House bill could expand Agent Orange claims

Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Friday Nov 20, 2009 17:47:20 EST

Legislation granting Air Force and Navy veterans a better shot at receiving disability benefits for Agent Orange-related illness now has 204 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, 14 short of the number needed to guarantee passage. The bill, HR 2254, is the Agent Orange Equity Act. It would grant people who served in the waters off Vietnam and the airspace above it the same presumptions as people who set foot there: that certain diseases are the result of exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange, widely used to defoliate jungle around U.S. bases and outposts. If enacted, the bill would cover veterans who had received a Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal or who served on Johnston Island, a Navy outpost, beginning April 1, 1972, and ending Sept. 30, 1977. Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., the House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman who is the measure’s chief sponsor, said the bill goes a long way toward providing benefits to veterans whom the Veterans Affairs Department “illogically refuses to acknowledge.” “Current law requires VA to provide care for service members exposed to Agent Orange by virtue of their ‘boots on the ground,’ but ignores veterans that served in the blue waters and the blue skies of Vietnam,” Filner said. His bill would provide the same presumptions “to all combat veterans of the Vietnam War, regardless of where they served.”


One Response to “House bill could expand Agent Orange claims”


    AS A bluewater Navy vetran. I have been disabledh SINCE Oct. of 2000. Iserved with VAW-115aboard USS RANGER CVA-61 in the gulf of TONKIN 1967-68 1968-69. i HAVE TYPE2 DIABETES, ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE,HEART SURGERY,EAR PROBLEMS,HYPERTENSON,EYE PROBLEMS,CORID ARTERIES,NEORUPATHY,I.B.S. AND MORE.aLL CAUSED BY AGENT ORANGE. live in poverty.

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