Upton issues statement after President Trump signs Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today issued the following statement after President Donald Trump signed legislation that Upton co-sponsored, H.R. 299, The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, into law.
“Veterans votes are the easiest votes I cast – they are always ‘yes.’ Taking care of our veterans is one of our most important responsibilities, and I am proud to see this important legislation signed into law,” Upton said. “It will extend the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange to veterans who served in the offshore waters of Vietnam, allowing all veterans who have disabilities because of exposure to Agent Orange to receive the benefits they deserve.”
Nearly 90,000 veterans served in ships off the coast of Vietnam who now face challenges claiming benefits for their exposure to Agent Orange. In 2002, the Department of Veterans Affairs limited the scope of the Agent Orange Act to veterans who could provide orders for “boots on the ground” service in Vietnam. As a result, veterans who served in waters off the coast had no choice but to file individual claims to try and restore their benefits.
The Blue Water Vietnam Veterans Act extends presumptive coverage to those who served off the coast of Vietnam and lifts the burden of proof from the veteran.
The bill received unanimous support in the U.S. House and Senate.
Click here to learn more about The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.