Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 26, 2013

Help restore the blue water sailors’ benefits

CUMBERLAND — Shame on the Bush administration, shame on the Obama administration, shame on the Congress and    shame on the Veterans Administration.

On this Memorial Day, the day we honor fallen veterans of all wars, it seems this country has turned its back on a living group of veterans that are dying in alarming numbers from diseases that they have due to being subjected to chemicals while they honorably served in the U.S. military.

They are dying on average of one every eight minutes. That’s 180 per day or 65,700 per year. More in one year than all that were killed during the 10-year Vietnam War.

This group of veterans I am refering to is the blue water Navy Vietnam veterans.

In 1991 the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed into law the Agent Orange Act. This law covered all military personnel who received the Vietnam Service Medal; you had to be there to receive the medal.

Then in 2002 the Bush administration for whatever reason, probably to help pay for his two wars and the health problems of the new group of veterans coming back, decided to take the blue water Navy Vietnam veterans Agent Orange benefits off of them, instituting the new boots on the ground policy.

That is: you had to physically set foot on on ground in Vietnam. This policy, even though it is contrary to the law that was passed in 1991, is the policy that the Veterans Administration goes by to this day.

 The VA does not even consider ships that were in bays and harbors of Vietnam as being in the Republic of Vietnam. The VA doesn’t even follow international or, for that matter U.S. law, when it comes to Vietnam’s boundaries.

Excluding bays and harbors as not being part of the Republic of Vietnam is like saying New York Harbor, the Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay and such are not within the boarders on the U.S.

 This is the fight we blue water Navy veterans have been having with the VA and our government. Help us, please call the president and tell him to restore the blue water Navy Vietnam veterans Agent Orange benefits back to them.

The White House phone number is 1-202-465-1111. Also there is a Bill in Congress, call your congressman an ask him or her to co-sponsor this Bill H.R. 543 The Blue Water Navy Agent Orange Act of 2013. The phone number for Congress main switchboard is 1-202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Congressmans office .

 Please help us; we are dying in great numbers. Many are homeless and many have no health coverage. To get free health coverage at the VA you have to be at least 30 percent rated disabled. Many have given up.

There is a slogan at the VA, “Deny, deny, untill they die.”

For a complete background on our plight go on any search engine and type in Military-Veterans Advocacy or Blue Water Navy. Everything is explained there in full detail and a lot better than I can.

 Thank you and Happy Memorial Day.

Carl Garlitz

Cumberland

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Life-saving law Life-saving law

    Not many pieces of legislation to come out of Annapolis can be described as a matter of life or death. But the CPR law signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley is just that.
    Known as Brenna’s Law, the legislation requires that all Maryland high schoolers will be required to complete CPR training as part of the graduation requirement.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cat sanctuary could use help with veterinarian bill

    Dawn’s Cat Sanctuary, Fort Ashby, W.Va., recently rescued 11 cats and one kitten from a home in Keyser, W.Va.

    April 24, 2014

  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • President and Obamacare: Who needs Congress?

    Being a fellow from a small town like Cumberland I don’t always really understand what’s going on in Washington. But I have watched a few houses being built over the years. I even helped some with one house, but my brother fired me from that work pretty quickly, mainly because it was his house being built.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sweet Success Business Forum this evening in Frostburg

    As a member of the Frostburg Business and Professional Association (FBPA), I am pleased to inform the community of the “Sweet Success” event sponsored by the city of Frostburg and our organization.

    April 22, 2014

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • You can help United Way reach its goal

    The United Way of Allegany County campaign for 2013-14 will end April 30 and to date has raised more than $430,000, which is over 86 percent of its goal. But there is still $70,000 to be raised in a very short time.

    April 21, 2014

  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo