MUSKOGEE – The Muskogee Veterans Affairs Regional Benefits Office will host a public town hall Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m., to brief veterans on the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019.

The town hall will be held in VFW Post 577, 1109 E. Sixth St. in Tulsa. It is open to the public with veterans, family members, stakeholders, and community organizations encouraged to attend.

Representatives from the Muskogee VA Regional Benefits Office and the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System will be available to assist attendees.

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 extends the presumption of herbicide exposure, that include toxins such as Agent Orange, to Veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Signed into law June 25, 2019, the law specifically affects Blue Water Navy veterans who served no more than 12 nautical miles offshore of the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 6, 1962, and May 7, 1975, as well as veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone between Jan. 1, 1967, and Aug. 31, 1971.

These veterans can now apply for disability compensation and other benefits if they have since developed one of 14 conditions that are presumed to be related to exposure to herbicides. Veterans do not need to prove that they were exposed to herbicides. The specific conditions can be found by searching the term “Agent Orange” on www.va.gov.

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