Herbicides In Combat: Where Has The Department Of Defense Used Agent Orange?
For the many who have filed Agent Orange away in their minds as a horror of the past, it’s generally remembered as having a history that began and ended in Vietnam. We have since discovered that anyone exposed to the powerful herbicide was at risk for developing a litany of serious medical conditions. Congress finally passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991, which requires the VA to consider numerous diseases as presumptively related to herbicide exposure for those stationed in Vietnam from 1962 to 1975. These veterans are therefore not required to prove they were exposed. The presumption of exposure extends to service members during that specified time who were “boots-on-the-ground” (served in country on land) and those who served on inland waterways of Vietnam. Veterans of certain military units stationed in the Korean demilitarized zone from 1968 to 1971 are also presumed to have been exposed to herbicides.
Health Issues Caused by Agent Orange
Agent Orange is associated with a myriad of serious medical conditions and diseases, including type II diabetes mellitus; nervous system disorders; heart conditions; and many different serious cancers such as multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, respiratory cancers, and numerous others (for a comprehensive list, see the US Department of Veterans Affairs).
Although Agent Orange is historically associated with Vietnam, it was also used in many other locations. If you are a veteran suffering from an herbicide-related health condition and believe you were exposed to herbicides during service, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
Other Areas Where Veterans Were Exposed
Aside from veterans of Vietnam and the Korean DMZ, those who served at certain military bases in Thailand from 1961 to 1975 were also exposed to herbicides. This includes Air Force veterans at a number of Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases, along with Army veterans who provided perimeter security at RTAF bases, and/or were at smaller installations. The presumption of exposure does not extend to these veterans, and therefore they must prove they were exposed.
Contact us for Help
In addition to its use overseas, Agent Orange was tested and stored in various locations within the US, as well as outside the US. If VA has denied your claim for benefits and you would like to file an appeal or have any questions regarding this or other veterans legal issues, contact Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick for immediate help. Call 401-331-6300 or contact us online.
- What is a VA Form 9?
- What is a Board of Veterans’ Appeals Remand?
- What is a Decision Review Officer (DRO)?
- What is a Statement of the Case (SOC)?