TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For Navy veteran Mike Kvintus of Port Richey and about 60,000 other veterans who served on ships in the territorial waters of Vietnam, there should be no more hassles with the VA.
Earlier this year, a federal court told the VA it was wrong to exclude what are known as Blue Water Navy veterans from disability benefits tied to exposure to Agent Orange.
The powerful herbicide was used to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, making the enemy more visible.
It was sprayed along river banks and floated into the bays, harbors and waters off Vietnam.
Mike’s ship turned ocean water into fresh, possibly exposing him and the crew of the U.S.S. Buchanan to Agent Orange in their drinking, bathing and cooking water.
Mike suffers from several conditions linked to Agent Orange exposure.
The VA has repeatedly denied him disability and health coverage for those conditions.
First the U.S. House and then the Senate unanimously passed legislation ensuring he and thousands of other Blue Water Navy veterans are eligible to receive benefits previously denied.
However, 8 On Your Side has learned this legislation excluded thousands more Navy veterans who served in Vietnam.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE FROM STEVE ANDREWS:
- Court rules VA got it wrong denying benefits to Vietnam War Navy veterans
- Bill restoring Navy veterans’ rights hangs by a thread
- Benefits for thousands of Navy veterans depend on Georgia senator’s next move
- VA attempts to torpedo expanding Agent Orange benefits to thousands
- Tidal wave of support in U.S. House to extend Agent Orange benefits to Navy veterans of Vietnam war
- Vietnam era veterans and their children on cusp of expanded benefits
- Navy Vietnam veterans feeling betrayed march on VA
- New VA secretary ‘sucker punches’ Vietnam Navy veterans