second of two proposed Agent Orange bills awaiting introduction in Congress. The Veterans Association of Sailors of the Vietnam War [VASVW] is advocating the two bills [the proposed Agent Orange Restoration Act, and the proposed Agent Orange Supplemental Act], in order to provide benefits for Vietnam Veterans who had their benefits under the Agent Orange Act of 1991 taken away by the Department of Veterans Affairs [the AO Restoration Act], and for Veterans who served outside of the Vietnam Theater of War but were exposed to herbicides that were stored, used, tested or shipped through their location [the AO Supplemental Act].

Those Veterans who served on Okinawa [and other locations] would be covered by the proposed Agent Orange Supplemental Act, necessary because they are a separate class of Veterans who served outside the Combat Zone/Vietnam Theater of War. [Read about the difference between the two bills.]

Thanks to Jon Mitchell and the editors at The Japan Times for bringing the Okinawa issue before the public. The hope here is that US wire services pick up the story. And perhaps a Veterans magazine might publish it as a different view of the Vietnam War and its deadly consequences.

Visit the VASVW website for information about our efforts to spur Congress to "do the right thing" and cover all Veterans exposed to dioxin-containing herbicides.


”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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  1. Anonymous20:47

    Thanks for picking up on the article in The Japan Times. A planned follow-up article will be published this summer.
    For more information, search Face Book, "Agent Orange Okinawa".
    Thanks again.
    Joe Sipala

  2. Happy to help, Joe. We want to see everyone who was exposed have benefits provided...and on the same level.


  3. Joe Sipala11:49

    My story was just picked up by the local t.v. station. Here's the link to my interview.
    The video portion freeze a bit but they hope to have that fixed by Monday.
    Interesting, I had my Vet Rep email me that my "15 minutes of fame" may be "devastating" to my pending claims with the VA. Strange that telling the truth and providing facts would be upsetting to the VA and Congress.

  4. Sometimes its the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, Joe. Keep on fighting the fight.