Friday, September 18, 2015

Important Update for BWN Sailors

Our friends at the Fleet Reserve Association have passed on information about three issues that should concern you: 
Affected Vietnam Veterans should consider Filing Reconsideration of Claim
As reported in the May 1, 2015 issue of NewsBytes, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has ruled that veterans who served aboard ships in the harbors of Vietnam more than 40 years ago should not be arbitrarily excluded from Agent Orange claims—a significant step forward for these veterans. Former Navy seaman Robert Gray has been denied multiple disability claims by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) based on the fact that he was aboard a ship—not on land—during the Vietnam War, when the herbicide Agent Orange was liberally sprayed by American forces to remove foliage and eliminate enemy cover. The chemical was later found to cause numerous health problems for service members who were exposed, but the VA has denied disability claims to U.S. Navy sailors under the argument that the seamen were offshore and were not directly exposed. Veterans who served on ships off the coast of Vietnam who later developed specific health problems tied to exposure to Agent Orange should consider filing a claim for VA benefits or filing for re-consideration of previously denied claims.
In related news, FRA is supporting the “Agent Orange Extension Act,” (H.R. 3423) which would extend by two years the original sunset deadline of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 and ensure that Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange receive just compensation and care. The Act expires on September 30, 2015, and the legislation would extend it to September 30, 2017.

In addition, FRA supports the “Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act,” (H.R. 969/S. 681) which would clarify a presumption for filing disability claims with the VA for ailments associated with exposure to Agent Orange herbicide during the Vietnam War. Congress should recognize that so-called “Blue Water” veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange herbicide. The bill authorizes presumptive status for VA disability claims associated with this exposure for this group of veterans. Members can weigh in on these proposals through the FRA Action Center (
Please be sure to click on the link above to access the FRA's Action Page, and make your voice heard in Congress!

As usual if you are not a member of the Fleet Reserve Association you should be!

Get membership information here:   FRA Membership


”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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