June 6, 2019, Stars and Stripes, Nikki Wentling
Blue Water Navy Veterans
Washington, DC — After months of uncertainty, the Department of Justice decided not to appeal a federal court ruling that extends eligibility for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits to Blue Water Navy veterans who served on ships offshore during the Vietnam War.
With the court challenge apparently over, tens of thousands of veterans – with estimates up to 90,000 – are in line to receive VA benefits, which could equate to thousands of dollars in disability compensation each month. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted the new benefits could cost about $1.1 billion during the next 10 years, but VA officials estimate it could be five times that amount.
“This is a huge victory for tens of thousands of deserving veterans who were arbitrarily stripped of their earned benefits,” said B.J. Lawrence, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
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