Statement from DAV National Commander Dennis Nixon

After years of fighting to correct an injustice for disabled Vietnam veterans, DAV takes great pride in announcing that the president has signed in to law H.R. 299—the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.

Passage of this law is a pivotal victory for Vietnam veterans who have not only suffered for decades from illnesses and diseases linked to exposure to Agent Orange, but who also felt that their service and suffering had long gone unacknowledged by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

DAV is thankful for the leadership of House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano and Ranking Member Phil Roe; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson and Ranking Member Jon Tester; and Senate Bill sponsors Kirsten Gillibrand and Steve Daines, who all worked in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to finally get this legislation through Congress.

Mostly, we are grateful to the Vietnam veterans, their families and survivors, all our members and supporters who have stood with us over the years to advocate for this legislation and who have been so crucial to getting it across the finish line. I regret that many Vietnam veterans will have succumbed to illness before this victory could be realized, but rejoice knowing that countless others will finally be able to access the benefits they need and have rightly earned.

Fellow Vietnam veterans, I am proud to share this triumph with you. Congratulations, and welcome home.