60 minutes | Nov 16th 2020

#220: Benefits Breakdown, Blue Water Navy Veterans Act of 2019

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While serving as an electrics technician aboard USS Davis during the Vietnam War, Blue Water Navy (BWN) Veteran John Burns said he never felt like his life was in danger. He appreciated the experience because he was able to visit parts of the world he had never seen before. The last thing he expected was to have been exposed to Agent Orange while off the coast of Vietnam.In this episode of Borne the Battle, two Veterans from two very different generations come to talk about the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. Burns, a Vietnam War Veteran spoke about: His unanticipated participation in the Vietnam War The symptoms he had after Agent Orange exposure His experience filing a BWN claim How the BWN Act benefits improved his life David Eckert, an Iraq War Veteran and lead policy analyst for VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, also joined this episode. Eckert leveraged his background working with the BWN Act to share: How Veterans can file a claim  The criteria VA uses to evaluate applicants What benefits eligible Veterans can expect to receive Burns never regretted serving in Vietnam. Nor does Burns believe he suffered too badly from Agent Orange.  However, he still encouraged all Navy Veterans who believed they were exposed to the chemical in Vietnam to apply for benefits. He argued BWN Veterans deserve the compensation and that the application process was easy enough to justify simply trying.Eckert and Burns emphasized BWN Vietnam Veterans should try and submit a claim even if they submitted a claim before the BWN Act passed, never filed one or received a denial but want to try filing again. In some cases, their surviving family members may also be eligible for benefits. There are countless ways to file a claim: File themselves through VA Receive assistance from Veteran Service professionals recognized by VA Filing through a VA regional office and receive VA employee assistance Though from two different generations of the U.S. Armed Forces, Burns and Eckert said they hope BWN Vietnam Veterans will file a claim and get the compensation they deserve.Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Navy Veteran Regis Philbin Mentioned in this Episode: VA releases 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report VA releases COVID-19 Response Report  New nursing research and training collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Foundation VA, American Kidney Fund join efforts to help Veterans diagnosed with kidney disease 
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