Sinema Thanks Veterans Service Organizations, Pledges Continued Support for ‘Blue Water’ Navy Veterans

Feb 26, 2019

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke today at the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s Legislative Presentation of Disabled American Veterans (DAV). She thanked the DAV for their work on behalf of Arizona’s veterans and highlighted the need to extend disability compensation and health care to our “Blue Water” Navy veterans. “Blue Water” Navy veterans served during the Vietnam War on ships off the coast of Vietnam, but are not currently eligible for Agent Orange exposure benefits. Sinema called on the Senate to take action and provide our “Blue Water” Navy veterans the benefits they’ve earned.
“I just want to express my extreme gratitude to the DAV and to the other veterans service organizations that we’ll be hearing from and supporting this week. The work that you all do in my home state of Arizona to assist veterans – particularly those who are facing sometimes a very byzantine and complex process of applying for benefits, for recognizing service related disabilities, and the grueling process of going through appeals – wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the incredible help of the talented volunteers who help veterans day in and day out. I can tell you that over the 6 years that I served in the U.S. House, representing Arizona’s 9th District, we all relied on the men and women of the DAV and the auxiliary folks to help in this regard, and folks from the DAV served as valuable members of our Veterans Advisory Committee, and I am grateful for that.
I also want to just take a moment and thank you for your advocacy for legislation that I know is important to every member of this committee in both the House and the Senate. It is my pledge to continue working until we pass legislation that addresses the issue for our Blue Water Navy Veterans. These individuals have worked so hard and deserve these benefits and this protection.
We passed that bill through the House last year and I know we’ll work to get it through the Senate this year. And I’m grateful to be able to join my colleagues in cosponsoring the Deborah Sampson Act to make sure that we’re addressing the needs of women veterans. In our office, our caseload has increasingly been populated by female veterans who are contacting us asking for additional assistance and need.
As we move forward in this term I just want to, again, thank you for your incredible service to our country, for your continuing service to your fellow veterans and their family members, and to thank you for the work that you do to help us do our job better and keep us all accountable, so thank you very much.”