IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release

September 15, 2003

No. 03-36

Contact:
Mokie Porter

(301) 585-4000 Ext.146


VVA Applauds House Action Authorizing Health Care for Project 112/SHAD Veterans
 

(Washington, D.C.) – "Vietnam Veterans of America is gratified by the vote last week in the House that would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide health care for veterans who participated in the military's testing of chemical and biological agents in the 1960s and early 1970s," said Thomas H. Corey, VVA national president.  "We applaud members of the House for doing the right thing, and we urge members of the Senate to do so as well."

The bill would make veterans who participated in tests conducted as part of the secret Project 112 eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for any illness, notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such illness is attributable to such testing. 

Project SHAD [Shipboard Hazard and Defense] was part of Project 112, which also included land-based tests conducted by the Department of Defense Deseret Test Center from 1962-73.  The original bill was introduced by Rep. Ciro Rodriguez.

As part of Project 112, sailors and soldiers, many without their knowledge or consent, were exposed to a variety of chemical and biological agents and simulants.  Thus far, the Department of Defense has identified some 5,843 veterans who participated in one or more of 50 Project 112 tests.

"While VVA is pleased with the action taken by the House, we will continue to push for a full accounting of the facts surrounding Project 112," Corey said.  Last fall, VVA established a national task force to further investigate this issue. 

Veterans who believe they might have been exposed should visit http://www.vva.org/shad, the VVA web site for information on Project 112/SHAD and potential exposure risks. 

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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