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We often read in the news of Sen. Jon Tester’s achievements that have benefited Montana’s veterans such as vet centers, per diem for travel expenses, reduced homelessness, better mental health care and on. But, there is more that has not been covered in the press.

Making claims for service connected disabilities can be a burdensome process. Vietnam vets with whom I served suffer from diseases associated with Agent Orange (AO) exposure. Military records that Veterans Services Organizations and the VA rely upon can be unreliable. After contacting Tester in 2013 he and his staff worked to correct decades old records so that the presumption of AO exposure and health issues is automatic.

Until now, only the Vietnam veterans who directly benefited from Tester’s work knew about this achievement. There has been no public acknowledgment, until now, of how significant his work was on behalf of these veterans. I am grateful for Tester’s advocacy and leadership in support of all veterans. So long as we continue to send our men and women into war, veterans will need strong advocacy and leadership in the U.S. Senate. Thank you Tester for your excellent service to all veterans.

Michael H. Lee

Helena

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