Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

November 9, 2012

Pass the Agent Orange benefits plan for veterans

 

With the elections over, the new House of Representatives and Senate will have their first session in early 2013. They will be faced with many issues, some old, some new. 
It is time for the new Congress to put aside politics and become legislators. There are still two major bills in committee of interest to Vietnam veterans, House Bill HR-3612 and Senate Bill S.1629. 
These bills are to restore VA benefits for Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam war. The present Congress still has time to act upon these bills before January 2013. 
These bills must come out of committee and go to the floor of both houses. I ask the American people to urge our legislators to act on these bills. 
The Vietnam veterans who are sick from Agent Orange Dioxin exposure need these bills passed into law by our present legislators before the new legislators take office.  
With a new legislative assembly, we advocates for Vietnam veterans will have to start over again. This means longer delay for veterans’ Veterans Administration approval. 
Thousands of Vietnam veterans won't be approved by the VA because they did not have boots on ground, even though they were awarded the Vietnam Service Medal.  
Many sailors, airmen and fleet Marines who served during that war are sick from exposure to the deadly herbicide.  With the passage of the afore mentioned bills, these members of the Armed Forces will receive equality for VA benefits. 
John J. Bury, U.S Navy, retired
Vietnam war veteran
Media, Pa.

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