(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rejected calls to expand a presumption of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides to veterans who served offshore and in the harbors of Vietnam.
“Rather than siding with veterans, VA is doubling down on an irrational and inconsistent policy. Young sailors risked their lives during the Vietnam War, unaware that decades later, they and their children and grandchildren would still feel the toxic effects of exposure. Veterans who served offshore and in the harbors of Vietnam were exposed and deserve the presumption of service connection for Agent Orange-related diseases. Since VA either will not or cannot right this wrong on its own, I urge my colleagues to support S.681, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2015, which would ensure all veterans exposed to Agent Orange are compensated.”