Cumberland Times-News

February 21, 2013

New bill would help Navy vets with Agent Orange benefits

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— The 112th Congress failed to pass a law for Vietnam War veterans. The law would have afforded all U.S. Navy Vietnam vets Veterans Administration benefits.

A new House Bill HR-543, The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act was introduced to the 113th Congress by Rep. Chris Gibson (N.Y.). The bill, if passed, will afford VA benefits to all U.S. Navy personnel engaged in the Vietnam war who served at sea, never having boots on ground, for Agent Orange exposure.

In submitting a VA claim for Agent Orange exposure, the veteran must show proof of naval service in the territorial waters of the Republic of Vietnam. In addition, medical history for one or more acceptable diseases recognized by the VA for exposure. A copy of the veteran’s DD-214 must be submitted with VA claim.

We veterans need help from the American people. We need public support for action. We ask you to urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill. Without public support, nothing happens. Additionally, go to www.causes.com in the search box type Agent Orange Act, page down to the title, sign the petition.

 John J. Bury, U.S. Navy, retired

Vietnam War veteran

Media, Pa.