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Agent Orange can be DeadlyJohn J. Bury for Salem-News.com
Agent Orange: over 21,000,000 gallons of this toxic herbicide was sprayed in Vietnam to defoliate crops to lessen the food supply and to thin out foliage.
(MEDIA, Pa.) - I am U.S. Navy retired with 22 years active service; also, a Vietnam Veteran with four (4) ship board deployments to Vietnam waters, known as the combat zone.
From January 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975, Agent Orange (Dioxin) was used in Vietnam as a defoliate. Approximately 21,000,000 gallons was sprayed. Presumptive Exposure to the Dioxin may have caused a variety of illnesses to those serving in the Armed Forces (Vietnam). Some Land, Air and Sea service members, better known as having Boots-On-Ground who were infected by suspect elements of Agent Orange, in some cases receive Veteran Administration (VA) compensation for their disability.
For most Navy Veterans, not ever having Boots-On-Ground who served onboard Naval ships within the coastal waters of the Vietnam combat zone are known as Blue Water Sailors. These sailors are not eligible for VA compensation.
Naval ships of nearly all world Navies, sea water is distilled into fresh water. This fresh water is consumed and used for bathing by ships personnel. It is presumed the Dioxin contaminated fresh drinking water. Our Government and the VA is in denial of this sea water as Presumptive Exposure to Dioxin contamination that can and has infected Blue Water Sailors.
Anyone who has served onboard ship during the Vietnam war combat zone during the afore mentioned time period and has had or has an illness listed by the VA. Take note. If these service members have made claim to the VA and were denied compensation because they were Blue Water Sailors, never having Boots-On-Ground are urged to write to their respective Members of Congress and Senate. Ask why are these sailors not recognized?
Presently, there is a House Bill (HR-812) The Agent Orange Equily Act. This bill is pending by the Veterans Affairs Congressional Committee. The Bill was introduced February 18, 2011, by Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calf.). As of September 23, 2011, Senator Kirsten Gellibrand (D-NY) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), introduced Senate Bill S, 1629 to amend HR-812. Bill S. 1629 is a Bill restoration act to give back what once existed, and taken away. To Date no action has been taken.
Agent Orange, over 21,000,000 gallons was sprayed, a defoliant herbicide, in Vietnam. The herbicide was used to defoliate crops to lessen the food supply and to thin out foliage. Agent Orange became airborne, carried by wind out to sea. It was also in the rivers that flowed into the sea. In Retrospect, many American lives were saved by this action, better known as “Operation Ranch Hand”. However, unbeknown by service members on Land, Air and Sea, this deadly chemical would one day be presumed to cause several health problems by Presumptive Exposure. Some illness’ are, but not limited to:
We Veterans, Blue Water Sailors onboard Naval ships deserve equality, bar none. We served with Pride and Honor, questioning not our jobs in time of war.
We Ask the American public to join the fight. Write to your members of Congress and Senate. Ask him or her to support our rightful due for VA compensation. Urge our elected officials to do what is right for the long forgotten Vietnam Veterans. We need House Bill (HR-812) and Senate Bill S. 1629, The Agent Orange Equily Act for swift action with strong approval by the Veterans Affairs Congressional Committee. This Bill must be sent to the House Floor with recommendation for swift approval.
We Veterans who never had Boots-On-Ground with Presumptive Exposure to Agent Orange need your help. We want equal compensation for our military service related disability.
By: John J. Bury, US Navy/retired, Vietnam Veteran
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