At the April BOD meeting the committee discussed ways to help move the bills along. We continue to do Faces of Agent Orange town hall meetings across the country as part of our education campaign. We also discussed reaching out more often to the Native American community for help, support, and education.
We plan on reaching out to the public through local newspapers to spread the word and encourage local news readers to call in support of the bills. We’re also trying to locate research studies that may help our bills.
I have been busy. I traveled to the national office to work with Government Affairs to line up meetings with senators and representatives who have not signed onto the bills. Sharon Hodge and I went to the Capitol on three separate occasions. At this time the bills are moving along and we hope they become law.
I also attended the Blue Water Navy rally at the Capitol on May 18. Those bills are also progressing. The IOM report issued on March 10 is a hot topic among veterans, and it remains to be seen what VA Secretary McDonald will decide by the end of September.
At the upcoming Leadership Conference we will have a “how to” about conducting a Faces of Agent Orange town hall meeting, and we will also host a town hall. We will continue to do these town hall meetings even after legislation is passed as there are so many veterans and families who need to know what has happened to their children. The committee is a team and we will do all that we can to succeed.
Maynard Kaderlik, Chair