John J. Bury: What price for our Blue Water Navy veterans?

As of this writing there are 289 members of Congress who are co-sponsors of House Bill HR-969 and 34 members of the Senate who are co-sponsors of Senate Bill S.681.  Both Bills are titled,  ” The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Act.”  There are enough co-sponsors in Congress and the Senate to send these bills to the floor for a vote.

They are held up in committee.

Why? Are our veterans not worth the attention they deserve? A budget has yet to be set for the care and wellbeing of this group of veterans known as Blue Water Navy.  Many are sick, many have died from diseases caused by the herbicide Agent Orange.  This deadly herbicide floated out to sea.  Our Navy ships in combat came in contact with this deadly chemical.  Some of our ships also transported barrels of Agent Orange.  In rough seas some of these barrels would break loose, the herbicide would be awash on deck and had to be cleaned up.  Unknowingly the cleanup crews did not know they were cleaning up death.

Approximately 750,000 sailors served during the Vietnam War. Many have fallen sick to the herbicide and many have died.  Nearly all could not get benefits as our Congress refused to pass a bill that would provide these Navy sailors with better quality of life.  These ships at sea provided air and gunnery support on targets inland, saving American troop’s lives.

Does our government care about sick and dying Navy sailors?  No.  Their lives are not worth the dollars.   To the American people, write and call your members of Congress and Senate to pass the bills, Congress HR-969 and Senate S.681.

Freedom is not Free, it is costly.
John J. Bury
U.S. Navy, retired
Vietnam War veteran
Media, Pa.

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