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Blue Water Navy Ao Vets


“Many people believe all Vietnam veterans injured in the war receive Health Care from VA hospitals. This is not true. Any veteran who served offshore Vietnam is denied Health Care and lost wage Compensation for any disease or disability caused by Agent Orange-dioxin.

These veterans are dying of the same conditions as troops who served on land, from the cancers, diabetes and heart diseases related to dioxin poisoning. But they are not eligible for the same VA Benefits. This is an issue the American public needs to know about so they can demand their Congressional Representatives support legislation currently before the House and Senate. We must end this travesty!

Only the American public can bring the needed changes by demanding their Senators and Representatives vote for S-1629, The Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011, which will help solve the problems of the offshore Vietnam veterans while they are still alive.

John Paul Rossie

Littleton, CO

Vietnam Naval veteran, 1969

Link to contact legislators VVA


Link to contact legislators FRA



Also please take the time to join the BWN site. The Agent Orange Equity Act will pop up,lots of AO related info, and you can

participate in their forum.


Also- do we have any New York State BWN vets who who be affected by this AO Equity Act?

If so reply here and I will give out contact info.

Senator Gillibrand ,our Senator here in NY, has been most instrumental (due to the work of BWNVVA and other advocates such as Commander John Wells etc ), to introduce this highly important legislation.

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I guess I am considered one of the Vietnam vets sitting on the fence on this legislature. I mean a boots on ground vet that has spend time in the nam I feel is covered by the presumption of exposure because we were exposed by the actual application of the herbicide. I have a hard time agreeing to a wind or water exposure so far from shore.

I agree we are all vets and did what we were ordered to do and served our country, but the presumption has to stop somewhere or pilots in B-52s would be claiming exposure.

Common sense must come into play sometime!

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Who should and should not be covered under the A/O presumptive rules is and has been a problem for decades.

The VA compounds the problem by making direct connections difficult to obtain.

"Blue Water" veterans serving miles offshore are a particular problem area. The VA originally assumed that all

veterans in this category were not exposed, and were not eligible. Slowly, case by case, and law by law, this somewhat improved.

The last I heard, a S&R helicopter pilot was covered, and a crewman on the same helicopter and mission was not.

B52's and Navy fighters are somewhat unique, and presumption should not generally be made.

Last year and this year, the VA finally got the act together as to many ships that were entitled to presumptive exposure.

There is still a problem with what is referred to as "Brown Water", in that ships that were unloaded or loaded in a river or harbor

were potentially exposed to A/O. Even the definition of "Brown Water" is, at times, argued by the VA.

At the same time, the issues with distilled water and the concentrating factors are totally disregarded by the VA.

The VA is still taking the stance that the Da Nang bay and Cam Ranh bay were not contaminated by river runoff.

The VA has and is ignoring the fact that ships fresh water storage tanks can be contaminated well after contaminated water is flushed out of the system.

The Appendix to the last A/O IOM study is downplayed by the VA and others.

I did notice a potential error or two in the combination of the IOM study and the VA ships list. (Details, details).

To the best of my knowledge (I saw the filters in 1967, and was told that they were reverse osmosis filters) the Army did use them on some Navy ships housing army personnel ,

contrary to the IOM appendix.

The filters were not in Navy inventory, and parts had to be obtained through the army commands and supply system.

A major production was to move the filters from a rotating ship to it's replacement every three to six months.

Generally, this meant that operation of the relieved ship's fresh water system was suspended or severly curtailed until the ship was in the open ocean.

Ships using "boiler water" for propulsion had real problems, and were often forced to take on enough fresh water to last until they reached "clean" water.

"Brown Water" played havoc with, and clogged the distillation systems. Many of the LSTs used empty chambers, called "voids" as settling tanks to let the muck collect at the bottom, and periodically

removed it with pumps. The un-purified water was then fed to whatever, ideally a reverse osmosis filter, followed by the distillation system.

Edited by Chuck75

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Thank you for contacting me regarding the status of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in the line of duty.

Agent Orange exposure has caused significant long-term side effects in many veterans of the Vietnam War. Senator Gillibrand has introduced S. 1269, the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011. This bill would allow veterans to be compensated for illness or disability incurred as a result of exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, regardless of whether the exposure happened on the ground in Vietnam or in the adjacent waters or airspace. This would address the concerns of the "Blue Water Navy" veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange but have so far not been able to receive compensation from the VA because they were not on Vietnamese soil when they were exposed. S. 1269 is pending before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. I will be sure to keep your views in mind if this legislation is considered by the full Senate.

During consideration of legislation to fund the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2012, Senator Coburn offered an amendment that would change the manner in which disabilities and diseases are considered presumptive positive for agent orange exposure. This amendment would make it harder for many veterans to get treatment. I voted against this amendment, and it was not included in the final legislation.

I appreciate the time you've taken to contact me about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to do so again in the future.


Bill Nelson

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I was "blue water" aviation mechanic. We serviced aircraft covered in dust. Clouds we thought were dust sometimes drifted upon the carrier deck. A bluish-gray dust, very fine, was almost impossible to wash off. I suffered 100% over-active thyroid. Tell me there is no connection.

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