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Mike Yates
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Interesting find. I just found out that H.R. 244: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 was passed by Congress and sent to the President. In it I found the following:
(1) DIOXIN REMEDIATION.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading “Economic Support Fund”, not less than $20,000,000 shall be made available for activities related to the remediation of dioxin contaminated sites in Vietnam and may be made available for assistance for the Government of Vietnam, including the military, for such purposes.
(2) HEALTH AND DISABILITY PROGRAMS.—Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading “Development Assistance”, not less than $10,000,000 shall be made available for health and disability programs in areas sprayed with Agent Orange and otherwise contaminated with dioxin, to assist individuals with severe upper or lower body mobility impairment and/or cognitive or developmental disabilities.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

They can find money for Agent Orange in Vietnam but NOT FOR BLUE WATER NAVY VIETNAM VETERANS

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We are working on trying to get some Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans bills passed in Congress

FLASH. S Con Res 12 has been approved by Sen Isaacson and has been hotlined. That means asking for unanimous consent. If all Senators agree it will pass the Senate without a vote. One Senator can stop this. Call your Senators and tell them to support the hotline

Military-Veterans Advocacy Report concerning the meeting with Secretary Shulkin. Please “Like” our Facebook Page).
Military-Veterans Advocacy Executive Director CDR John B Wells, USN (Retired) and Deputy Chief of Staff Susie Belanger, met with VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD on Friday April 21, 2017. He was accompanied by John Rossie, Executive Director of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association, Mike Little Legislative Director of the Association of the U. S. Navy, his assistant Kyle Derwist and Brian Condon from the Fleet Reserve Association. The subject of the meeting was appellate reform and the extension of the presumption of Agent Orange to Blue Water Navy veterans. Specifically there was a pending rule making request to include Da Nang and Nha Trang Harbors in the exposure presumption. The presence of the dioxin was confirmed in Nha Trang harbor 20 years of the end of the war. Significant evidence reveals probable pathways to Da Nang Harbor. Additionally, contaminated water from the Monkey Mountain reservoir was supplied to ships at anchor in Da Nang Harbor.
Discussion at the meeting centered around the hydrological effects of the river waters discharging into the harbor, rainwater wash off, currents and tidal action. The Secretary was briefed on direct exposure pathways via mailbags, equipment and personnel staged onshore but later brought aboard the ships. He was also made aware of the effects of helicopter and Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft that landed in Da Nang prior to going to the ships. The lack of Navy surface ship experience among those within the VA assigned to this issue was also an important point raised in the meeting.
Deputy Chief of Staff Susie Belanger presented the Secretary with a folder containing 32 letters from Blue Water Navy veterans summarizing how they were affected by the VA policy.
Prior to engaging in the Blue Water Navy Discussion CDR Wells stated Military-Veterans Advocacy’s opposition to the pending appellate “reform” legislation. The various bills (S 712, HR 457 and HR 611) pending would strip the duty to assist for the veteran after the original agency decision and force the veteran to identify every factual or legal issue in the notice of disagreement. The statute does not allow for the notice of disagreement to be later amended or modified. Secretary Shulkin was presented options that would make the appeals system more efficient and increase fairness. This included electronic filing, implementation of pre-hearing conferences, scheduling orders with milestone dates and a smooth flow of communications. Military-Veterans Advocacy further recommended that the Board members be required to be certified as Administrative Law Judges and that they be sanctioned for an excessive remand rate. Currently 70% of the decisions appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims are remanded.
The VA welcomed MVA and other representatives. Their protocol office made the delegation welcome and provided a courteous escort to the meeting. It started a little late, but the Secretary gave the group some additional time. The meeting was scheduled for one hour but the Secretary met for an hour and twenty minutes. He was animated, receptive and engaged throughout. He did not rush the meeting but listened until the delegation had completed its brief. Afterwards he was kind enough to pose for pictures.
Reflections of Commander Wells:
I have had these meetings before with VA officials. Former Chief of Staff John Gingrich, when presented with the Blue Water Navy brief said the policy did not “make sense.” Yet the VA doubled down and continued their exclusion policy. Former VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson told me “We are leaning very closely to your views.” Again the VA continued their exclusion policy. Former Secretary MacDonald promised to review everything closely. Nothing happened.
This meeting was different. Secretary Shulkin actually took notes. None of the others did. He also admitted that there was much he had to learn on the topic but that he considered it important and he wanted to learn. Normally VA officials are too arrogant to admit that they do not have a complete understanding of the problem - even when they are clueless. He did not defend the VA testimony at the hearing on April 5 and appeared to be a bit embarrassed by it. He was very interested in the information provided. I might also add that this man strikes me as a “no nonsense” type. He is not a glad handler or a politician. He seems committed to trying to change the culture at the VA. I hope that he is able to do so.
I cannot guarantee that the Secretary will do the right thing. I have felt good about previous meetings only to be disappointed. So I am only cautiously optimistic. But I certainly want to give Secretary Shulkin the opportunity to do the right thing. I did tell him that we were not going away.
I will be meeting with the Veterans Committee staffs next week and will report on that progress.
Please remember that our oral argument on the Blue Water case will be May 5th at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 717 Madison Place NW, Washington DC. The court is located on the east side of Lafayette Park which is directly to the north of the White House. The hearing is open to the public and I would encourage anyone who can to attend.
NOTE: To make a tax free donation to help Military-Veterans Advocacy continue their work please go to http://www.militaryveteransadvocacy.org/c…/please-contribute
John B Wells
Commander USN (Retired)
Executive Director

