Kustoff Votes to Expand Care for Vietnam Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08), voted for H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. This bill expands care for Vietnam Blue Water Navy veterans who are currently suffering from diseases they developed as a result of their service.
During the Vietnam War, more than 20 million gallons of the herbicide Agent Orange was sprayed to remove jungle foliage. Agent Orange has been linked to health complications, including non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, various cancers, Type II Diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. In 2002, the VA stopped giving care to those blue water veterans who served in the waters off the Vietnamese coast, despite studies showing they were exposed to toxic amounts of the herbicide.
“Currently, our Blue Water Navy veterans are unable to receive the care they deserve because the VA’s policy only extends to those who served on land or in the inland waterways. This bill will restore coverage for those brave Blue Water Navy veterans who served in the territorial seas of Vietnam,” said Rep. Kustoff. “Our veterans sacrifice so much for our great nation, and that sacrifice should not continue when they come back home. I was proud to vote for this bill, and I urge the Senate to quickly pass it.”