No Agent Orange Presumption for 'Blue Water' Navy Veterans

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A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether Blue Water Navy veterans were exposed to Agent Orange-associated herbicides during the Vietnam War. The study was requested by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2011. The IOM reviewed a wide range of data sources including peer-reviewed literature, exposure and transport modeling, interviews with veterans, ship deck logs and other government documents. In a Dec. 26 Federal Register notice the VA determined that available evidence does not support establishing a presumption of exposure to herbicides for Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans. VA will continue to accept and review all Blue Water Navy Vietnam veteran claims based on herbicide exposure on a case-by-case basis.

  • I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People, a new feature on, and ask for your support. Will you add your name to mine? If this petition gets 99,999 signatures by September 29, 2017, the White House will review it and respond!
    We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the White House to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets enough support, the White House will issue an official response.
    You can view and sign the petition here:
    Here’s some more information about this petition:
    Give the Vietnam Blue Water Navy Veterans their presumptive rights. (House Bill H 299 and Senate Bill S 422)
    The Agent Orange Act of 1991 was implemented to provide much-needed care to veterans who were exposed to the harmful chemical cocktail Agent Orange. In 2002, the VA amended its initial plan and excluded thousands of “Blue Water” Navy vets — vets who served right off the coast — from receiving their rightful benefits. Because they hadn’t served on land, the VA tried to say they were unlikely to suffer the effects of Agent Orange poisoning. In fact, in a 2011 study The National Institute of Medicine stated, “Given the available evidence, the committee recommends that members of the Blue Water Navy should not be excluded from the set of Vietnam-era veterans with presumed herbicide exposure.” We are asking for your help in urging Congress to pass legislation to correct this injustice