A New York congressman has reintroduced legislation concerning veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.
Republican Congressman Chris Gibson has re-introduced the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. Gibson’s bill gives presumptive Agent Orange exposure status to sailors who served aboard ships off the coast of Vietnam. Gibson, a retired Army colonel, says that in 2002, the Veterans Administration stopped giving benefits to off-shore, or blue water, Navy veterans and limited the scope of the Agent Orange Act to personnel who could provide proof of having “boots on the ground” in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed to remove jungle foliage. Gibson says a toxic chemical in Agent Orange is linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, type 2 diabetes, various cancers, and Parkinson’s disease. Gibson’s bill has more than 125 bipartisan co-sponsors.