Saturday, May 21, 2016

Galveston Shipmates: A Call to Action

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a piece of legislation that would allow shipmates who served aboard the Galveston while in Vietnam waters and are suffering from diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure to apply for benefits.  (for more information on this issue, click here). 

The next step to becoming Law requires U.S. Senate approval.  All shipmates can help make this Law by contacting your Senator and requesting their support.  A direct email link to your Senator can be found by clicking here and following these steps:

  1. alphabetically find your senator,
  2. and under their name, select the Contact link,  
  3. identify yourself,
  4. select Veterans Affairs under "Pick A Topic", and
  5. request his/her support in advancing The Approved House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill through the Senate.
USS Galveston Shipmates Association
Bob Rank BM3 1966-68

The above post was copied from an all hands email dated 5/21/16 -- after which an email was received from Shipmate,  Rick Nassif SM2  "The Galloping Gal" '65-'67, with what I believe is an even better message for your Senator: 

I sent the following to my Senators from California:

An amendment added to the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill would require the department to presume these veterans were exposed to the toxic herbicide and provide health care and compensation if they are sick as a result.
Advocacy groups and legislators say a VA policy that excludes bays and harbors from the definition of “inland” is unfair, and, they add, studies indicate that service members may have been exposed when the ships they were assigned to used distilled contaminated sea water for bathing and drinking.
“These personnel were heavily exposed to this toxin through shipboard water systems that drew Agent Orange-affected waters through filtration systems,” said retired Navy Cmdr. John Wells.

Thanks for your support,

Rick Nassif