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The Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America Government Affairs Committee is committed to providing timely information on issues that are specific to veterans and their families requiring support and advocacy. This committee keeps pertinent legislation in the forefront of our congressional leaders, while encouraging our members to become proactive by contacting their elected officials via phone or e-mail to keep the needs of our veterans and their families in the limelight as relevant acts impacting our membership are considered. AVVA members are voters, and together we are nearly 9000 members strong.


OCTOBER 7, 2017

 Associate of Vietnam Veterans of America 
Call In Alert October 11, 2017 


TOMMORROW (October 12) AT 9:00 AM CALL YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS Asking their support for passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017 AT (202) 224-3121 
The solidarity of our membership at all levels of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America has been the key to our legislative victories--it is because of your actions that we have made headway in achieving any justice for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Our work is not done. We must right a 15-year wrong. In February 2002, the DVA changed its rules, abruptly terminating benefits to the Blue Water U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and FMF Marine veterans, thereby limiting the scope of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to those veterans who could provide proof of "boots on the ground" in Vietnam. Without warning, in March 2002, offshore veterans stopped receiving VA health care and disability compensation. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017, H.R. 299, introduced in the House by Congressman David Valadao (CA-R-21), and companion bill S.422, introduced in the Senate by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would right this wrong, and partially restore coverage to those aggrieved veterans who suffer from illnesses considered presumptive for exposure to Agent Orange and other toxic herbicides. We must lift our voices in unison to right this wrong and demand from our leaders that our Blue Water veterans receive the care and benefits they have justly earned in defense of our Armed Forces. 

Make the Call Let your politicians know that you are watching and that you care, make the call on October 12 at 9:00 am; ask to speak to your Representatives/Senators requesting their support for passage of The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017, also, thank your member if they have already signed onto the bill. Ask your family, friends and colleagues who support this issue to join you and make the call too. 

H.R. 299 cosponsors 
H.R. 299 non-cosponsors 
S.422 cosponsors  
S.422 non-cosponsors 
H.R.299/S.422 Telephone call in script 

If you cannot call please go to and send the prepared message in support of H.R. 299 and S.422, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017. 

If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Hodge, Deputy Director for Policy/Government Affairs in our National Office, 1-800-882-1316, Ext. 111. Hit me back on October 12, at and say "I contacted my member" 

AVVA Government Affairs Team 

Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA) is a national, nonprofit Membership and Service Organization dedicated to advancing the awareness of issues affecting Vietnam Veterans, their families, and their communities 



AVVA Legislative Priorities for 2017:

Click here to read the AVVA Legislative Priorities for this year. There is a great deal of background information as well, which will help you in your efforts to support these issues.




Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America - Legislative Update

December 12, 2016

Senate passes Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015

On Saturday, December 10, 2016, H.R. 6416, the Miller-Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Act of 2016, unanimously passed the Senate and is now on the way to the President's Desk for signature into law. Among the 76 separate provisions of the bill are measures aimed at improving veterans' access to care, benefits, education, and homeless assistance.

Also included in the legislation are the provisions of the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015, the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America top legislative priority. 

My heartfelt congratulations go to all of you who answered the call and took action activating your communities, and working with your representatives on Capitol Hill. Through your relentless perseverance, your voices have been heard.

This legislation, a necessary first step, will lay the groundwork for the research we need on the health of our children and grandchildren, whom we believe, have been impacted by exposures during their parents’ military service.

AVVA, also thank Senators Moran-KS and Blumenthal-CT for introducing the bill in the Senate S.901 and Representatives Benishek (MI-1) and Honda (CA-17) for introducing the bill in the House H.R. 1769 and their colleagues on both sides for ensuring that this bipartisan legislation was enacted into law.
This is a milestone. Stand by. Our work is not done.

Sharon Hobbs,
AVVA National President


Currently in Congress

Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America

September 5-9, 2016

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are in session

The legislative language of S.901, the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015, introduced by Senators Jerry Moran (KS) and Richard Blumenthal (CT), has been included in S.2921, the Veterans First Act, under Title II, Subtitle I, “Research and Toxic Exposure”. Senators Johnny Isakson (GA), Chairman, and Richard Blumenthal (CT), Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs introduced S.2921.

The bill has 44 cosponsors (16 R- 28 D)
Dan Sullivan (AK), John Boozman (AR), Barbara Boxer (CA), Dianne Feinstein, (CA) Michael F. Bennet




Click here for a Power Point guide designed to help you successfully advocate for Veterans' issues. (Depending on your browser, this may automatically download to your computer, or may open in your screen.)



Click here for an easy to follow listing of information that will make contacting congress as easy as 1 2 3!


On April 16, 2016, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) made an unannounced visit to the VVA Chapter 317, Kansas City, “Faces of Agent Orange” Town Hall. Click the red text above for a transcript of his uplifting address regarding the Toxic Exposure Research Act, S.901.







Take Action NOW! Click on Action Center and send the prepared alert asking your Senators to support S.2921, the Veterans First Act

Go to VVA's Government Affairs Action Center to keep up on current legislative action and information.


VECI Report: (Sept. 2015)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the expansion of a program aimed at increasing education and employment opportunities to America’s Veterans to an additional to 25 new communities. The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative (VECI) brings together local and national partners to coordinate services for Veterans, service members and military families.