Michael Boyson, the commander of the American Legion at the Cooperstown Veterans Club, said he hopes the U.S. Senate quickly passes companion legislation so the Blue Water Navy veterans harmed by Agent Orange can get treatment.
“If we didn’t have something like this legislation, they wouldn’t get that coverage,” Boyson said. “This is intended to protect our people who were there.”
Diseases the government has associated with Agent Orange exposure include leukemia, Hodgkin’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, prostate cancer, lung cancer, multiple myeloma and Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
Gibson is also promoting a second bill, , H.R. 543, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2013, that, if approved, would grant presumptive Agent Orange exposure status to veterans who served in the territorial seas of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Presumptive coverage would allow eligible veterans to get benefits if they suffer from diseases the government has linked to Agent Orange.