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Army Echoes Article on Agent Orange VA Benefits

The government will never win any awards for moving quickly on any issue. Agent Orange is one of the best examples of the the government dragging their feet on a very important issue. Finally it looks like veterans who were affected by Agent Orange will have an easier time getting restitution. If you think you were affected by Agent Orange in Viet Nam or Korea, you should contact the Veteran's Administration.

Army Echoes
Issue I, May 2003

VA expands Agent Orange benefits


Based on a recent review of scientific studies, the VA is extending benefits to Vietnam veterans with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The ruling means that veterans with CLL who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War don't have to prove that illness is related to their military service to qualify for VA disability compensation. Also, VA offers special access to medical care to Vietnam veterans with any health problems that may have resulted from Agent Orange exposure.

The following conditions are considered service-connected for Vietnam veterans: type II diabetes, chloracne (a skin disorder), porphyria cutanea tarda. acute or sub- acute peripheral neuropathy (a nerve disorder), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, Hodgkin's disease, multiple my- eloma, prostate cancer and respi- ratory cancers (including cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea and bronchus). In addition, Vietnam veterans' children with the birth defect spina bifida are eligible for certain benefits and services.

The decision to provide compensation was based on a recent report by the Institute of Medicine (10M) that found among scientific i studies "sufficient evidence of an I association" between exposure to herbicides during the Vietnam War ; and CLL. VA asked the 10M panel of experts to focus on CLL because of veterans' concerns that CLL shares some similarities with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Veterans with questions can call a toll-free help line at 1-800-749-8387 for information. VA also encourages Vietnam veterans to "request a subscription to Agent Orange Review, VA's free newsletter. Newsletter subscription information is available from the help line. Back issues and more infonnation about Agent Orange are available at another VA Web site at VA will publish further detail, when available, on its Web site at".