With the elections over, the new U.S. House and Senate will have their first session in early 2013. They will be faced with many issues, some old, some new.
It is time for the members of Congress to put aside politics and become legislators. There are two major bills still in committee, House Bill 3612 and Senate Bill 1629, which will restore benefits for those exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. There’s still time for them to act before the next session. These bills must come out of committee and go to the floor of both houses. Americans should urge legislators to act now.
The Vietnam veterans who are sick from Agent Orange Dioxin exposure need this legislation passed into law before the next session begins. With a new legislative assembly, advocates for Vietnam veterans will have to start over again and that means a longer delay for approval from the Veterans Administration. Thousands of Vietnam veterans won’t be approved by the VA because they did not have boots on the ground, even though they were awarded the Vietnam Service Medal. Many sailors, airmen and fleet Marines who served during that war are sick from exposure to the deadly herbicide.
With the passage of the aforementioned bills, these members of the armed forces will receive equality for VA benefits.
John J. Bury, U.S. Navy, retired, Vietnam war veteran, Media, PA