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Dinolfo: Blue Water Navy Vietnam Vets Should Contact Monroe County VSA

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo encouraged all “Blue Water” Navy Vietnam Veterans to schedule a consultation with the Monroe County Veterans Service Agency (VSA) following a recent United States (U.S.) Court of Appeals decision that expands access to the benefits these veterans have earned. Blue Water Veterans are sailors who were stationed offshore during the Vietnam War.

“The Blue Water Navy Veterans served our country with honor and distinction, just like their peers who served as boots on the ground in Vietnam. That’s why I’m so pleased with the Court of Appeals’ recent decision to extend disability benefits to these dedicated men and women,” said Dinolfo. “Monroe County stands ready to assist affected Blue Water Veterans by helping to file claims with the VA. I encourage any and all veterans to whom this may apply to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to working with them to secure the benefits they fought for, but never received.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals recently ruled 9-2 in favor of the Blue Water Navy Veterans, after the VA had previously limited Agent Orange-related claims only to soldiers who served boots on the ground in Vietnam. As a result of the ruling, an estimated 50,000 to 90,000 Blue Water Navy Veterans nationwide are now eligible for VA disability compensation and have an easier path to getting the benefits they rightfully earned. There could be several hundred living in Monroe County.

Dinolfo encouraged all Blue Water veterans to schedule a free consultation with the VSA. Consultations last an hour and assist veterans in determining if they are receiving the entirety of the benefits they earned during their time of service. To schedule a consultation, contact the VSA by phone at (585) 753-6040.

In 2018, the VSA filed 839 claims approved by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – resulting in over $4.3 million in awards.