Vietnam Vets encouraged to seek medical services related to Agent Orange
May 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson
Veterans of the Vietnam War who may be suffering from the effects of Agent Orange are being encouraged to sign-up for the “Agent Orange Registry,” at your local county veteran’s affairs office. Dan Gannon, with the Iowa Commission of Veteran’s Affairs says the registry enables you to receive a health check-up at no cost. Gannon says you’ll be checked for at least 18 different cancers and diseases.
Agent Orange was an herbicide and defoliant used in the jungles of Vietnam, to remove the dense plant growth and deprive enemy guerrillas of their cover. The chemicals were applied at 13 times as high as the legal USDA limit.
The mixture of 2-4-D and 2-4-5-T contained an extremely toxic Dioxin compound that was later proven to have caused birth defects in children and other maladies. Gannon says recent studies show Diabetes Type 2, Parkinson’s Disease, various types of soft cells cancers, respiratory diseases and other conditions that develop over time.
Gannon, who was a Marine platoon leader in Vietnam from 1969-1970, says he wasn’t diagnosed a form of cancer until 2003. The only reason he found out he had cancer, was because his employer required a physical exam.
He says Vietnam Vets don’t need to file a claim to have a thorough examination. He says the Agent Orange Registry exam can be requested, and performed at, any V-A Hospital.
Even if you have been denied a claim for treatment or examination based on your suspicion Agent Orange may have caused an illness, Gannon says you should sign-up for the Registry. He says you served your country, and the country owes its veterans a lot.
He adds that if you can prove you were in Vietnam “Boots on the ground,” you are entitled to compensation in the form of medical care. For more information, go to the U-S Department of Veteran’s Affairs Website at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/registry.asp