The month of October Is Agent Orange Recognition month.
Vietnam Veterans Activist Frank Smart was Thursday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
Agent Orange is the name of a specific blend of herbicides used during the Vietnam era. The military sprayed millions of gallons on trees and vegetation that provided cover for enemy forces.
The U.S. military herbicide program in South Vietnam took place between 1962 and 1971. Herbicides were sprayed in all 4 military zones of Vietnam. More than 19 million gallons of various herbicide combinations were used. Agent Orange was the combination of herbicides the U.S. military used most often.
Some Vietnam-era Veterans were exposed to these herbicides. VA and many other government departments and agencies have conducted research studies on the possible health effects of Agent Orange exposure on U.S. Veterans.
VA has recognized certain cancers and other diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
Veterans, Veterans’ children and survivors may be eligible for compensation benefits for these diseases and health care benefits.
Veterans who are eligible for the Agent Orange Registry health exam at the VA clinic:
■Veterans who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975, regardless of length of time.
■Veterans who served aboard smaller river patrol and swift boats that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam (also known as “Brown Water Veterans”)
■Veterans who served in a unit in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) anytime between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971.
■U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases near U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
■U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
■U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. However, the Amy Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned a military occupational specialty whose duty placed him or her at or near the base perimeter.
■Veterans who may have been exposed to herbicides during a military operation or as a result of testing, transporting, or spraying herbicides for military purposes.
Veterans throughout the area will be handing out “Orange Clovers” at various locations on Friday to bring awareness and attention to the issue of Agent Orange.
Smart encourages local veterans to call the VA Clinic (209) 588-2601 for more information on health issues or click on http://www.va.gov
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.
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