Maryland State Council
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                              AGENT ORANGE UP-DATE 

  1. Those illnesses presumed to be caused by Agent Orange have been increased by three as announced by Veterans Administration Secretary Shinseki. They are Parkinson’s disease, Ischemic heart disease (not enough blood to the heart) and B-cell Leukemia. Anyone affected by these should talk with a Service Officer about submitting a claim.
  2. The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced an effort to “fast track” claims for presumptive illnesses due to Agent Orange. They are going to rely more on technology rather than manual processing in hopes that an automated system will get the Veterans claims accomplished in a timelier manner.
  3. Blue Water Navy. The Agent Orange Act of 1991 was what started the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Over time a number of illnesses have fallen under this umbrella. At the time of the act going into law the so called “Blue Water Navy” was included. In 2002 the VA decided that the Blue Water Navy Vets no longer qualified and removed them from the list of eligible personnel. These Vets are fighting back. Currently there is legislation in both the House (H 2254) and the Senate (S 1939) that can resolve the problem. There are plenty of co-signers but the bills are not being reported out of committee. A call to your Congress person and Senators urging them to get on board and get this legislation moving would be helpful. You don’t have to be a Navy Vet to do this and our Navy comrades would be grateful.

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