Denise Williams, The American Legion assistant director for Health Policy, attended the first meeting of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans May 3. The committee will conduct a study and prepare a report on whether the Vietnam veterans in the Blue Water Navy experienced a comparable range of exposures to the herbicides and their contaminants as the Brown Water Navy Vietnam veterans and those on the ground in Vietnam.
This project is proposed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a better understanding of exposures to, and the potential health risks from, exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides. Blue Water Navy veterans who served during the Vietnam War on ships offshore from Vietnam have long maintained they should have access to the same presumption of herbicide exposure available to Vietnam War veterans who served on the ground. The American Legion will continue to attend these committee meetings to keep abreast of any updated information regarding this issue.