Thursday May 24, 2018
SNc Channels:



Dec-11-2011 15:58printcomments

Vietnam Blue Water Navy: One step closer for VA benefits

The American people needs to be aware of how this horrible herbicide has infected thousands of Naval personnel. We served onboard ship in the Vietnam war zone. We too were infected by agent orange dioxin.

U.S. Navy
Sailors in the U.S. Navy were contaminated with Agent Orange and they receive little credit for that exposure because they didn't have 'boots on the ground' in Vietnam.

(MEDIA, Pa.) - A new step forward is achieved for the Blue Water Navy of the Vietnam War. Vietnam Navy veterans who are infected with presumptive exposure of Agent Orange Dioxin soon may realize benefits from Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation for agent orange disability.

Those Navy veterans, known as Blue Water sailors, who never had boots-on-ground, hopefully will see day light at the end of the tunnel. The realization of the VA benefits for disability is based solely on the Legislative passage of a new Congressional Bill.

On December 8, 2011, Congressmen Chris Gibson (R-NY), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Tim Walz (D-MN) and Denny Rehberg (R-MT) announced the introduction of House Bill HR-3612, The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2011.

This is a companion Bill to Senate Bill S.1629, The Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011. It was previously introduced by Senators Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The new House Bill offers a compromise to the Senate Bill.

The compromise would enable those Veteran Navy men to receive VA benefits who can show proof of Naval service up to 12 miles off-shore of Vietnam. They must also provide medical evidence that they have in the past or do suffer from any of diseases the U.S. Government has linked to agent orange exposure. Those diseases can be found on the VA’s web site at

I am a Navy Vietnam Veteran who served onboard ship in the waters of Vietnam. I too am presuming exposure to agent orange. I have fought three cancers, presently fighting a fourth cancer. Two of my cancers are on the VA’s list of diseases.

The American people needs to be aware of how this horrible herbicide has infected thousands of Naval personnel. We served onboard ship in the Vietnam war zone. We too were infected by agent orange dioxin. Many of us have died, many of us who still live are now sick with diseases associated with this herbicide. We Navy Veterans deserve equal treatment for our service in this horrible war.

Write, call, E-mail your respective Members of Congress. Urge them to support House Bill HR-3612. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.

By: John J, Bury, US Navy/retired, Vietnam veteran

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Larry Blankenship April 23, 2018 9:47 am (Pacific time)

I did three West Pacs to Vietnam. Two on the Kitty Hawk CVA-65 and one on the Bon Homme Richard CVA-31. Both are aircraft carriers and when the planes returned to the ship from dropping the bombs they were caught by the big hooks and as the plane would suddenly stop there would be a spray of moisture. For entertainment we were always watching the landings with not much else to do. I remember getting sprayed many times and I am now suffering from heart attacks with coronary artery disease, osteopenia, skin cancer, ED and scars on my lungs. The spray contained Agent Orange since the planes flew over while the spraying of the Dioxin.

James Gerald Gault March 1, 2018 3:01 pm (Pacific time)

I am a Blue Water Navy, Vietnam Veteran, 1969 to 1970. I was stationed on the Bonhomme Richard, CVA 31, an aircraft carrier. The aircraft made constant bombing missions over Vietnam. When they returned to our ship, they had been exposed to Agent Orange and other toxins. Our food, water, aircraft, and people were exposed to Agent Orange. Also Agent Orange filters the air in which we had to breath. I have suffered diabetes, neuropathy, retinopathy, cancer and other health problems. I am also sick of Congress and the House of Representatives not helping the Blue Water Navy Veterans which are suffering.

Robert A Erhard Sr. January 7, 2013 7:57 pm (Pacific time)

The Department of Veterans Affairs does not honor The Institute of Medicine Blue Water Navy Report > minor rev. 3 Jan. 2012(yes'that's minor rev. 3 Jan. 2012).Yet, The Dept. of Veterans Affairs itself requested further investigation and The IOM Report. The IOM Report accepts The Danang Harbor Report. Please read both. The IOM Report reveals that The Blue Water Navy(and others)were in the worst of situations conditions,and atmosphere exposed to agent orange, especially the on-location distillation of water for drinking. Naval ships distillation systems did not remove agent orange. Sailors were exposed up to ten-fold concentrations compared to the distillation of water by the "BOOTS ON GROUND". Yet,The Blue Water Navy(and others) are being denied compensation and health care.Such is to deny "I" and my OFFSPRING compensation and health care. Such takes "The Spotlight" off of Other places that's been contaminated by agent orange outside of Vietnam of by the same common thread: The water was contaminated in Guam. Ships replenishing there... to having liberty,the Veterans were directly exposed to agent orange. Such includes Clark AFB and Subic Bay ,The Phillipines. Let's not forget Taiwan,Panama, and The Panama Canal.The Blue Water Navy(and others)were exposed to agent orange "IN" the Vietnam Conflict and outside of Vietnam such as the places mentioned by the common thread of contaminated water.Nonetheless,for The Dept. of Veterans Affairs to deny Vietnam Veterans medical evidence in their favor is unconstitutional.Likewise, To deny Vietnam Veterans claims denies/disparages their OFFSPRING'S claim. That's the root of the matter.

