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March 26, 2013 10:49 AM

‘Blue water’ Navy veterans’ long waits often end in denials at VA

Bob Bauman is waiting. He remembers the barrels sitting on a pier off Subic Bay in the Philippines. He’s convinced that they were filled with Agent Orange that leaked into the water where he and his fellow sailors went swimming. Now 65, Bauman has diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, colorectal cancer and essential tremor. He blames the orange-striped barrels, but he hasn’t received disability benefits from the VA. The VA grants benefits only to Agent Orange-exposed veterans who served on the ground or in the rivers of Vietnam. Bauman and his fellow sailors served off the coast of Vietnam – and aren’t covered.

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