Veterans have the right to a number of benefits that they earned by serving in the U.S. military. Namely, benefits like health care and disability. However, some illnesses are not recognized as resulting from military service, and the veterans who suffer from these illnesses, including many living in Florida, do not receive the benefits that some feel they should. One man's years of working toward recognition for one group of soldiers may now culminate in expanded veterans' benefits.
The man, a former soldier, has fought for years to have the government recognize soldiers who served in Korea in 1967. The reason for his fight is Agent Orange. The defoliant was used extensively during the Vietnam War, and many of those who served in Vietnam and suffered from exposure to the chemical are eligible for benefits. However, those who served in Korea in 1967 are not.
Finally, the veteran has succeeded in gaining support from various organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The organization's support is allowing his request to be heard by Congress. The man asks that veterans who served in Korea in 1967 and have illnesses attributed to Agent Orange be given fair and reasonable benefits and compensation.
For many of Florida's veterans, a change resulting from the man's request could be life changing. Expanded benefits could make huge differences in the lives of many former soldiers and their families. The difference would be not only financial but also emotional, as the benefits would be recognition of the sacrifices they made so many years ago.
Source: ctwatchdog.com, "Ct Veteran's Findings Spur VFWs Fight For Expanded Agent Orange Benefits," Peggy McCarthy, Mar. 2, 2016