WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) praised Senate passage of H.R. 299, legislation to ensure veterans who served in Vietnam’s territorial waters and were exposed to toxic Agent Orange chemicals during the Vietnam War receive the benefits they’ve earned. Earlier this year, Brown introduced the Senate companion legislation, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. The legislation passed the House in May and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“Blue Water Navy veterans sacrificed so much, including their health, to serve our country,” said Brown. “These veterans served our nation honorably and have earned these benefits. We owe it to the sailors harmed by Agent Orange to meet our obligations. I urge the President to sign this bill and give our veterans and their families the support and healthcare they deserve.”
A Blue Water Navy veteran is a veteran who served on a ship off the coast of Vietnam. Agent Orange is a toxic herbicide that was widely used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange is now widely recognized as causing cancer and other illnesses.
Brown’s office held more than a dozen roundtables with veterans across Ohio last year, with Ohio veterans raising the Blue Water Navy issue time and time again. In March, Brown pressed Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert Wilkie on securing benefits for Blue Water Navy Veterans and other key issues impacting Ohio veterans during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing.