Forward Observer: Blue Water Navy Bill (HR 299) About to Sink?
As part of the continuing saga, we update you once again …
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) met last Tuesday (18 September) with the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, to persuade him to cease his and his department’s re-doubled efforts to scuttle H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Act, now in the Senate for consideration. The bill would extend VA healthcare and compensation to tens of thousands of former sailors and marines with Agent Orange-associated ailments. (In 2002, nearly two decades ago, the VA changed its policy allowing for these benefits, unless the individual could prove he set foot in Vietnam.) “We haven’t convinced him yet,” Brown said in a next day phone interview.
The following article by Tom Philpott on 20 September on the Military.com is one of the most thorough updates and tells you what is at stake: Blue Water Navy Supporters Pressure Isakson, Target VA Secretary’s Hardline. Contact your Pennsylvania senators and ask them to talk to their leadership to help settle the matter properly. A visit or a telephone call might just help. At the very least, use a Capwiz site. The Congress has been adrift for far too long on this subject — partially as a result of questionable and misleading advice from the VA.
As of 22 September 2018