Nam Vets and Agent Orange Related Diseases

Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by JimmyMN, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. JimmyMN

    JimmyMN Veteran Member

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    If you set foot in Vietnam and have one of a number of diseases that Veterans Affairs (VA) considers "...presumptive to exposure to Agent Orange..." you are eligible for benefits!

    If you are eligible, the effective date for benefits is the date you file a claim, so don't delay if you have one of the diseases listed here: Agent Orange Related Diseases.

    For more information, or to file a claim, contact your County Veterans Service Office--every County has one.

    Welcome Home!
     
  2. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    If we had Agent Orange here in Iraq, our company would have one less KIA, more than likely...
     

  3. J.D. Locke

    J.D. Locke 1942-1999

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    My dad died of multiple myeloma in 1999,they took care of my mother real good.Lots of people bash the VA,and some for good reason,but I have to say they treated my mother right.
     
  4. JimmyMN

    JimmyMN Veteran Member

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    J.D. Locke: Good point about VA--they are slow and certainly imperfect, as is any large government entity, but they have always treated me fairly and with respect.
     
  5. reconvic

    reconvic Recon Marine

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    I collect a VA Disability for Agent Orange and trust me they know the area's that were sprayed. Only if you were in those area's at the time of spraying will you win with the VA. Hope this helps[​IMG][/IMG]
     
  6. JimmyMN

    JimmyMN Veteran Member

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    There is need to correct reconvic's post above. When someone has one of the diseases that Veterans Affairs lists as "...presumptive to Agent Orange exposure..." there is need to prove only two things, 1)one has that disease and 2)they set foot in Vietnam, even for a day. It is not dependent on where they were, how long they were there, nor in any way dependent on where Agent Orange was applied.

    My claim was submitted and promptly approved in 2003, with these being the only requirements. Perhaps it was different in previous years, but presently this is how such claims for these diseases are handled.

    If you have one of the ailments listed at the following site, I encourage you to contact your County Veterans Service Office immediately: Diseases Presumptive to Agent Orange Exposure
     
  7. jerryd

    jerryd

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    Also on one of those sites they have a map and quantities of the different Agents used, will try to find the spray map web site!
     
  8. JimmyMN

    JimmyMN Veteran Member

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    jerryd: While spray maps and other info is interesting information, such data is not relevant to a claim with Veterans Affairs--if you have a disease listed by VA as "...presumptive to Agent Orange exposure..." all you need to prove is that you have that disease and you were in Vietnam for even one day!
     
  9. jerryd

    jerryd

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    Spray maps are interesting my area had over 85k gallons of that stuff dropped, some were sprayed just before we went on patrol, could see the choppers ahead of us! Im still waiting for the VA to approve my claim they said it would be retroactive to the first signs, 1983! Mine was diagnosed as Mycosis Fungoites, and most of my Drs are Vets so that helps! They are at Yale in Ct.
     
  10. JimmyMN

    JimmyMN Veteran Member

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    Good luck jerryd! When I was approved in 2003 it was made clear to me that there was no going back for retroactive benefits before the date of my application for benefits. I've appealed this, had an informal hearing and was denied. It is now under appeal further up the line to their board of appeals. If you are approved retroactive, that would be a welcomed shock...let us know how it goes.
     
  11. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Yeah, I heard that defoliants worked real well on sand...

    And twenty years from now you and your survived buddies can go make claims to the VA about bleeding out of your anus or losing your mind too.
     
  12. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    What is your problem?

    Obviously you know nothing about Iraq if you think the whole country is one giant desert. The area around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is irrigated with crisscrossing canals and supports a lot of vegetation, including orchards, thick crops, gardens, and even a handful of rice patties. These canals limit travel to only a few roads and makes it impossible to drive heavy vehicles through most fields because of the high water table.

    Thick reeds line the canals, blocking line of sight and providing cover for insurgents to detonate roadside bombs and escape. Because of our inability to get defoliants, we've had to resort to burning these weeds instead. However, with the massive water retained by the plants around here, that is a very difficult process, and one gallon of fuel often only burns 1-3 square feet of weeds. Thermite grenades are worthless as far as setting fires to vegetation, so soldiers have to dismount and laboriously spray everything they want to burn with gallons and gallong of fuel. It is difficult, dangerous, and time-intensive.

    A patrol of our soldiers dismounted from their humvees and were spraying fuel to burn weeds along a particularly dangerous stretch of road where we have had several destroyed vehicles and injuries. It is unclear whether the fire detonated the hidden mortar round or whether a triggerman was watching.

    The blast hit Specialist Stokely of the 108th Cavalry of the Georgia Army National Guard and killed him. The other soldiers nearby escaped serious injury.


    Now, if we had something like Agent Orange here (or even roundup), we could clear many more weeds, cutting down on roadside bombs and saving lives. Moreover, we could do so with less risk to the soldiers involved. Maybe, if we'd have defoliants, Specialist Stokely would still be alive today.
     
  13. JimmyMN

    JimmyMN Veteran Member

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    Biscuitsjam...I regret the loss of your fellow trooper. It sounds like the terrain you're in makes it a tougher mission.

    I know that using Agent Orange in that setting would bring illness and death to many soldiers and innocent civilians. Given that these are irrigation canals serving local ag needs means exposure to the dioxins would be very high, virtually mass murder by those applying them--it's simply not be the right thing to do.

    I'm no chemist, but I'm disappointed that by now we haven't developed some defoliant that could help you without bringing along the side effects of Agent Orange.
     
  14. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    BiscuitJam,

    My problem is that you made light of the fact that GIs were exposed to Agent Orange and it had taken decades for the US government to admit to the fact that the defoliant caused serious health issues.

    You want to suffer the same faith 20 years from now just so that you can kill some bushes the hard way?

    As far as your fellow soldiers died, well, that's why it's called war. You think that you're the only one who ever had to suffer the loss of a friend in combat? You think that your war is the only war ever fought?

    You're in the Veterans forum now and not Soldiers of Fortune wannabe forum. We're all veterans in here. Most of us have seen the elephant once or twice and have suffered personal losses.

    I humped the mud banks of the Euphrates when you were probably in high school. We sucked in burning oil vapors and took medications that weren't approved by the FDA and exposed to depleted uranium dusts. What is it now? Fifteen years and numerous unexplained illnesses later yet there's still no official recognition of Gulf War Syndrome. But GIs are suffering strange illnesses that can't be explained away. I have skin inflammations that I've never had until returning from Desert Storm. Fifteen years later and with my civilian dermatologists and they still haven't figured out why I have these inflammations.

    So, young GI, before you start wishing for Uncle Sam to dump chemical crap on you and yours, you better open your eyes and see what the fellows before had to go through.
     
  15. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    I'm appalled that the United States government failed to properly test the chemical cocktail known as Agent Orange (ironically, it is now believed that one of the chemicals mixed with Agent Orange was the culprit and not Agent Orange itself - not that it make any difference, since it was all sprayed together).

    I'm also disgusted that the government took so long to recognize the problems associated with Agent Orange and provide proper medical compensation.

    FNFalman, you are obviously very bitter, and you just "made light" of the loss of one of our soldiers to make your point and did so much more directly and callously than what you accuse me of doing. Check yourself.


    The problem now is that the government has gone too far the other way, and we are facing the loss of soldiers in combat because we have NO chemical defolients available. Perhaps the cost with Agent Orange is obscenely high, but surely there is something else out there. What do farmers use?
     
  16. JimmyMN

    JimmyMN Veteran Member

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    With all due respect, Biscuitsjam, I started this thread with a focus on Vietnam Vets and Agent Orange exposure. If you want to share the need for a safe and effective herbicide for use in Iraq and generate discussion of that issue, please start a new thread, OK?
     
  17. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    JimmyMN, I appologize for hijacking your thread. My sympathies for those that have suffered long-term consequences from chemical exposure.

    By the way, thank you for asking me in a civil manner. I leave you to carry on your discussion.

    -Biscuits
     
  18. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    You're damn right that I'm bitter. I'm bitter of the fact that GIs have put their lives on the lines and the government doesn't back them.

    Do you know that soldiers were ordered to walk into nuclear testing areas and suffered radiation sickness and the government went to great lengths denying what happened? Do you know that soldiers were exposed to LSD as part of US Army research for a no-sleeping pill? And of course Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome. Not to mention getting VA medical services that are either crap or none at all?

    You damn right I'm bitter. Twenty years from now when it's your turn to get some help and you'll be saying the same thing I'm saying. GIs deserve better than that. Veterans deserve better than that.

