Congressman announces legislation for veterans

Rep. Tom MacArthur announces legislation to help veterans, alongside members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

Rep. Tom MacArthur announced the Fairness for Korean DMZ Veterans Act, which is legislation to help veterans who are suffering from Agent Orange or other herbicide-related conditions.

Currently, veterans who served at or near the Korean DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) are eligible to receive disability compensation for those conditions if they served between April 1, 1968 and August 3, 1971. However, there are hundreds of veterans who served on the DMZ prior to April 1, 1968 who suffer from these conditions.

This legislation will change the eligibility date to September 1, 1967 for these veterans, allowing them to receive the health care they have earned.

“Currently, there are hundreds of Korean War veterans suffering from Agent Orange and other herbicide-related conditions that are unable to receive the health care they deserve,” said MacArthur. “My bill will expand the time frame of eligibility for these veterans to receive disability benefits allowing them to finally receive the appropriate care. As the son of a Korean War veteran and Representative of more than 50,000 veterans, I believe we have a moral obligation to provide quality care for our veterans. They have sacrificed so much for our freedoms and now it’s up to us to fight for them.”

MacArthur made the announcement during a press conference Tuesday at Eden-Stanley American Legion Post #294 in Pemberton, supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

“The VFW is proud to stand with Congressman MacArthur in support of veterans who served on the Korean DMZ prior to April of 1968 and now suffer from adverse health conditioned associated with exposure to Agent Orange,” said Associate Director of National Legislative Service for the VFW Ken Wiseman. “Those veterans, from several Army units, supported our Korean allies and their service has caused health problems which must not be ignored. This legislation would properly recognize the earlier time period that Agent Orange was used and, in turn, clear the hurdles that veterans have faced when securing their earned benefits from VA.”