Vietnam Veterans of America  
  The VVA Veteran® Online  
  homepipeAboutpipeArchivepipeSubscribepipeContactpipevva.orgVVA gifFacebookContact    
Government Affairs, January/February 2024 -   -  

Continuing the Fight for Veterans, Their Families, and Future Generations

As we move into 2024, I am happy to report that VVA’s Government Affairs team is diligently researching issues that affect all generations of veterans.

Chief among these concerns is toxic exposure. At VVA National, the Government Affairs Department has spent the last several months investigating exposures that occurred on military bases and in areas of operation at home and abroad. These include exposures that may have occurred at locations like Fort McClellan and the Blue Grass Army Depot. We are also investigating the effects of chemicals that were commonly used as pesticides (paraquat) on materials such as ammo cans, wood pallets (pentachlorophenol), and in devices that you may be using today, such as CPAP machines (formaldehyde and silicone).

While a significant amount of our time is dedicated to toxic exposure efforts, the GA Department continues to monitor other big concerns, such as housing for homeless veterans in West Los Angeles; methods for improving access to health care in remote areas like Puerto Rico; fraud detection and prevention; caregiver programs; and medical technological advancements.

Last year we worked tirelessly with federal lawmakers to enact the Korean American VALOR Act, and we continue to work with legislators to promote bills such as: the Major Richard Star Act, which would remove the financial penalty unfairly imposed on disabled war veterans; the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act, which was enacted in December 2022 and increased opportunities for access to home health care.

Furthermore, in a victory for active-duty servicemembers, the Department of Defense has finished setting up special trial counsel offices for each service branch for sexual assault victims. These offices will supply independent prosecutors, removing commanders in the chain of command from the equation.

Most recently, DoD began collaborating with Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Pa.) to reinstate the 48-hour rule, which would give veterans service organizations a two-day window to review benefits claims. This would help VVA ensure that outcomes are correct before they are finalized, reducing government waste and the likelihood that veterans go through an arduous appellate process to get access to healthcare and benefits they earned through their military service.

The bill, drafted in-house by VVA, would intentionally disadvantage so-called claims sharks--predatory individuals and organizations that financially exploit veterans filing claims for VA benefits. We are also actively engaged with the House and Senate in developing legislation that would force the VA to honor its 2016 obligation to conduct multi-generational toxic exposure research.

On the regulatory front, we are working with the VA and DoD to get the Operation Ranch Hand Agent Orange samples to a secure location where they can be properly researched. This is an effort that has been decades in the making, and it looks like it’ll soon be accomplished.

We cannot do this without your help. Please continue to contact your local, state, and federal legislators, and make thorough use of the VVA Government Affairs Department. We are here to provide support and do the legwork. Together, we will continue to fight to improve the quality of life for our brothers and sisters in arms, their families, and future generations.




-May/June 2022March/April 2022January/February 2022November/December 2021September/October 2021July/August 2021May/June 2021March/April 2021January/February 2021November/December 2020September/October 2020July/August 2020May/June 2020March/April 2020January/February 2020November/December 2019September/October 2019July/August 2019
2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016
| 2014 | 2013 | 2012
| 2010 | 2009 | 2008
| 2006 | 2005 | 2004
| 2002 | 2001 | 2000

----Find us on Facebook-Online Only:Arts of War on the Web
Book in Brief-

Basic Training Photo Gallery
Basic Training Photo Gallery
2013 & 2014 APEX® Award Winner

    Departments     University of Florida Smathers Libraries  
  - -      
  VVA logoThe VVA Veteran® is a publication of Vietnam Veterans of America. ©All rights reserved.
8719 Colesville Road, Suite 100, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | www.vva.org | contact us


Geoffrey Clifford Mark F. Erickson Chuck Forsman