President Donald Trump signed an act arranging possible disability benefits for “blue water” Vietnam vets. The legislation was unanimously passed by the House in May of 2019.
At its core, its advocates have proposed that the veterans who served on the ships or sea around Vietnam are given the same V.A. to those troops who were stationed on the ground or near the shore of Vietnam.
Current rulings have given troops exposed to toxic chemicals (such as Agent Orange) fast-track status for treatments for complications that had later arisen from exposure to these defoliants.
However, in 2002, the VA had ruled that this circumstantial status was not applicable to blue water veterans, although they had shown clear side effects of exposure to the herbicides used in the Vietnam war.
Many blue-water veterans have expressed that this was unjust, as, at the time, the chemical levels were not monitored on the ships.
The passing of this bill will give veterans who have either been denied or on pending status disability compensation for the presumptive list of medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other defoliants.
The legislation will also expand disability compensation to veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, as well as biological children born with Spina bifida of veterans who served in either Vietnam of the Korean Demilitarized Zone.