VVA Press Release


Washington, D.C. (September 3, 1996) -- The U.S. Senate votes tomorrow on unprecedented legislation which, for the first time, intends to compensate children suffering illness as a result of parents' military service. The legislation aims to create a benefits package for children of Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.

The proposed amendment, offered by Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), is a follow up to Pres. Bill Clinton's call this past May for broader benefits to Vietnam veterans and their children facing illnesses from Agent Orange exposure. Clinton's call followed a National Academy of Sciences report showing a correlation between spina bifida and veteran parents' exposure to Agent Orange.

Vietnam Veterans of America national president James Brazee says, "These veterans have suffered for upwards of 20 years until finally receiving confirmation of their worst fears--that their military service has jeopardized the health and welfare of their children. The next logical and necessary step is for Congress to implement a remedy to assist these unfortunate, secondary victims of the U.S. use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War."

Brazee acknowledges the legislation may have wider implications--benefits for other Agent Orange-related birth defects and compensation for children of Gulf War veterans who have suffered from birth defects that may be attributed to their parents' exposure to hazardous substances during their service in Southwest Asia.

Daschle plans to attach the amendment to the fiscal year 1997 appropriation bill for the VA, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies, which will be voted on tomorrow. This amendment would provide comprehensive health care to children of Agent Orange exposed veterans, a modest compensation program, and vocational training. Many veterans and their families are forced into impoverishment by mounting health care costs associated with caring for their children with spina bifida


Vietnam Veterans of America is the nation's only Congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.

Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
A Not-For-Profit Veterans Service Organization Chartered by the United States Congress

For Further Information Contact:

Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
Attn.: Mokie Pratt Porter
1224 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005-5183
Tel: 202-628-2700 ext. 146
General FAX: 202-628-5880
Communications FAX: 202-783-4942
e-mail: 71154.702@compuserve.com
URL: http://www.vva.org

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