A newly proposed federal law will afford certain VA benefits to more U.S. Navy Vietnam veterans.
House Bill 543, known as the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, will allow naval personnel engaged in the Vietnam War — including those who served at sea and never had boots on the ground — to receive benefits for Agent Orange exposure.
If approved, the bill would change current VA regulations to say anyone in the Navy who served in Vietnam's territorial waters can get Agent Orange benefits. Territorial waters are those within 12 miles of shore.
The U.S. used Agent Orange as a defoliant in Vietnam. It has been linked to cancer and various nerve, respiratory and digestive disorders.
We veterans need the support of the American people for this bill to become a reality. We ask people to contact their members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.).
Additionally, please go to causes.com and, in the search box, type “Agent Orange Act” and sign the petition.
John J. Bury
Media, Delaware County
The writer is retired from the U.S Navy and a Vietnam War veteran.
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