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Arkansas Congressman writes language on Agent Orange in Veterans Act

Times Record - 7/2/2018

July 02--Language on Agent Orange in the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 25, was written by an Arkansas congressman.

The bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., of the Fourth District, included language from Westerman's H.R. 4843 to extend coverage for children with spina bifida due to a parent's exposure to Agent Orange.

In a speech on the House floor last Monday, Westerman said "Our nation's soldiers are told they will receive benefits and coverage through the VA because of their service, but reality shows this has not always been the case, as with Agent Orange. This legislation would correct the issue by providing rightly earned benefits to the men and women who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange during their time of service."

Westerman thanked Bill Rhodes, a veteran in the Fourth District, who has "advocated tirelessly for his fellow veterans."

"I think it is pretty cut and dry. If you served America through the Armed Forces, and were exposed to Agent Orange, our grateful country should cover the medical expenses," Westerman added. "Our veterans made great sacrifice and they deserve the best benefits and care possible. The Blue Water Navy Act is a great step toward providing these benefits, and I commend Chairman Roe and the Veterans' Affairs Committee for their work to make this legislation a reality for our veterans."

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(c)2018 Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.)

Visit Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.) at www.swtimes.com

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