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Agent Orange

 

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What is Agent Orange?

Agent Orange was a herbicide compound containing mainly Dixon and growth hormones that made the vegetation drop it's leaves prematurely (Agent "White" and Agent "Purple were also used to a lesser extent.)

This was not a "new" military weapon. The year before the spraying program started in Vietnam, forty million acres of agricultural land, plus hundreds of thousand miles of roadsides, railways, and other right of way in the United States had been treated with the same herbicides. More than 10 million acres in the USA -- that's around a quarter of the total area of South Vietnam -- were sprayed with herbicides from the air! (from: Nam -The Vietnam Experience, p.125;Orbis Publishing, 1995)

US aircraft defoliated vast swaths of jungle in South Vietnam, trying to reveal sanctuaries used by the VC. But this controversial policy had unforeseen, long term consequences.

By 1966, the use of defoliants in Vietnam was widespread. The government of Vietnam asked for help in 1961 to conduct aerial spraying of herbicides. In November of 1961, President Kennedy approved the program, requiring Vietnamese "help", and on a mission by mission approval basis. The program, dubbed: Operation Ranch Hand began in January of 1962. Over time, limitations were relaxed and spraying operations became more frequent and covered larger and larger areas.

By November of 1962, the program was expanded to include crop destruction. By the end of the spraying program in 1971, over 18 million gallons of mainly Agents Orange, Blue and White had been sprayed on 20 percent of South Vietnam's Jungles covering six million acres in all.

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Were you exposed to Agent Orange?

According to the Department of Veteran's Affairs, Agent Orange Review, if you served in Vietnam between January 9th. 1962 and May 3rd.1975, you are presumed to have been exposed to a herbicide. If you are not on the Department's (free) mailing list, you need to be. 

Printable Form 

The review is also available online at their website http://www.va.gov/agentorange/default.htm

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What Conditions are caused by exposure to Agent Orange?

Prior to 03/18/01, there were 10 conditions recognized by the VA (Veteran Affairs) as serviced connected with Agent Orange and the other herbicides used in the Vietnam theatre of operations.

They are:

  1. Chloracne or other acneform disease consistant with cloracne.
  2. Hodgkin's Disease 
  3. Multiple Myeloma 
  4. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  5. Acute and sub-acute peripheral neuropathy.
  6. Porphyria cutanea tarda
  7. Prostate Cancer  
  8. Respiratory Cancers (including cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus)
  9. Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  10. Spina Bifida in Children born to veterans exposed to herbicide agents, such as Agent Orange
  11. Type II Diabetes has been added to the list (updated 03/18/01) This action resulted from the findings of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine. You can read the 66 page report on-line at http://national-academies.org

(Source: Agent Orange Review, Vol. 17, No. 2, March 2001)

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Dept. of Veteran's Affairs Agent Orange Registry

In mid-1978, the Veterans Administration (known today as the Department of Veteran's Affairs or VA), set up a registry of Vietnam veterans who were concerned about possible health effects from exposure to Agent Orange. These veterans were offered an extensive medical examination at all VA health facilities. The Agent Orange Registry is a computerized record of these examinations.

As of December 2000, more than 300,000 Vietnam veterans had completed the Agent Orange health examinations. Each month, hundreds of additional veterans travel to VA facilities for their initial examination. Many of these veterans have no current medical problems but are concerned about the health consequences of their military service; others present a wide range of ailments.

Veterans interested in receiving the Agent Orange Registry examination are advised to contact the nearest VA medical center. Participating in the registry does not automatically result in consideration for possible disability compensation. Veterans who wish to be considered for disability compensation must file a claim for that benefit. To do so, contact the appropriate VA Regional office by calling toll free 1-800-827-1000

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How to get Help

If you (or another Vet that you know), are exhibiting some of the effects of exposure to Agent Orange, the following links will provide Help and Resources. 

You will also find resources to guide you through the process of filing a disability claim to obtain medical help for Agent Orange related problems.

 


Agent Orange Review
Published by the Dept. of Veteran's Affairs, to provide information on Agent Orange and related matters to Vietnam Veterans, their families, and others with concerns about herbicides used in Vietnam.

 


Veterans and Agent Orange
Find a copy of the report presented by the Institute of Medicine's Committee to Review the Health Effects in Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides.

Agent Orange Victims
& Families in Touch

 
Provides an information center for veterans suffering effects of exposure. With articles, a discussion group and personal narratives.

Department of Veteran's Affairs
 Diabetes web page. The site contains a great deal of additional information and associated links.

 


Get the Facts
About the chemical herbicide known as Agent Orange, and how it was used during the Vietnam War.

Agent Orange - The Legacy of Vietnam 
Presents a description of the herbicide, an information-request form and a history of Operation Ranch Hand. Learn about plans for a memorial.

Spina Bifida Assn. of America
Information for veterans with
children who have Spina Bifida. 
E-mail spinabifida@aol.com
1-800-827-1000

 


The Agent Orange Web Site

Operation Ranch Hand
Why did they spray

The Baguio RAO Bulletin
Thanks to the effort of American Legion Post 119 in Gulfport MS the Baguio RAO Bulletin can now be assessed on line at . Here you will find the last six months of articles sent to those on the directory plus a link to the Master Alphabetical list of all articles contained in the Bulletin which are available upon request.

The Navy Legal Service Office
North Central

The Navy Legal Service Office North Central has a new Web site to provide legal information for all service members and their families. The site contains information on adoption, spouse child support, domestic relations, paternity, name changes, immigration, interpretation of contracts, advanced medical directives, military rights and benefits under the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act, landlord-tenant issues, and consumer protection information. 
Users can also locate their nearest legal office.


Legal - Online Military Offices
The Army and the Navy have installed online legal offices, each providing a variety of online legal services. The U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) Web site is a portal of legal information for military members and their families. The site includes information on personal legal assistance, claims, and trial defense as well as victim/witness information. The site does not offer legal advice, but does give information that site users should consider to prevent legal problems or can review before consulting an attorney. The "Locator" page on the site helps users find a private attorney, a DoD regulation or publication, and also lists several people locator services for military members. 


Apocalypse Still
Twenty-five years after the war ended, millions of Vietnamese continue to suffer the toxic consequences of America's most devastating war effort, Agent Orange. Describes the toxic effects of Agent Orange on the people of Vietnam, three decades after the Vietnam War.

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