C. Jack Ellis asks for Congress help for Vietnam Veterans’ children

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis is asking Senator Johnny Isakson and Congressman Sanford Bishop to propose legislation that will compensate children of Vietnam veterans, who suffer from spina bifida from the date of their birth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, spina bifida is a birth defect that effects the spine. While serving in the Vietnam War many men were exposed to Agent Orange, which caused the defect in their children.

Ellis wrote letters to Isakson, Bishop and President Barack Obama on behalf of his son, Brian Smith, who suffers from the condition. Ellis says Smith started receiving compensation from Veteran Affairs 29 years after he after his birth.

Ellis’ letter to the President was forwarded to the Office of Veteran Affairs. The office replied saying "Authorization for Veterans Affairs to pay for benefits from the date of of a child’s birth would require an act Congress. My office is not aware of any such legislative proposals being considered at this time."

Ellis hopes his letters brings awareness to his concerns.