AGENT ORANGE: Vietnam-era Veterans, this is for YOU!
The Vietnam war was a war most would agree should have never happened. Unfortunately for the young men and women who served, it did. Whether you volunteered or were drafted, there were a lot of very traumatized people who were forced to return to a “normal” life after they were discharged. Agent Orange was one of many harmful exposures you, your families, and your fellow enlistees have had to live with. We are going to touch on what Agent Orange is, why it was used, what the exposure does to the human body, what the VA should do for you, and how we can help.
Agent Orange by definition is a defoliant chemical used by the US in the Vietnam War. To break that down AO: it is a herbicide that produces dioxin. The government used it to eliminate foliage, or so they claimed. They thought it would be effective to find the enemy by removing anything it came into contact with, including the human body. In Vietnam, they would load planes with it and spray the fields, travel ways, food sources, and everything in between to push out the enemy. It has been proven that officials knew this was harmful at the time and it was ordered to be used anyway.
Agent orange disabilities
After we researched and found the problems this dangerous mixture of chemicals causes, we were appalled. The VA website has a list of claimable disabilities, and the list is lengthy, disturbing, and possibly fatal. Please refer here for a full list here, but let us give you a sneak peak real quick:
- AL Amyloidosis
- A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs
- Chronic B-cell Leukemias
- A type of cancer which affects white blood cells
- Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
- A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond appropriately to the hormone insulin
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart that leads to chest pain
- Multiple Myeloma
- A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue
- Parkinson’s Disease
- A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
- A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure.
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Prostate Cancer
- Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men
- Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer)
- Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
- A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues
Information gathered from the VA’s page on Agent Orange
Your agent orange claim
As disturbing as this information is, we are going to venture away from the gross injustice of this and focus on what we can do about it. When listening and visiting with many veterans from this era, it is evident that the exposure was widespread, not limited to pilots.
For example, the Navy hauled it onsite, the Army and Marines were down on the ground rolling in it, the Air Force was distributing it, and even civilian American employees lived in it.
I want to give a quick review of the steps to take to get help for these conditions. Seek medical attention! This is the most crucial step. There is no reason to continue to cope alone and try to figure out if your symptoms are service connected. No matter your age or condition, it is time to get the help (either medically or monetarily) and get compensated! Secondly, take a look at how this negligence is affecting your everyday quality of life. It does not matter how minor you may consider the inconveniences; they are worth looking at.
Now decide what you want to do about it. You will need these four things to get compensation.
- Documentation, and all of your medical records. It can be military or civilian
- Medical diagnosis for all conditions you would like to file on
- A service-connected link to your conditions
- Proof of continuing or worsening quality of life because of these conditions
We can help
Once you have completed numbers 1 & 2, we can take over from there. Our program is designed to help with 3 & 4 (including all other things that may arise). Take a look at this link, and watch the video first. It gives a great overview of the simplicity of our process. The VA would like to make this as intimidating as possible, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Thanks for reading and let us know when you are ready!