GW Bush on Agent Orange

From: "Bruce K. Melson" <>

Real Plans for Real People


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            

Tuesday, October 24, 2000                                    



Administrations’ inaction is making it harder for Veterans to receive benefits


AUSTIN-Texas Governor George W. Bush today commended House Veterans Affairs Committee ranking Democrat Lane Evans for pressing Acting Veterans Administration Secretary Herschel Gober to list Agent Orange-related diabetes mellitus as service-connected for Vietnam combat veterans. So far, the Clinton Administration has ignored the Committee’s findings which has made it harder for Vietnam Veterans who suffer from this ailment to receive benefits.


“I applaud Representative Evans in his appeal to Acting Secretary Gober to expedite this action,” said Governor Bush, who has advocated the recognition of this service–connection in the past. “Our veterans and military retirees deserve swift and resolute action.  We must keep our commitment to them.”

         “The Secretary of Veterans Affairs in a Bush administration would have already listed diabetes mellitus as service-connected. No veteran should have to go to elaborate lengths to prove they are ill just because their malady has yet to be fully explained,” said Governor Bush.

             On October 11, Representative Lane Evans wrote Acting Secretary Hershel Gober, urging him to issue regulations to compensate affected Vietnam veterans. Evans noted that “Veterans Affairs has both the authority and the evidence it needs to take action,” he wrote, stating that he has asked Gober to resolve the matter quickly. 

         The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Agent Orange Advisory Committee established a link between agent-orange and diabetes mellitus as early as last year. Congress allows the VA Secretary to list conditions that have a possible link to Agent Orange exposure. If the Administration followed the Committee’s findings and listed this form of diabetes as linked to Agent Orange, Vietnam veterans’ would be able to receive benefits and compensation.

Willie G. Dougherty
Programs Director
The National Veterans Organization of America, Inc.
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Veterans Voice of Austin
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