Valadao Advocates for Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans
Today, U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao, joined by Congressman Joe Courtney, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans regarding the Department's longstanding position on providing presumptive benefits to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans.WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21), joined by lead Democrat Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs regarding the Department's longstanding position on providing presumptive benefits to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans.
In the letter, U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) referenced Secretary Shulkin's recent testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, on which Congressman Valadao serves. The letter states the Secretary "expressed doubts with the VA’s longstanding position on providing presumptive benefits to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans" and requests an update on whether the Department of Veterans Affairs has further recommendations. Furthermore, the letter urges the Secretary to use his statutory authority to restore the presumption of service connection to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans.
In January, Congressman Valadao introduced H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act to grant presumptive Agent Orange exposure status to U.S. service members who served in the territorial seas of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. This would enable eligible veterans to receive expedited consideration for Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits if they suffer from any of the diseases the U.S. Government has linked to Agent Orange.
The measure has received support from various veteran’s organizations including the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), the Fleet Reserve Association, Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc., and the Blue Water Navy Association. In addition, 295 Members of Congress, including 137 Republicans and 159 Democrats have cosponsored the legislation in the House of Representatives.
Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District of California, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.