Veteran organizations call on President Trump to pass Blue Water Navy legislation

Kaylah Jackson
December 12, 2018 - 1:42 pm

(Photo courtesy of Disabled American Veterans)

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Multiple veteran service organizations have signed a letter calling President Trump’s attention to the Blue Water Navy legislation which failed to proceed in the Senate, Monday.

Leaders of the Disabled Americans Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), The American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), American Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans of America signed the letter to Trump asking him to put pressure on the Senate to pass the law calling it “overdue injustice.”

The legislation would expand VA disability payment eligibility to Navy veterans who served aboard ships near Vietnam, thousands of who have experienced adverse health effects. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), objected to the bill, Monday, which stalled it in the Senate.

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Penned in the letter, VSOs explain, “We understand there is concern about the cost to provide benefits and health care to Blue Water Navy veterans suffering from cancers and other illnesses linked to Agent Orange. But when our nation asks its brave men and women to serve in harm’s way, America assumes a sacred obligation to care and compensate for the injuries and illnesses they suffer during that service.”

RELATED: It’s the cost of war’: lawmakers demand action on Blue Water Navy vets bill after collapse

While many members of Congress have debated on the validity on the service-related health issues these Blue Navy Veterans experienced, the VSOs cited studies from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Academy of Medicine as having researched this topic. Currently, only Vietnam veterans who had "boots on the ground" during the war can receive Agent Orange health benefits, however in June of this year, Congress passed a bill allowing Vietnam, Korean DMZ, Thailand veterans who suffer from Agent Orange-related health issues to receive them also. 

RELATED: Why Sen. Enzi’s delay of Blue Water Navy bill is bull$#%!

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