Senator Jon Tester today questioned VA officials in a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing about two of his bills to extend benefits and increase research on the treatment of veterans and military families exposed to Agent Orange.

Tester’s Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act would allow veterans who served in the waters offshore during the Vietnam War to also be eligible for service-connected disability benefits as a result of Agent Orange exposure.

“For far too long, the veterans of the Vietnam War never received the benefits or the recognition they deserved, but now we’re trying to right that terrible wrong,” said Tester, a senior member of the committee. “We need to finally provide proper care and benefits for veterans and families suffering from Agent Orange exposure, and we must make sure that today’s military members and future generations don’t suffer the same mistreatment.”

The committee also heard testimony on Tester’s Toxic Exposure Research Act that increases research into health conditions of descendants of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and other toxins during their military service.