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Blue Water Navy Veterans Denied By VA  

USVCP Staff Writers

September 25, 2018


VA Secretary Robert Wilkie remains adamant and steadfast that his data clearly indicates that there is no evidence which shows a link between Agent Orange exposure and Blue Water Navy veterans in Southeast Asia.














Recently, in a letter he sent to the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (SVAC), Wilkie reinstated VA's contention that there is no basis for the presumption of Agent Orange exposure for Blue Water Navy veterans. As a result, the VA remains in violent opposition to Bill H.R. 299, a Bill that would possibly extend disability benefits covering medical conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure to veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam.  In spite of support from Congress and multiple veterans organizations. H.R. 299 passed unanimously out of the House with a vote of 382-0.

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David Benn, Sr., 7/9/19
There is no doubt that they are stalling. They realize that thousands of Blue Water Veterans will die between now and the first if the year. That is why they have been stalling for many, many years, they want most of the Blue water Vets to be dead before they approve benefits. (if they ever do) Australia has given benefits to all ships that were in the Agent Orange areas a long, long time ago. Our Government will spend money on many crazy things, but not our veterans, So Sad.


John R. Morgan, Sr., 7/6/19

Not a surprise that the VA will use any tactic to delay or postpone any bills passed by congress. They have gotten their way for so long and the cost to implement paying out claims that they would delay it. Now we know they will start finding ways to reduce the percentage rating that a lot of veterans have gotten over years of fighting with them on claims and now will at least try to find an excuse to take away 10 percent for unemployability will save them half the full 100 percent will be to ones getting 90 percent and then 10 percent for the unemployability. Expected that years ago and now congress will have to pass a bill preventing the VA from taking such actions but we know the VA will ignore congress and do whatever they want like usual. So be prepared for if the VA pulls that then each veteran affected should get an attorney and not one that the VA controls on their list but other ones that can sue them for doing as they wish and take away half of your disability benefit pay just for the 10 percent unemployability. Good Luck to all for you will need it since VA attorneys lie to the courts to win their cases and lie to congress to get what they want but you be sure and be honest or they will get you for it.


Robert Blanc, 6/19/19

I served at the pleasure of the Navy aboard the CVA-42 Frankilin Roosevelt on its first deployment to Vietnam in 1966 and I can still taste the JP-5 jet fuel in the drinking water at all the fountains on-board. The reason was well known and it was the close proximity of the potable water tanks to the jet fuel tanks which had valve leakage between the two.  At times it seemed as though you could light the water on fire right out of the fountain because it did give you a constant burning sensation in the throat and tracheal tube.  I would not allow my dog to live in the conditions aboard the F.D.R. in 1966 Vietnam.


Robert Sullivan, 2/11/19

I have been screwed by the VA - the American Legion & the VFW - when I ask the American Legion about my claim for AO related cancers they responded that the VFW was now handling BWN claims and that they had thrown away all BWN claims - I then went to the VFW and joined them and had them submit a claim , recently I was told by two of the officers in the Rainier Oregon chapter that they had lost my claims and I would have to travel over 80 miles one way to refile , I have Multiple Myeloma ,Prostrate Cancer and extremely high Blood Pressure along with severe foot problems that prohibit walking any distance , so refiling is not an option for me under those conditions .... My wife who was my care taker passed away two years ago .....really piss me off when people say "thank you for your service " If they were serious they would help us instead of the phony lip service , almost as bad as the jerks who spit on returning service men from Vietnam.....///////////


Ralph Leidy, 1/3/19

I was putting agent orange on a7 aircraft on my 1974 trip on the uss ranger off the coast of Vietnam.


Ronald Vaughan, 12/11/18

Was on the USS Forrestal CVA 59 in the Gulf of Tonkin when it had the explosion and fire in 1967. I have had 8 surgeries for cancer in my ear canal and numerous skin cancers including squamous cell, basal cell and melanoma. I strongly feel the planes brought back the AO residue and we were subjected to the chemical fallout.


Frank Ushler, 11/23/18

Just look at all the denials from the VA that Agent orange wasn't stored anywhere other than bases in Viet Nam or Manufactured in other places outside of the U SA. All were proven false. The VA makes up Its own facts and rules against the Veterans.


Frank Ushler, 10/27/18

Its surely an out what it will cost the Goverment.  Anyone who has really done there homework would come to a different conclution.You can twist your facts to reach your opinion but go and visit these Veterans during of Agent Orange and other chemicals used in Vietnam and other places and you would leave with a whole other conclusion. I have lost my friends from this disaster you the Government used on us.  Shame on all of you.   How can all those House Members be all wrong.


Harry Althen, 10/27/18

I am also a Vietnam Vet (BW) two Commands USS Coral Sea And the USS Mattaponi which pulled into Da Nang Harbor Twice during 1969 I was on board at rthe time. I have had to go to a Lawyer to prove that what are we to do when even the VA Secretary will not fight for us?


