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VFW Supports Declassification of Exposure Testing, Will Continue Fight

National VFW - 7/17/2017

The VFW spoke outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday in support of a defense bill amendment to declassify portions of a Vietnam era project that exposed approximately 6,000 service members to some of the world’s deadliest chemicals and biological agents –– VX and Sarin gas, and E. coli bacteria. The land and shipboard tests were carried out between 1962 and 1974. Many surviving participants of Project 112 and Project SHAD (Shipborne Hazard and Defense) suffer from debilitating health conditions associated with the exposure, but the veterans are unable to prove a service-connection for their disabilities because the Defense Department has yet to declassify the documents to prove that the tests even took place. The amendment sponsor is U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, a VFW Life member of Post 768 in Windsor, Calif. Cosponsoring it are U.S. Reps. Walter Jones from North Carolina and Don Young of Alaska. Introducing a similar amendment in the Senate will be Jerry Moran of Kansas. Unfortunately, the amendment was not allowed to come to a vote as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, but the VFW will continue working with Rep. Thompson on this important issue.

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