Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Edwards Campaign Facing Heat On Vets, Health Care

Burleson -- Veteran Tea Party activist Angela Cox confronted U.S. Representative Chet Edwards here at a campaign stop emphasizing veterans issues.

Said Ms. Cox, "Get this. Chet Edwards told the people assembled, 'If we don't win this race, I want you to know, I'll be OK. I am blessed, my wife is blessed and my children are blessed...'

"I couldn't help myself with all his I's and my's, so I spoke up and said, 'Glad to know you and your family are so blessed and you're going to be OK, at tax payer expense, but why don't you do something really good for your constituents...who have no jobs, are losing their homes and lives that they've worked so hard for, most of their lives...People started laughinig and clapping. Chet just got red in the face and changed the subject.

"He took no questions, but I did manage to have a
conversation with him on veterans issues...'One thing we can
agree on is that we do need to take care of our veterans.'"

Ms. Cox said she told Mr. Edwards, "'I will consider your
request, but first, as a sign that you are genuine in your
request, I would like to know why as of today, that you have
not denounced (Department of Homeland Security Secretary)
Janet Napolitano's statement that she made that vets coming
home from Iraq and Afghanistan should be considered as
possible terroristic threats to the U.S.'

"Media was right there and their jaws dropped. They looked
at Edwards and he walked off. LOL!"

Mr. Edwards will appear at 3:30 p.m. today at White Horse
Station in Clifton.

According to automated telephone messages he sent to
constituents in the area, he will have leaders of veterans
groups with him at the appearance.

Former Bush Administration VA Secretary Andrew Principi made
an appearance with the Representative at Waco yesterday.

He played a major part in retracting Agent Orange service
connection disability benefits to Navy "blue water" veterans
of the Vietnam War who did not put their feet on "dry land"
after Congress had previously passed a law guaranteeing they
would receive the same benefits as those who served on dry

Congressman Edwards has signed on to legislation introduced
by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-
California) that would reverse the former Secretary's
amendment of the dapartment's M-21-1 Adjudication Policy
Manual that denies such benefits to Navy veterans who served
offshore in Vietnam categorically.

The public law and Code of Federal Regulations extends the
service connection benefits to all veterans who served in
the Republic of Vietnam or its coastal waters.

Clifton resident Tim Hix died of Agent Orange-related
prostate and bone cancer two years ago. He was a Navy
veteran who served aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Dennis J.
Babcock in 1967, 1968 and 1969. Mr. Hix was billed $25,000
for an initial prostate operation because of the reversal of
policy. His combined family income was too much to receive
VA health care promised him when he was honorably discharged
as a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, according to a VA

The Babcock fired on-shore bombardment missions from within
a thousand yards of the coast of Vietnam with her 5-inch
automatic guns. Mr. Hix served as a "phone talker" in his
General Quarters combat station.

He was a friend of The Legendary, a coffee drinking buddy
who worked at Clifton's Go Industries, and he is missed
every day by his many friends.

The VA denied Mr. Hix service connection when the U.S.
Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a fellow Navy
veteran who was blinded by a diabetic condition due to
exposure to Agent Orange.

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