Sunday, November 16, 2014

Call To Action!

HELP! We have a serious problem and need the help of all concerned veterans. Please share!
The ship bill is in jeopardy.  It was amended to the National Defense Act and will be worked on any day.  We cannot afford to let this die.  If passed it will reduce the cost of HR 543 to a passable bill.  The first and most important thing action you can take is on Monday morning to call your 2 senators to request they pass this amendment (Section 1062 of Senate Bill 2410, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015). 
Here is the story. Section 1062 of Senate Bill 2410, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 contains a requirement that the Navy pinpoint the closest approach to land for all ships deployed to Vietnam. This will allow the crew of any ship that entered the rivers or tied up to a pier to receive the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange and increase the chances of these who entered bays such as Da Nang Harbor to receive that presumption. This measure has passed the House of Representatives twice in two different bills.
The Navy is fighting back saying that they do not want to do the study because it would cost $5 million. Our experts disagree and notes that the Navy has inflated the number of log pages that would have to be reviewed.
In fact, 305 of the 713 ships that deployed have already been confirmed to have entered rivers or tied up to a pier. So almost half of the job has already been done for them. In addition to getting benefits to thousands of folks who are sick with Agent Orange related diseases, this study will allow the Congressional Budget Office to determine the cost of another bill, which will formally extend the presumption of exposure to the territorial seas. That bill has been held up for four years in Committee, because we cannot determine the actual cost.
So please call both of your Senators. You can google their names to get their phone numbers or google "U. S. Senate delegation" and the name of your State. They do listen to these messages and it will help. Don’t worry about your Member of Congress, the bill has passed the House. Please call your Senators. Then if you have time, call the offices of the Senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Their names are attached. Make sure you say this is Section 1062 of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act Senate Bill 2410.

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