BY MAYNARD KADERLIK, CHAIR
November and December were busy. Along with VVA staff, I attended a meeting in D.C. held by the NASEM on Veterans and Agent Orange Update 10-2014. Also in December nine people held an Agent Orange strategy session at the VVA National Office in Silver Spring. That number included staff of Government Affairs and Communications, members of the AO Committee, and other knowledgeable people.
We discussed many issues related to Agent Orange, including Blue Water Navy legislation and what we need to do to get it passed. Although it didn’t happen in the outgoing Congress, senators and representatives know that Vietnam veterans aren’t going away. Other topics: the NASEM review findings; research on paternally mediated birth defects; and the Ranch Hand specimens’ location and why we need to get them. We also discussed the five possible AO-related presumptives waiting to be reported out by the VA Secretary. A full report on this meeting was presented at the January VVA BOD meeting.
We still have a long road on this issue and perhaps not a lot of time for many of us. We, as a team, have accomplished much over the years. Keep up the hard work and pressure on this issue.