Robert Lingo November 17, 2012 3:27 pm (Pacific time)

Mr. anonymous needs to get his facts straight. There were several ships sunk as a result of combat in Vietnam. There was more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange sprayed from January 9,1962 to May 7, 1975. Do you think for one minute all that spray was confined to areas where troops had boots on the ground. There was at least as much AO dumped by fliers as was sprayed in designated areas. IT was policy for flyers to dump their loads before returning to base. Where do you think they dumped it ? Get your facts straight a-- H---.

Jane L. Bowen September 10, 2012 11:02 pm (Pacific time)

I am so glad that this Bill is out there but sick of Congress and the HOuse not doing anything to help the Blue Water Navy Veterans..Yes they did serve their country and are dying daily from exposure to this toxin..and now our government is going to pay Vietnam for clean up of the old Air Bases that had been used while assisting the South Vietnam..but they can't help our dying veterans?? Doesn't make sense to me to send all of our money over seas to Governments that kill our people (like in Afganistan) and not take care of our own. My husband is ill with Diabetes, thyroid disease and has stage 3 Kidney faiure, and no family history of any of thse!! Explain to me how he got all of these diseases and why they are not related to his service in the Navy off the coast of Vietnam..He remembers seeing the " Cloud" after the Navy Pilots dropped the herbicide floating out to sea toward their ships..they did drink "Ocean water that was Distilled to fresh" This water was pumped while they could see the land masses of Vietnam, the inland water ways drained into the ocean, so the herbicide that was sprayed did drain from the heavy rain fall into the rivers and then into the how can they say Our Navy Men didnot get exposed to Agent Orange?? God help those who deny they Veterans..bcause they someday will have to answer to Him as to why they let good men down and denied them.. I heard that Karma isn't a nice Lady when she returns the favor to those who deserve it..

Anonymous December 12, 2011 11:10 am (Pacific time)

Editor I am service-connected from Vietnam, from wounds, not any disease-related pesticides, for example one called Agent Orange. I have a friend who is getting a 50% AG-related disability for Diabetes, which is on the AG disease list. If you compare Vietnam vets who served on the ground in Vietnam, with bluewater sailors you will see no difference between them and our civilian cohorts, none at all. The CDC and many university studies are available. What veterans need who are service-connected is more funding, for the waits involved getting medical treatment in some locations is horrible. During the 90's Clinton and the demo congress passed a bill allowing all vets to use the VA healthcare system without funding for those millions of people. The VA system was set up for service-connected veterans, so all that cheer about all veterans having access is fine, but the primary mission has been obliterated as the funding does not add up. These assholes in congress get into their medical appointments immediately, but out veterans often die waiting. So the bluewater sailors should realize that many service-connected vets are not all that supportive of them until the funding and the science comes about to support their postion. This is not being cold, but we need to take care of those vets, especially the combat disabled, before anyone else.

John J. Bury December 12, 2011 7:02 am (Pacific time)

I am the writer of the agent orange article on House Bill HR-3612. Also the writer on Agent Orange Is Deadly, and Agent Orange Infecting Our children. Wind carried the herbicide out to sea, it was in the water, when distilled to fresh water, we drank the Dioxin. Don't tell me we do not deserve eual treatment when we sailor are just as sick and many of our children likewise are sick. The stuff just took a bit longer to catch up to us. We are NOT money grubbers as some would imply. We need those VA benefits to help us live. Can you tell me in honest truth, if you were infected by dioxin that you would not seek help from our government who caused you to be sick...You most certainly would be angy as I am and thousands of others like me. My fight is not for me alone, but for the thousand of others like me. Someone has to fight and I am that someone...Either stand behind me and fight or stand in front of me and fight. Get my meaning.....

Anonymous December 11, 2011 7:33 pm (Pacific time)

John you could just have easily been off the coast of New Jersey. You don't even need one finger to count how many ships were sunk because of combat action during the Vietnam War-ZERO. I have no problem with you guys getting benefits, but they are not combat-related, nor Agent Orange related.

Editor: I get sick of you guys being critical this way yet failing to use your name.  That aspect alone takes your credibility and throws it out the window.  Anyone reading this knows the sailors aren't saying they were in Vietnam, they were on the ships that transported it.  They handled it, they stored it, they lived around it.  It seems your goal is to dog these guys, why?  Is it that you don't think there is enough money?  Of course there isn't, but why not just be fair?

They will be for political reasons, and nothing else.

 Editor: You consider a human being's health and quality of life a political matter?  I do not, nor is it.

You cannot scientifically show that you guys have a higher related AG disease rate than than American civilians who never left the states. It is pathetic what are pols do for a few votes. Airborne: Dominican Republic (1965) and Vietnam (1966-68). Equal treatment for those who actually served in the densely sprayed areas is the only correct response for compensation.

Editor: Those are just words, the affected people feel differently about it.  Why does there have to be an ego war?  Are American vets all not one thing?  I was a Marine and I would do anything to help these sailors.   

Kelly December 11, 2011 5:38 pm (Pacific time)

[Return to Top]
©2018 All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of

Articles for December 10, 2011 | Articles for December 11, 2011 | Articles for December 12, 2011
Your customers are looking: Advertise on!

Annual Hemp Festival & Event Calendar

Steele`s Karate
In Salem
Sign Up Now!

Donate to and help us keep the news flowing! Thank you.