08 May 2013

C-123 Veterans Seek Senator Gillibrand's Assistance re: Agent Orange VA Claims


She has long championed the Blue Water Navy Agent Orange exposure issue, with her clear and unmistakable message that every veteran exposed to Agent Orange deserves equal access to VA medical care. Today we reached out to the Senator through her military and veterans affairs staff, taking Senator Gillibrand up on her leadership.

Our request. Not that she proceed with any legislation on our behalf, because none is needed - the law fully covers us except for the preference of VA leadership that we be excluded. Instead, we have asked that she compel VA to explain how their "experts" say we haven't been exposed (VA redefined standard definitions of "exposure" to prevent C-123 qualification) to Agent Orange, yet every other federal agency (NIH, CDC/ATSDR, EPA, US Public Health Service) and universities have made perfectly clear that we were exposed.

We share few common proofs of our Agent Orange exposure with the Blue Water Navy folks, but both of our organizations do indeed claim Agent Orange exposure and are seeking service connection for our members. We look forward to Senator Gillibrand lending her leadership and dioxin expertise to those who've long helped us, in particular, Senator Burr, Senator Merkley, Congresswoman Bonamici and their staffs. 

With solid proofs such as we have provided her and the VA, this should be simple. We have already been told our mass of evidence easily persuades at the BVA level and any federal judge (using the VA's "as likely to as not") decision matrix, would conclude in our favor.

Anyway, we can always hope!

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