There are thousands of people in the United States who have risked, or are currently risking, their lives in order to protect the country. They do so expecting little in turn other than that any injuries or harm they suffer while putting their lives on the line will be properly cared for. Unfortunately, disabled veterans in Pennsylvania and across the country suffering as a result of exposure to Agent Orange have found their requests for help from the Department of Veteran Affairs denied.
Agent Orange was used in the Vietnam War to kill vegetation that enemies may have used for cover. Unfortunately, exposure to it can have many serious consequences. These consequences include Parkinson's disease, cancer and diabetes, among others. At this time, the VA provides benefits to military members who were on the ground or in boats located on inland rivers.
However, sailors who were stationed off the coast of Vietnam say they are also suffering from the effects of exposure. They claim they were exposed after contaminated water was distilled to use in cooking, showers, laundry and drinking. In April 2015, an appeals court ordered the VA to reexamine its policy regarding to these so-called Blue Water veterans, but the organization has basically decided to keep its original policy. Some U.S. senators are attempting to seek relief for the approximately 90,000 affected veterans by proposing the Blue Water Navy Veterans Act.
Unfortunately, there are many disabled veterans who are finding it difficult to gain the benefits they deserve as a result of harm suffered while fighting for this country. Many may be unaware of the procedures of seeking such benefits. Fortunately, there is help available for those in Pennsylvania. An experienced professional can help these veterans seek the benefits they deserve.
Source: psmag.com, "The Department of Veterans Affairs Continues to Deny Agent Orange Benefits", Charles Ornstein and Terry Parris, Jr., Feb. 17, 2016