    And no, I'm not making light of any soldier who had died in any battle in any war. One of my best friend left behind an orphan and a widow during the "teeny weeny" little four-days excursion that was Desert Storm. A soldier in my squad left half of his head behind in Panama City during Just Cause.

    This is the wonderful age of communication where people can find informations at the touch of a finger. Twenty years ago, soldiers would have little communications with veterans and don't get to learn things the easy way.

    I'm telling you now that expediency at this stage for you sounds like a good idea because "live now for tomorrow we may die", but plenty of people go to war and only a handful unfortunates that got killed. The rest of us have to live our long lives and it would be a miserable lives that we live in if we have to suffer unnecessarily.

    Uncle Sam doesn't care about you. Your fellow veterans care about you. Just remember that. Am I proud of my service? Hell yeah! Do I love the US Army? Hell yeah! But I'm not blind to the fact that it's an institution that doesn't necessarily put its soldiers' welfare at the forefront.
     
  19. JimmyMN

    JimmyMN Veteran Member

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    fnfalman said:
    Oh boy, just when I thought I'd let your post slide, you had to go and say that...;Q
    Well, Uncle Sam has been very good to me, and I resent that statement.

    For a moment, forget the long history about Agent Orange and set your calendar at October, 2000; that's when I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. I later learned that I should apply for benefits through Veterans Affairs (VA). I did and was approved within 3 months as 100% service connected disabled, permanent and total. Since then they have provided me with all of my medical care, most of which is at Mayo Clinic which they pay for on a "fee basis". My wife is covered by CHAMPVA, the insurance they provide for her. There are a multitiude of other benefits, not the least of which is monthly compensation--even though I am unable to work, Social Security has yet to approve my disability claim, so were it not for VA benefits I'd be in deep financial trouble.

    VA is slow and sometimes does some silly things, as do all large bureaucracies. But they have demonstrated to me that my country does care for me. I have been treated with respect, which is worth a great deal to me at times. Now, please tell me what other nation on this planet would provide such care for a veteran suffering from a disease that stems from his active duty 35 years ago? .....still thinking....well, the answer is none, nada, zilch....only America takes care of its vets as I've been cared for and I am very thankful for that, so take your complaining to another thread, please.
     
  20. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    The few times I had to use the VA when I was in college and had no health insurance, it was like pulling teeth. I came to the ER room in the middle of the stinking night with a splitting headache and my nose gushing blood that wouldn't stop bleeding and it took them two hours to look at me? We're talking about the VA hospital in the middle of the night here and not a typica ER room with five hundred women and their squalling brats.

    The best days of my college years was when I got hired on with UPS and got their awesome health insurance. I feel for the people that have to depend on the VA for their health issues.

    As far as which nation cares for its veterans more than the US, I can think of one right top of my head: The Frenchies.

    One of my old service buddies was a Special Forces guy who injured his back during a training jump and it took him fifteen years to get 100% disability. Well now that he has full service access to the VA, he still couldn't get any of their doctors to give a proper diagnosis and help fix his back other than pain relief medication. I know that back injuries are tough to treat, but damn, after fifteen years of on-off treatments, somebody gotta be able to figure out what's wrong other than just prescribing the poor bastard more pain medication.

    And every stinking year the VA budget gets cut.

    So, no it's not the VA fault, but they can't do anything without a decent financial backup from Uncle Sam.

    And the way the US Army had been denying the problems generated by nuclear fallout, Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome have been nothing less than despicable. They sent soldiers into harm's ways and the least that they can do is to help with the health issue 100%.

    And let's talk about the Bonus Army and how they were routed out at gunpoint by US Army soldiers when all they wanted was their just share of the pays owed to them by Uncle Sam.

    I am as patriotic as the next guy here, but the US government and the US military hadn't exactly been proper to its service members.

    I don't have any complains because I am in a financial status where I can afford my own treatments from my own hospitals and doctors. But there are thousands upon thousands of veterans out there who have to depend on the VA for health issue like yourself, and frankly, the treatments and the facilities are simply not good enough.

    I want Uncle Sam to hold its obligations to its service members. That's it. No more, no less. If the Frenchies can give their soldiers the best available health care and benefits, I can't see why the USA can't do the same.