– Veterans for Common Sense thanks VA Secretary Shinseki for moving forward with presumptives for Vietnam War veterans –
Veterans for Common Sense strongly supports laws and regulations that establish what are called “presumptives,” as this means long-awaited benefits for our Vietnam War veterans sick due to Agent Orange poisoning.Presumptives will be the subject of a major Senate hearing this Thursday. The facts show DoD failed to monitor who was exposed to how much Agent Orange and for how long during the Vietnam War. DoD blocked medical research to avoid providing healthcare or disability benefits in what can only be called shocking and callous behavior.
After 40 years, the scientific evidence now clearly associates serious and fatal conditions (such a prostate cancer) with Agent Orange exposure. The failure of the military to keep track of what happened to our troops in Vietnam is not an excuse to deny payments to our veterans today, even when a few veterans may have contracted the condition due to age.
VCS thanks VA Secretary Shinseki for moving forward with presumptives for Vietnam War veterans. We hope he further clarifies the rules for Blue Water Navy veterans, too.
Presumptives should also be used for the 250,000 sick Gulf War veterans remaining ill from exposure to dozens of toxins as well as for our new Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans sick after exposure to poisons at toxic burn pits.