IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release

September 22, 2003

No. 03-37

Contact:
Mokie Porter

(301) 585-4000 Ext.146


VVA Blasts Misguided Efforts To Steal
Benefits from Veterans

 

(Washington, D.C.) – "We are disturbed and dismayed by language in H.R.1588, the FY04 Defense Authorization Act, that would alter the definition of service-connected disability," said Thomas H. Corey, national president of Vietnam Veterans of America.   

"Should this misguided attempt to limit payment of compensation to disabilities that are the 'direct result of the performance of duty' become law," Corey said, "the consequences would be an unprecedented breach of America's covenant to care for those who have borne the battle.” 

Under the proposed standard, it will likely prove impossible for veterans whose disabilities may be the result of environmental exposures to herbicides or mandatory vaccinations to be compensated and receive treatment for those disabilities. 

"It seems as if some in Congress would alter the definition of 'service-connected' and create 'second-class citizens' among those who have suffered disabling injury or illness while in the service of the country," said Corey. "This is unjust and will send a clear and resounding signal to our troops and to the American public that our government is indifferent when it comes to the support of our troops, he added.  

"At a time when Americans in uniform are engaged in a war against terrorism, many of our political leaders who claim to support the service and our sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, then turn around and attempt to control costs by placing unfair restrictions on who is eligible for compensation. This is the height of hypocrisy and folly,” Corey said. 

“VVA will do everything we can to ensure this restrictive language is never enacted into law and any attempts to treat our armed forces and veterans as second-class citizens are defeated,” said Corey. 

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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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