Friday, March 11, 2016

FRA Sustaining the Fight!

Hot off the presses from the Fleet Reserve Association's weekly NewsBytes newsletter.  More great work by the FRA on our behalf: 
Agent Orange Blue Water Litigation and IOM Final Report
Oral arguments were heard in the case of Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association v. Robert A. McDonald in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on March 10. John Wells, FRA member and attorney for the Blue Water Vietnam Veterans Association, argued the federal district court has the ability to review the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) actions under the Administrative Procedures Act. The three panel judges will make a ruling in approximately three months. During the trial, both the attorney and one of the judges pointed out that if Congress passes the Agent Orange Blue Water Acts (HR 969 & S681) and if it becomes law, any ruling by the court would no longer be relevant. FRA continues to seek a legislative remedy so that “Blue Water” Vietnam veterans who have health problems commonly associated with Agent Orange herbicide exposure will be eligible for service-related VA medical and disability benefits. FRA National President Virgil Courneya will testify next week on this and other relevant issues before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees. Members are urged to use the FRA Action Center ( to ask their legislators to support the AOBWN legislation (H.R. 969 & S. 681).
In related events, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Agent Orange committee released its final congressionally-mandated report on veterans and Agent Orange. This is the tenth biennial update and there are a few changes to the presumption category. The committee determined that there is a stronger connection than previously thought between bladder cancer and hypothyroidism to exposure of Agent Orange. It has been recommended that Parkinson’s-like symptoms be added to the service-connected list and Spina bifida be removed from the presumptive list.
These great folks at FRA simply do not quit.   If you aren't a member, you should be.  Click here to join today.


”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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