NY lawmakers push bill to help vets exposed to Agent Orange

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Some Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange are not able to receive medical help.

Many Vietnam veterans were damaged by Agent Orange, and the government is supposed to help him. But some veterans who never set foot in the country have also suffered.

They’re called “Blue Water Vets.” If they have complications from Agent Orange and seek help from Veterans Affairs, they are turned away.

Now, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Chris Gibson have teamed up to change that.

The two lawmakers are pushing a bill that will help those vets who were near Vietnam on ships but never put boots on the ground.

“Well, initially the VA said that there wasn’t enough evidence that those who weren’t on the ground were exposed, but since that time, there’s been a lot of studies done and as these veterans have told you they were drinking water that had Agent Orange in it,” Gillibrand explained. “They were washing themselves; washing their clothes; everything they did while around this water that was riddled with Agent Orange, and so they were exposed just as someone on the ground was.”

A study found Vietnam vets are 50 percent more likely to get certain types of cancers much of which is contributed to what they were exposed to.

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