I would like to make sure you understand some of the facts on the subject of Agent Orange and the Blue Water navy:
Public Law No: 102-86 Agent Orange Act of 1991 was signed into law and the spirit of the law was to cover all personnel that received the Vietnam Service Medal. Blue Water navy Veterans who served on board ships did receive this Medal along with the Service Members who had “Boots on the Ground”.
In 2002 the General Consul of the VA decided to interpret the wording of the Law to just include “Boots on the Ground” Service Members. There are rumors on why this was done but I will not go into it and say it was to save money for the VA.
In 2002, researchers at the National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (NRCET) and the Queensland Health Scientific Services in Australia determined that the distillation process actually enhanced the dioxins instead of removing them.
The US Government is help cleanup various spot in Vietnam of Dioxin Contamination. From what I have read it is up to about 261 Million dollars. Part of it can be found in Public Law No. 114-113. It seems to me that if the US Congress can find money to clean up Dioxin Contamination in a country we were at war with, it seems to me that the US Congress can find the money to provide Benefits to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans that were covered by Public Law No: 102-86 Agent Orange Act of 1991.



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I just started this Community to help get the word out. Please share.

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I would like to make sure you understand some of the facts on the subject of Agent Orange and the Blue Water navy:
Public Law No: 102-86 Agent Orange Act of 1991 was signed into law and the spirit of the law was to cover all personnel that received the Vietnam Service Medal. Blue Water navy Veterans who served on board ships did receive this Medal along with the Service Members who had “Boots on the Ground”.
In 2002 the General Consul of the VA decided to interpret the wording of the Law to just include “Boots on the Ground” Service Members. There are rumors on why this was done but I will not go into it and say it was to save money for the VA.
In 2002, researchers at the National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (NRCET) and the Queensland Health Scientific Services in Australia determined that the distillation process actually enhanced the dioxins instead of removing them.
The US Government is help cleanup various spot in Vietnam of Dioxin Contamination. From what I have read it is up to about 261 Million dollars. Part of it can be found in Public Law No. 114-113. It seems to me that if the US Congress can find money to clean up Dioxin Contamination in a country we were at war with, it seems to me that the US Congress can find the money to provide Benefits to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans that were covered by Public Law No: 102-86 Agent Orange Act of 1991.



Thank you for your time.

Mike Yates
Blue Water Navy Awareness on Facebook
www.bluewaternavyawareness.com
WE WERE THERE TOO on Facebook
thebluewaternavyawareness@gmail.com


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WE WERE THERE TOO
My name is Mike Yates and I am a Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran who has both Prostate and Thyroid Cancer. You may know that Prostate Cancer is related to Agent Orange Exposure and there is now evidence that Thyroid Cancer may be related.
There are two Bills in Congress, HR299 and S422 both referred to as the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act and two Concurrent Resolution S.Con.Res.12 and H.Con.Res.45 that will provide benefits to those Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans are suffering from diseases that are related to being exposed to Agent Orange Exposure. These same Veterans where cover from 1991 when the Agent Orange Act of 1991(Public Law No: 102-4) were granted benefits but in 2002 the General Consul of the Veterans Administration decided to remove these Veterans from being cover despite the sprit of the Public Law No: 102-4.
I know the leaders in both House of CONGRESS do support SOME Veterans bills BUT when it comes to Bills related to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans they stay away from them. You can see this in the past two Session of Congress. We have had HR543 in the 113th Session and HR969 in the 114th Session of Congress. In both you had a large number of Co-Sponsors but the Leadership would not bring the Bills to the Floor for a vote.There were always a number of reason why they wouldn’t bring it to the floor but mostly it was due to the cost. As Cmdr John Wells said during the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Hearing on April 4, 2017:. "Frankly, We don't care how you pay for it!"- John Wells
It is now time for this to happen. We understand that Congress has to have a way to pay for the Bill, They don’t seem to have a problem finding ways to pay for Bills related helping other countries(including Vietnam for the cleanup of Agent Orange (Public Law No: 114-113). so they shouldn’t have a problem finding a way to pay for a Bill that is going to help our Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans, Vietnam was a Country we were at war with and we can find the money to clean up up the Toxins in Vietnam but not the funds to help the Veterans that served off the coast of that Country, this is very sad. (http://m.english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/society/170815/minister-inspects-dioxin-decontamination-at-da-nang-airport.html)
It surprises me that people actually believe that the US Navy Ships that served off the Coast of Vietnam could not of been affected by Agent Orange. Agent Orange did not stop at the water's edge. By ways of the Rivers and Streams Agent Orange flowed into the Gulf of Tonkin where the ships were providing support to the ground troops. The US Navy ships would bring on water from the Sea that was then distilled and filter so that the sailors could have water to drink, cook, bathe, and all the other normal things that water is used for. During this process distillation of the water the dioxins in the water was actually enhance by a factor up to ten times the amount instead of being removed. So actually the Sailors off the coast of Vietnam received a larger dose of Dioxins than their brothers who serve “Boots on the Ground” in Vietnam.
So please support help us get the word out about HR299, S422 (The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act), S.Con.Res 12, and H.Con.Res 45

