WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill to extend disability benefits to nearly 90,000 Vietnam Veterans exposed to the toxic chemical “Agent Orange” during the Vietnam War but currently are denied compensation.
Rep. Tom Reed (R) said the bill passed 382-0 with his support.
“We care about our Vietnam Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange but have been denied fair access to the benefits they deserve,” said Reed. “This is a great example of Washington working together and solving a problem to help people.”
Currently these “blue water” veterans — who served on ships off the coast of Vietnam — have been denied this same benefit because they are required to prove direct exposure to Agent Orange for their illnesses to be labeled as service-connected. In many cases that’s impossible, since scientific evidence from the ships was never collected.