Robin Dean, 10/26/18

Why is the VA against our Veterans who gave their all to fight the Vietnam War? I am a Blue Water Navy Vietnam Vet who has Agent Orange exposure, yet my own VA refuses to honor my claims even when my own VA Doctors agree it is Agent Orange exposure! Shame on them. The House voted unanimously to approve HR 299 and give us our medical care. The Senate would vote at least 60 in favor but due to the VA position it has not been moved out of Committee for a full vote on the Senate floor. The President also approves of HR 299 and would sign it! If Wilkie does not care about Veterans why is he in this job????? The science is clear (not what our own VA says, but many other studies especially the Australian AO Study - Australia gave AO coverage to ALL of their Vietnam Vets!). Let Wilkie know we want HR 299. Senator Isaakson please move this bill to the full Senate for a Vote! Thank you and God Bless our Vets!


William Barr, 10/26/18

How many people will die from AO before they take responsibility for their own actions.


Rick Sciapiti, 10/25/18

Look, the VA isn't recognizing all the cancers and health problems associated with those of us who served boots on the ground in Country. The head and neck cancer I battled is on the suspicious list of possible related to exposure, but has yet to make it. My UH-1 was used for defoliation, I washed off the residue shirtless with my crew. Don't hold your breath.












James Lleras, 10/6/18

It's unfortunate that neither VA Secretary Robert Wilkie or POTUS don't know much about being a veteran, let along a Vietnam veteran suffering from illnesses or deceases due to Agent Orange contamination. Otherwise, they would be in support of these American that served their country without question, unlike our POTUS.


Martin Kuettel, 10/6/18

I believe Secretary Wilkie and the VA are wrong. Drinking water on Blue Water ships has been proven to be contaminated with Agent Orange as well as airborne contaminates. In June 2018 the House passed H.R.299 with a 382-0 vote. The Senate has not acted on the companion bill. Blue Water veterans deserve better.


John R. Morgan, Sr., 10/1/18

I was on two destroyers and had missions up river on a few occasions and the vegetation was blown into the air and drifted out to the ships. Even though I submitted those two ships with logs showing they in fact went upriver as well as LKA 115 USS Mobile loading and unloading equipment, supplies from Viet Nam back to the states but that was not added as well. I had symptoms of type II diabetes about 10 years after being in Viet Nam on those ships but the VA will do anything to save the government money even deny and lie to do just that save money. The rating system is flawed as well instead of dividing the maximum by 10 for the 10 percent base and then multiplying that by the percent of rating they don't. For instance at 90 percent 9 times the base which amounts to about $1,800 so the 10 percent to make it 100 percent which amounts to about $3,145 gets deflated by almost 50 percent . The VA puts many conditions together and gives a smaller percentage instead as well. I now have a detached retine in my right eye of which have not claimed. When the VA takes away the unemplyability when I reach 70 year old since I will be unemployable they will take the unemployability away which I expect they will. When they do my other conditions I have not claimed I will sue the VA instead for they gave me degenerative bone disease in both my knees but my whole spine has stenosis, bulging discs, pinched nerves, flattening of my spinal cord in the tail bone area and had neck fusion surgery which was the same. I suffer with my neck getting off center and pop it back in almost every morning and my back is getting worse but I will not claim until my legs get worse because of my back as well. These are the types of things the VA pulls and get away with and have for decades. Live in constant pain and follow my doctors instuctions they will probably take away the pain medications and have done the same to other veterans. They end up committing suicide and the VA can not figure out why. Try suffering with pain so much they end it all to stop the pain. All of my conditions are service connected but the VA tries to take that away. I can go to outside doctors for have Medicare and outside medical insurance was lucky made it thru to get to retire from a government job but the VA charges my outside insurance for my service connected conditions which is fraud in my eyes for the VA should be covering those conditions not my outside insurance. I found out how bad my conditions were by seeing outside doctors and getting the truth instead of a bunch of lies from the VA doctors. Not all the VA doctors are that way and only lucky that my VA doctors told me if I had the insurance to take advantage of it for the VA will take too long which they already have. Could go on and on but this is my statement as to what the VA does to most of us veterans and gets away with it for Blue Water or Brown Water we can get exposed and just by one little thing the VA denies it. Sound almost like Social Security which I paid into but am not eligible because I did not work enough quarters for had a Civil Service job and did not pay into it. Meanwhile my amount in Social Security is getting smaller as to the amount I paid in and I am not even using it. I have to pay Medicare out of pocket and they increase it each year by a percentage but others get it and they take it out of the Social Security and it does not increase. The way the government calculates these services need to be reevaluated.













Dennis Kraft, 9/26/18
The VA turns a blind eye to the Blue Water vets just as they do to the human guinea pigs of the chemical weapons testing at Edgewood Arsenal Maryland until it was stopped in 1975. The VA States the testing look for the good of the army and that Congress has placed new guidelines as of today to support the veterans to be treated.


Gary Kinnard, 9/25/18

I am a Vietnam Vet. and was in the Army. I have not had anything to do with the Navy, but I will put in my two cents! I live in Austin, Texas and within the past months, we have had dust storms hit the Texas area that came from Africa. Unless the Government can say without a shadow of a doubt that the wind did not blow out to sea toward the ships and careering the Agent Orange mist. I feel that if a ship was within a reasonable distance from the coast of Vietnam they should be considered for benefits. I myself have had four surgeries for cancer from AO, and let me tell you that it is not fun. God Bless all my brothers that have served and thank you for your service!


Sam Barraco, 9/25/18

Just waiting for my toe tag.