WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano and Ranking Member Dr. Phil Roe issued the following statement after the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, H.R. 299, was officially signed into law:
"Today, we are proud to say that the tens of thousands of Blue Water Navy veterans can rest easy tonight knowing that the benefits that they earned while serving off the coasts of Vietnam will be guaranteed. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 is finally law and is the culmination of a decades-long bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill to properly recognize these veterans' claims and grant them the justice they have waited for. This day would not be possible without the leadership and unwavering commitment of our House and Senate colleagues, countless veteran voices, and the Veterans Service Organizations behind them including the Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, The American Legion, AMVETS, Fleet Reserve Association, Military Officers Association of America, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Paralyzed Veterans of America. We are so grateful to each of them and look forward to continuing our work together to ensure that every one of those who have bravely fought for our country is afforded the care, benefits, and services that they deserve."
The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 will extend benefits to servicemembers that served in the territorial waters off the coast of Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange. This was the first bill Chairman Takano introduced this Congress after a similar bill was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives last Congress but stalled in the Senate. This legislation will ensure tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans finally get the benefits they've earned and deserve.