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Senators Enzi and Lee should be ashamed

Editor:

There is a bill in the Senate that passed the House by a vote of 382-0. They tried to vote on it in the Senate and by all indications Senator Mike Enzi is one of two senators that are objecting to the Bills.

HR 299 will help Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans received much needed VA benefits. From 1991 until 2002, these veterans did receive VA benefits, but by a stroke of a pen the VA decided to removed these veterans from receive the VA benefits.

What HR 299 does is provide benefit to about 90,000 Blue Water Vietnam veterans that were exposed to Agent Orange. It has been proven that Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans were exposed up to 10 times the amount as those veterans that had “boots On The ground.”

We are not asking that anything is removed from other veterans, they deserve the benefits. We are asking that we be treated the same way our veteran brothers who served “Boot on the Ground” were.

Senator Mike Lee has placed a hold on the bill because of the lies the VA are telling him. They tell him that up to 400,000 veterans would be affected. The actual number is between 60,000 and 90,000. The VA has inflated the cost and convinced the Congress Budget Office to increase the amount of the bill way too high. During a Veterans Affairs Committee hearing, they stated that adding new veterans would cause them more work.

I think Senator Lee should be ashamed of what he is doing to the Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans. He stated that the VA is doing ANOTHER study. In Public Law 102-4, Agent Orange Act of 1991, the law required that the VA do the research and studies. They were required to test veterans; they never did. If they didn’t follow the law then, why would they finish the study now?

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Mike Yates, National Commander of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association, Las Vegas, Nev.

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