Thank you for your time.

Mike Yates
Blue Water Navy Awareness on Facebook
www.bluewaternavyawareness.com
WE WERE THERE TOO on Facebook
thebluewaternavyawareness@gmail.com

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WE WERE THERE TOO
My name is Mike Yates and I am a Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran who has both Prostate and Thyroid Cancer. You may know that Prostate Cancer is related to Agent Orange Exposure and there is now evidence that Thyroid Cancer may be related.
There are two Bills in Congress, HR299 and S422 both referred to as the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act that will provide benefits to those Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans are suffering from diseases that are related to being exposed to Agent Orange Exposure. These same Veterans where cover from 1991 when the Agent Orange Act of 1991(Public Law No: 102-4) were granted benefits but in 2002 the General Consul of the Veterans Administration decided to remove these Veterans from being cover despite the sprit of the Public Law No: 102-4. Also there is two Concurrent-Resolution, S Con Res 12 and H Con Res 45 that will Express the sense of Congress that those who served in the bays, harbors, and territorial seas of the Republic of Vietnam during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, should be presumed to have served in the Republic of Vietnam for all purposes under the Agent Orange Act of 1991.

I know the leaders in both House of CONGRESS do support SOME Veterans bills BUT when it comes to Bills related to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans they stay away from them. You can see this in the past two Session of Congress. We have had HR543 in the 113th Session and HR969 in the 114th Session of Congress. In both you had a large number of Co-Sponsors but the Leadership would not bring the Bills to the Floor for a vote.There were always a number of reason why they wouldn’t bring it to the floor but mostly it was due to the cost. As Cmdr John Wells said during the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Hearing on April 4, 2017:. "Frankly, We don't care how you pay for it!"- John Wells
It is now time for this to happen. We understand that Congress has to have a way to pay for the Bill, They don’t seem to have a problem finding ways to pay for Bills related helping other countries(including Vietnam for the cleanup of Agent Orange (Public Law No: 114-113). so they shouldn’t have a problem finding a way to pay for a Bill that is going to help our Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans, Vietnam was a Country we were at war with and we can find the money to clean up up the Toxins in Vietnam but not the funds to help the Veterans that served off the coast of that Country, this is very sad. (http://m.english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/society/170815/minister-inspects-dioxin-decontamination-at-da-nang-airport.html)
It surprises me that people actually believe that the US Navy Ships that served off the Coast of Vietnam could not of been affected by Agent Orange. Agent Orange did not stop at the water's edge. By ways of the Rivers and Streams Agent Orange flowed into the Gulf of Tonkin where the ships were providing support to the ground troops. The US Navy ships would bring on water from the Sea that was then distilled and filter so that the sailors could have water to drink, cook, bathe, and all the other normal things that water is used for. During this process distillation of the water the dioxins in the water was actually enhance by a factor up to ten times the amount instead of being removed. So actually the Sailors off the coast of Vietnam received a larger dose of Dioxins than their brothers who serve “Boots on the Ground” in Vietnam.
So please support help us get the word out about HR299, S422, H Con Res 45, and S Con Res 12. Contact you Member of Congress and request that they support these Bills and Concurrent-Resolution if they are not doing so
Thank you for your time.

Mike Yates
Blue Water Navy Awareness on Facebook
www.bluewaternavyawareness.com
WE WERE THERE TOO on Facebook
thebluewaternavyawareness@gmail.com
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