The term commercial in reference to herbicides is equally absent from VAs internal policies and procedures and from federal statutes and regulations. This information is made available for educational purposes only and to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. Nam Phong has been a Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) communications center. Thailand was a staging area for aircraft missions over Vietnam, and many veterans who assisted with these missions received the Vietnam Service Medal (VSM) for their support of the war effort. Contact Us kms.) While attempting to fix the aircraft, he was forced to kneel in the Agent Orange that covered the floor. It was the closest . How Many Vietnam Veterans Have Been Affected by Agent Orange? BBC News, Da Nang, Vietnam. Although these missions were classified, they demonstrate the robust relationship between U.S. military in Thailand and Operation RANCH HAND. It is a result of exposure to agent orange. U-Tapao Air Base, Thailand, 1972 The National Archives return to top Was in NamPhong 11/72 thru Sept 73, my wife has had 4 miscarriages, we had a daughter born with a form of Spina Bifida, my son has the digits of his left foot deformed and I have been diagnosed with ischemic heart disease. Phone number 9197780046. Gretchen Whitmer Copyright 2023 The M21-1 Adjudication Procedures Manual was later amended to incorporate the perimeter policy, but the Memorandum was never corrected, amended, or removed from the Manual and VA continues to apply the outdated Memorandum to Thailand base perimeter claims. Washington, D.C.: 1776 I Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, D.C 20006 Similarities between the Rules in Thailand and Vietnam were also necessary due to Operation RANCH HAND activities in Thailand. Health Care and Agent Orange Registry Health Exam: 1-877-222-8387 (Ask to speak to the Environmental Health Coordinator or Patient Care Advocate) Compensation and Other Benefits: 1 800 827-1000. Exposure to these herbicides was later determined to pose a health risk to service members. Philadelphia, PA: 1 International Plaza, Suite 550, Philadelphia, PA, 19113 Have you been affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination? Patricia Kime is a senior writer covering military and veterans health care, medicine and personnel issues. Further, in a 1986 transcript of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee Agent Orange panel, the committee noted that the potential of exposure at base camps would appear to be considerable because of the regularity of spraying. Moreover, the subcommittee determined that levels of exposure are likely higher from exposure in the camps than from Ranch [H]and spraying.. Mr. Dennis Oliver, who was stationed in Thailand from 1966-1967, stated that during his assignment to the bases munition storage area, he witnessed 55-gallon drums being stored near the revetments and observed barren land throughout the perimeter and base. Good luck to all and Semper Fi. I reminded my colleagues of the legislation to help these veterans and encouraged them to keep these veterans and their families in mind as we improve veteran benefits policies. Agent Orange was made up of 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T. Its contaminant TCDD is a highly toxic byproduct of producing Agent Orange. Malecare is the world's leading men's cancer support and advocacy nonprofit organization. The legal framework of the Vietnam presumptions, The military used the same herbicides in Thailand that were used in Vietnam, The Rules of Engagement for Vietnam and Thailand were similar, Thailands strong connection to Operation RANCH HAND demonstrates that its bases received a steady supply of herbicides, The historical record reveals substantial herbicide use on bases in Thailand, The Air Force developed a standard for herbicide use on Thailand bases, VA should presume exposure to herbicide agents for all Thailand veterans, Thailand veterans were exposed to the same agents as Vietnam veterans, In Thailand cases, VA faces the same challenges of determining exposure details as with Vietnam veterans, VAs illusory distinction between commercial and tactical herbicides is unlawful and arbitrary, PACT Act establishes presumptive service connection for Thailand veterans, 2022 Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, CCK Court Wins: Agent Orange & Gulf War Illness. Postal Service. In turn, this supports veterans statements regarding the use of herbicide to clear bases in Thailand during this period. VA now recognizes thatany servicemember with active military naval, air, or space service who served in Thailand,at any U.S. or Thai base,between January 9, 1962 and June 30, 1976were likely exposed to Agent Orange. The article Viet Cong Right or Wrong, published in the National Guardsman in 1966, notes the Defense Departments Advance Research Project Agency was moving forward with defoliant improvement projects in Thailand. When addressing the adequacy of facility security, official documents state that herbicides were applied to the fenced in area around the ammo storage, facility, around all perimeter guard towers, and the areas around runway overrun lights. The 1973 CHECO report also states that herbicides were used on areas within the perimeter. (Emphasis added.) Joe, The 26 July 1968 attack on Udorn RTAFB was the first overt, hostile action by either communist-inspired insurgent forces or military units of North Vietnam against United States Air Force personnel and resources located in the . Moreover, the load class in the record, Y4, is the same load class that was noted in an Operation Steel Tiger mission in South Vietnam the primary goal of which was defoliation. In approximately September 1958, 2,4,5-T was adopted for use by the government under Specification O-H-210 and Federal Stock Number (FSN) 6840-577-4201 for a 55-gallon drum, and then later under FSN 6840-616-9159 for a five-gallon can. In 1991, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act, which mandated that certain diseases associated with exposure to herbicide agents, including chloracne and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, be presumed service-connected. 