‘Blue water’ Navy veterans from Vietnam-era win Agent Orange benefits case

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tags: veterans, legal history, Vietnam War

A federal appeals court in Washington sided Tuesday with thousands of Vietnam War veterans who were stationed offshore during the war and developed health problems linked to exposure to the toxic herbicide Agent Orange.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled overwhelmingly for these sailors, finding they are eligible for the same disability benefits as those who put boots on the ground or patrolled Vietnam’s inland rivers.

The 9-to-2 decision reverses a decade-old ruling by the court and applies to an estimated 52,000 veterans nationwide. A court majority said Congress clearly intended to extend benefits to sailors who were stationed in the territorial seas and are known as “blue water” Navy veterans.

“We find no merit in the government’s arguments to the contrary,” Judge Kimberly A. Moore wrote for the majority.

Read entire article at Washington Post

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