WHAT IS AGENT ORANGE?
VVA Puts Out 24 Page Guide to Filing Claims for Agent Orage
No, Agent Orange is not a 80s surf punk band from Orange County California. It’s something a bit more sinister.
Before we answer this very important questin, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has just put out a 24 page guide to help answer the question and help Victims of Agent Orange with filing of claimes with the VA. It is simple to read and understand. The VVA present the information and describe the process in a user-friendly fashion for a Vietnam veteran or (surviving) family member to file a claim for service-connected disability compensation or death benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for illnesses/diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other related herbicides during military service.
At the outset, please understand that the VA claims process is complicated, frustrating, and can be time-consuming. Please understand also that these guidelines are not legal advice. VVA hopes their guide will be helpful to you. At the end of this article, you can download a copy of the report. So let’s do this…..
Okay, so what is Agent Orange?
Well, a host of herbicides were used by the U.S. military in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries to protect American and allied troops by defoliating the dense jungle vegetation hiding enemy positions. The herbicides were named for the color-coded bands on the 55-gallon drums in which they were shipped; examples included Agent Blue, Agent White, and the most extensively used herbicide, Agent Orange. In Vietnam, herbicides were sprayed from fixed wing and rotary aircraft, trucks, and backpack sprayers to clear vegetation around fire bases, landing zones, and along river banks. It is estimated that between 1962 and 1971, almost 11 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed in Vietnam, primarily through an aerial spray program code-named “Operation Ranch Hand.” Agent Orange was also used at military installations and other facilities on and outside of the U.S. mainland, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico, as well as Cambodia, Canada, Korea, and Thailand.
Agent Orange is a combination of two compounds, 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, technically known as chlorinated phenoxy acids in ester form. The most dangerous element of Agent Orange is a contaminant present in the manufacture of 2,4,5-T; this impurity is known chemically as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-paradioxin, or more commonly, dioxin. Levels of dioxin in Agent Orange ranged from less than 0.05 parts per million to almost 50 parts per million.
Some three million veterans served in Southeast Asia, and no one knows for sure how many of these veterans were exposed to Agent Orange. Some of these personnel were deployed in areas during and immediately after spraying operations, while others actually handled Agent Orange and did the spraying. Veterans exposed to Agent Orange and its dioxin contaminants have reported a variety of serious health problems and symptoms; these include chloracne, skin lesions, liver damage, loss of sex drive, changes in skin pigmentation and sensitivity to light, numbing or tingling in the extremities, sore joints, cancers, and birth defects in their children. For an incomplete list of locations and dates where dioxin (Agent Orange and other agents) was used, consult the “DoD Report on Herbicides Used Outside Vietnam,” available online at www1.va.gov/agentorange
In Vietnam, herbicides were sprayed from fixed wing and rotary aircraft, trucks, and backpack sprayers to clear vegetation around fire bases, landing zones, and along river banks.
DOWNLOAD 24 PAGE REPORT: The VVA Self-Help Guide to Service-Connected Disability Compensation For Exposure To Agent Orange for Veterans and Their Families
Posted by GPD on December 15, 2008, With 423 Reads Filed under Vietnam War (1955-1975). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.