Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

October 11, 2013

Is Congress broken, or does it not care about vets?

A congressional bill, HR-543, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2013, introduced Feb. 6 by Rep. Christopher P. Gibson (NY-19), is stuck in committee.

To date only 148 members of Congress have co-sponsored this bill. The bill if passed would recognize Navy and Marines who served at sea for Veterans Administration benefits including compensation. What is wrong with Congress when it comes to our veterans? Is Congress broken or do they just not care?

As it stands now, the VA only recognizes one disease for Blue Water Navy, Lymphoma non-Hodgkin’s of the approximately 12 non-cancerous and 38 cancerous diseases.

The Agent Orange Act of 1991 afforded VA benefits including compensation to 534,000 Navy and Marine veterans. In 2002 the VA stopped awarding benefits to this group of veterans. There are approximately 170,000 of these veterans known to still be living.

If a Navy or Marine Vietnam veteran can not prove boots on ground they would be denied. At sea in the territorial waters of Vietnam Navy and Marines did come in contact with the herbicide agent orange dioxin in their drinking water and mists of the herbicide as it drifted out to sea has been linked to harmful life threatening health effects.

Vietnam veterans need help, many suffer today with no resolve. The voice of the American people can help. Call, write, e-mail your members of the U.S. Congress, urge them to co-sponsor the Bill and pass legislation of HR-543.

John J. Bury, US Navy, retired

Vietnam War veteran

Media, Pa.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • It might not be a problem, but a possibility

    God certainly orchestrates circumstances that cause us to marvel. The recent flood In Cresaptown that Calvary Baptist Church/School endured is proving to be yet another miracle birthed out of devastation.

    July 24, 2014

  • Look to the Jubilee solution to resolve our economic woes

    Following the Lehman banking debacle of 2008, the government sponsored bailout of the banking sector to boost the economy created an illusion of recovery.

    July 24, 2014

  • Common Core curriculum is bad news for West Virginians

    If something is not done soon, the vast majority of American K-12 school children will be taught using dubious, federally backed national education “standards” that have come under fire from across the political spectrum.

    July 24, 2014

  • Please return valuable items taken from woman’s parked van

    On July 8 at 2:33 p.m. my 16-year-old granddaughter Caitlyn Cook and I arrived at Children’s Medical Group for a 3 p.m. appointment.

    July 23, 2014

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014