Thanks to the continued advocacy of AUSN and many other Military/Veteran Service Organizations (MSOs/VSOs), the latest version of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act reportedly contains an AUSN-supported provision that would provide benefits to Veterans exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
The amendment was successfully included in the new NDAA bill, which was sent to conference this week as it nears the president’s desk.
The language of the amendment would grant presumptive benefits to Vietnam Veterans suffering from bladder cancer, Parkinsonism, or hypothyroidism. The Department of Veterans Affairs would be required to begin granting fast-track disability status for approximately 34,000 Veterans suffering from those conditions, according to reports.
AUSN has been fighting for our Veterans to receive benefits for these ailments, which scientific studies have shown are the result of exposure to Agent Orange. Last year, the AUSN-supported Blue Water Vietnam Veterans Act was signed into law, providing benefits to tens of thousands of Veterans who served aboard ship and were exposed to the herbicide despite not setting foot on land.
This is part of a larger effort to solve the issue of toxic exposure once and for all across the military services. AUSN is also a member of the TEAM Coalition, which is actively fighting to pass a comprehensive bill that would both provide benefits to Veterans suffering from health issues caused by toxic exposures to various sources in multiple wars, as well as take preventative steps to keep future warfighters from having to fight the same battles.
AUSN and our MSO/VSO allies will continue to fight the scourge of toxic exposure in 2021 and ensure our Veterans are taken care of, now and in the future.