As one of a group of chemicals referred to as the rainbow herbicides, Agent Orange served as the most well-known defoliant used in the Vietnam War. It was used to push enemy troops out of the jungles, forcing them to fight out in the open.
Dubbed ‘Operation Ranch Hand,’ millions of acres were being sprayed in Vietnam by the late 60s. The poison spray rained down from military aircraft, and millions of people on the ground were exposed—with many eventually becoming ill due to ‘hot spots’ of dioxins left in the geography. That legacy was also carried back to the US, as dependents of veterans have been born with serious birth defects such as spina bifida.
Herbicide Use Outside of Vietnam
Vietnam was not the only area where herbicides were used, stored, or tested. The uses of numerous herbicides at many sites were recorded, to include:
- Testing of 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D and other herbicides in Puerto Rico.
- Research and testing of Agents Purple, Orange, White and Blue at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where some contamination of the soil was discovered in trace amounts.
- Testing of Agents Orange, Purple and Blue at the Gagetown military base in New Brunswick, Canada, where eventually the Canadian government was forced to pay restitution to citizens who claimed health problems due to the dioxin contamination.
During the Vietnam War, herbicides were also stored at military bases all over the world. With facilities in Cambodia, India, Korea, Laos, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Canada, as well as at sea, Agent Orange was stored at many overseas location—as well as used for testing purposes—up until 1970.
There were also 21 military bases used for storage during the war and up until the time that use of Agent Orange was discontinued in 1971. After the war, remaining barrels of the herbicide were sent to both Seabees base in Gulfport (where there was documented contamination) and Johnston Island in the Pacific in April 1972, where all that was left was eventually destroyed at sea.
All substantial, physical remains of the substance may have been destroyed, but the terrible legacy of Agent Orange use is still seen in the physical disabilities of those in Vietnam and our US veterans. Service members who were exposed to Agent Orange can receive disability compensation for a number of presumptive conditions including type II diabetes, AL Amyloidosis, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and more.
If you believe you were exposed to Agent Orange in service, are suffering from one or more of the associated health conditions, and have been denied VA disability benefits, seek help now. While you focus on taking care of yourself, let us take care of the claim process and secure the disability benefits you deserve. Call for immediate help at 401-331-6300 or contact us online.