Thursday, March 12, 2015

Senate Letter I use

Here is a copy of the messages I send. I make them personal and personalized:
My name is Mike Yates and I am a Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran with Prostate Cancer and I am asking that you Senators Kirsten E Gillibrand D NY and Steve Daines R MT who introduced S-681, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act into the United States Senate March 9th 2015 and be a co-sponsor. This bill is a companion to HR 969 which was introduced last month into the House of Representatives by Congressman Chris Gibson R NY and now has 163 co-sponsors. This bill will extend the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to those veterans who served aboard ships that operated in the bays, harbors and territorial seas of the Republic of Vietnam. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, the bill has had bi-partisan support in both and the Senate. Prior to 2002, shipboard veterans, known as blue water veterans, were granted the presumption of exposure out to an area approximately 100 miles off the coast. In 2002, the Department of Veterans Affairs stripped shipboard veterans of these benefits. The decision was based on a General Counsel�s interpretation of the 1991 Agent Orange Act, which stated that a veteran was required to be assigned to air, land or naval service "in the Republic of Vietnam." The General Counsel believed that this meant that the veteran would have to prove he walked on shore or operated in the inland river system. The new policy ignored the fact that the bays, harbors and territorial seas were part of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Vietnam. The United States had recognized that boundary in the 1954 Geneva Accords and again in the 1973 Paris Peace Treaty. In 2002 an Australian Study (EXAMINATION OF THE POTENTIAL EXPOSURE OF ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY (RAN) PERSONNEL TO POLYCHLORINATED DIBENZODIOXINS AND POLYCHLORINATED DIBENZOFURANS VIA DRINKING WATER) found that the water distillation process would actually enhance the toxicity of any dioxin present in the original saltwater.For more information you can go to Facebook and search for Military-Veterans Advocacy or Blue Water Navy Awareness. To help make it easier for people to contact their Congress Person, I have created a blog and on it I have contact lists of all the Congress people. With it you can click on their name and go to their Web Page for Congress. The blog is at

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