Military Veterans Advocacy To Join In Congressional Press Conference Wednesday

SLIDELL, LA – Leaders of the Military Veterans Advocacy, a tax exempt non-profit corporation based in Slidell, LA, will join esteemed members of Congress at a Wednesday press conference in support of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.

         The legislation, long supported by MVA, would restore health benefits for service men and women who were exposed to Agent Orange while serving on ships in Vietnam's harbors and waterways without ever setting foot on Vietnamese soil. 

         "These personnel were heavily exposed to this toxin through shipboard water systems that drew Agent Orange-affected waters through filtration systems," said Cdr. John Wells (USN, ret.). "Although they may never have been on land where the toxin was sprayed, they were still exposed through eating, drinking and bathing. There is incontrovertible, scientific proof of this exposure, but the Department of Veterans Affairs has been reticent about restoring benefits, even in light of recent court cases.  With hundreds of co-sponsors in Congress, we hope this legislation is finally on the verge of passage."

         The legislation (H.R. 969, S. 681) is a bipartisan bill. Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19) and several other members and senators will lead the press conference at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday on the House Triangle, East Front of the U.S. Capitol. In case of rain, the event will move to Room 441 in the Cannon House Office Building.

         Others expected to attend are Senators Kirsten Gellibrand (NY) and Steve Daines (MT), Representatives Chris Gibson (NY-19), Paul Tonko (NY-20), David Valadao (CA-21), Leonard Lance (NJ-7), Bill Johnson (OH-6), Roger Williams (TX-25), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Ryan Costello (PA-06), and Beto O'Rourke (TX-16).

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