The State of Our Union - 2010

Your Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association has been hard at work assisting veterans get their claims for service-connection approved, often with the intervention of Congressional Aids we convinced to join us in our tasks. One important project we've mentioned before has been helping the Regional Offices understand 38 CFR 3.313, which grants health care and compensation to sailors with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL). These are NOT claims related to herbicide exposure and they should NEVER have been affected by the Haas situation. But we found that many of the 57 Regional Offices needed some hand-holding to grasp this 19 year old regulation, and often a gentle tap upside the head to get these NHL claims through the System. And I'm talking as recently as this fourth week in January, 2010. We've also shaken loose some claims with serious payment problems and dealt with a couple of boots-on-ground and Inland Waters issues. If this is any indication of what the future is going to be like, I may start drinking again.

In the past 18 months, we've been directly responsible, with the help of our Congressional pit bulls, for the release of almost $900,000 in retro-pay, and over $25,000 in monthly compensation awards. We've been notified that vital information from the Blue Water Navy Web Site has been directly responsible for winning several other claims that we didn't need to be involved in. It was just a matter of printing out the right information, walking it through Decision Reviews and heading straight for the pay windows. Those are the kind we really like.

We are involved in several longer term projects like the identification of Inland Waters vessels, a review of the Ports and Harbors issue, and discussions regarding unnecessary restrictions on NHL cases. We've been instrumental in garnering grassroots support for the House and Senate versions of the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2010, along with several other hardworking groups. So, despite the lavish, wasteful use of the corporate jet and the occasional but irresponsible and blatantly illegal use of Frank's meds, I just wanted to report that the Management of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association reaffirms its commitment to you, the veterans, both members and non-members, that we will continue to focus our energies on improving the rights and treatment of all U.S. veterans through any and every avenue available to us.

Here's wishing everyone a joyful and prosperous new year and hoping we all live to see the end of 2010.

27 January 2010
John Paul Rossie, Executive Director
Navy (at)

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