VA Target of Vets Picket 7/2/74
March and rally by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) demanding "decent benefits for all veterans"who served during the Vietnam era in front of the Veterans Administration in Washington DC (Vermont Ave & I Street NW) on the afternoon of July 2, 1974.

This demonstration was part of four days of demonstrations by VVAW. They used an encampment in Washington DC on the Mall between 3rd and 4th Streets NW as a base to stage marches to various targets in Washington, DC.

VVAW engaged thousands of Vietnam era veterans in protest against the war at many different events, including a march from Morristown NJ to Valley Forge in 1970, a 1971 "Winter Soldier Investigation" into war crimes, a April 1971 demonstration in Washington, DC where 800 veterans threw back their ribbons and medals to protest the war and a Dec. 1971 takeover of the Statue of Liberty.

By 1974, a debate had developed within the organization over its post-Vietnam focus. A group of veterans and supporters backed by the Revolutionary Union (later Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP)) argued for turning the focus to decent veterans benefits while another tendency backed by different left-wing groups argued for making anti-U.S. invention primary.

This July 1974 protest marked the last large scale demonstration led by VVAW. Soon after, a bitter fight developed between the two factions that led to two separate organizations: the RCP backed VVAW Anti-Imperialist and the VVAW. Both still exist today, although they are greatly diminished both in numbers and influence from the 1970-74 group.

Limited progress was made on extending benefits to all vets when President Jimmy Carter instituted a program for veterans to apply for "automatic" discharge upgrade. At the same time Carter and also issued amensty to draft violators. In an immediate setback, Congress passed a law restricting veterans benefits to those who received the "automatic" upgrades the same year. Carter signed the restrictive bill into law.

U.S. use of the herbicide "Agent Orange" in Vietnam led many vets and Vietnamese people to develop cancers and other diseases. The U.S. initially denied any ill effects, but Congress passed a "presumptive" bill making it easier for veterans to make agent orange claims in 1991.

By 1993, the U.S. had processed less than 500 claims out of 40,000 veterans. A prominent VVAW leader in the 1970s, John Kniffin, died of complications from agent orange exposure in 2002.

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