Senators Daines and Gillibrand Introduce Legislation to Ensure Thousands of Navy Veterans Will Be Eligible For Disability
Senators Steve Daines and Kirsten Gillibrand have introduced legislation to ensure thousands of Navy veterans known as "Blue Water" vets from the Vietnam War exposed to the powerful toxin Agent Orange will be eligible to receive disability and health care benefits they have earned for diseases linked to Agent Orange exposure.
“Our veterans don’t deserve sub-par care. It is unacceptable that a technicality in the law and dysfunctional federal bureaucracy has resulted in the prolonged suffering of thousands of our nation’s heroes,” Daines stated. “This legislation will ensure that victims of Agent Orange-related disease receive the care and compensation they have long deserved. I will fight every day for our veterans, just as they have fought for us.”
In 2005, the VA’s former Director of Environmental Agents Service Dr. Mark Brown publicly acknowledged that there was no scientific basis for the exclusion of Blue Water Vietnam veterans, but the VA has continued to refuse these veterans presumptive benefits Congress initially intended. In his article in the Journal of Law and Policy, Dr. Brown wrote, “Science does not back up the VA’s policy on the Navy.”