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In November 1969, the NKP Commander requested RANCH HAND assistance to defoliate the ordnance drop area. VA has establishedpresumptive service connectionfor these veterans, meaning that VA will assume exposure to Agent Orange if veterans can prove that they served in Thailand, at any US or Thai base, between January 9, 1962 and June 30, 1976. Moreover, those members assigned to disperse herbicides by truck-mounted or backpack systems would certainly have been exposed. What in the world is going on, and why isnt the VA recognizing any of us? If you served in Vietnam or Thailand, or in or near the Korean DMZand your child has . The new toxic exposure bill/Agent Orange Act ( Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 ) broadens presumptions for Agent Orange exposure in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Guam, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll! Who is Eligible for Agent Orange Benefits? William Easterly was stationed throughout Vietnam and Thailand from 1966-1967 and 1969-1970. Permalink:, Improving Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange During Service in Thailand,, Boozman Shares Service Memories of Lavaca Veteran, The Hill: American generosity has saved 25 million lives and counting. This article may not be republished, rebroadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without written permission. Because of ongoing security concerns, Air Force leadership ordered the use of additional herbicides. A 2023 Guide to VA Disability Rates & Pay Schedules, Individual Unemployability Rating Calculator, List of Blue Water Navy Ships Exposed to Agent Orange (Interactive Vietnam Map), Social Security Disability Benefits Guide. Rick, where they were, and that ' someone else ' said: "Welcome to the Rose Garden" I'm sure this happened more than once! Our message to VA would be that they should grant benefits if a veteran has any evidence demonstrating that the spraying may have occurred, and that would be if there is an old list where DoD confirmed that there was storage or spraying, Gallucci said. To learn more about current Agent Orange presumptions for Thailand, please visit CCKs PACT Act breakdown. Diese Region ist Siedlungsgebiet von vielen ethnischen Minderheiten, wobei die Stadt Sa Pa am Fue des Phan-xi-png die meisten Touristen anzieht. Compensation provides tax-free monthly payments. Because service members were exposed to herbicides that were used inside the base, not just at the base perimeter, veterans who served in Thailand should not have to prove that their duties required them to be near the perimeter. specifically: 2,4-D; 2,4,5-T and its contaminant TCDD; cacodylic acid; and picloram. (Emphasis added.) Mr. Chancellor reported, [c]hemicals were stored in containers with orange stripes and we mixed the chemical with diesel fuel and loaded the mixture into a large tank mounted trailer that was pulled by an air compressor truck to spray the materials. This coincides with an historical document dated December 1968 that provided an update on NKPs fence and perimeter security and stated grubbing [removal of trees and shrups] is complete for the southeast corner of the base and west perimeter, and approximately 50% complete for the north perimeter. Hence, evidence suggests that airmen conducting construction around the perimeter were exposed to herbicides. If you have a health condition caused by exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange during your service, you may be eligible for VA disability compensation. "I'm spending out of pocket . Both Vietnam and Thailand were engagement zones for deployed military personnel, and both countries had similar Rules of Engagement (Rules). Command Sergeant Major Kenneth Witkin stated that grounds personnel informed him they were using Agent Orange when he observed them spraying around barracks. The term is used only in the Memorandum for the Record and in individual cases wherein VA uses the distinction to deny benefits. I am fighting the VA now. These days, there are fewer and fewer letters delivered to the Capitol by the U.S. The DoD list is instrumental in helping support many of these veterans claims. On Thursday, Pennsylvania Reps. Matt Cartwright (D) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R) introduced new legislation to expand the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange for disability benefits to. The directive empowered the Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMAV), and the U.S. That leaves 21,000 gallons of herbicide unaccounted for with their last known location in Thailand. Vietnam (Vietnamese: Vit Nam, [vt nm] (), commonly abbreviated VN), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), is a country in Southeast Asia.It is located at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of 331,212 square kilometres (127,882 sq mi) and population of 99 million, making it the world's fifteenth-most populous country. Agent Orange exposure can cause several serious illnesses, as well as birth defects in the children of veterans who were exposed to the chemical. The herbicides stored on Johnston Island were burned at sea in approximately 1977. Hence, herbicides including Agent Orange were used in Thailand. I have a VA Dr. appointment today and will try to get these matters looked at. Toll-free Helpline: 1 800 749-8487 Press 3. and was diagnosed with ischemic heart disease. He recognized in a draft report that the number of military personnel exposed is unknown because most military bases had vehicle-mounted and back-spray units available for use in routine vegetation control. Dr. Youngs documents indicate that herbicides, including Agent Orange and its counterparts, were used for routine vegetation control programs. Tucson, AZ: One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor, Tucson, AZ, 85701 Learn more about us, Veterans Disability Claim VA representatives said the Department of Defense has provided updated information about Agent Orange use in new areas. 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The use of herbicides on NKP was noted in the 1973 CHECO report and in a soldiers sworn statement. The military used herbicides to clear foliage from the jungles and base camps of Vietnam. VA followed suit by drafting regulations to coincide with the statute by defining the term as follows: herbicide agent means a chemical in an herbicide used in support of the United States and allied military operations in the Republic of Vietnam[,] . ; Delta des Roten Flusses: Diese fruchtbare Gegend rund um die Hauptstadt Hanoi (H Ni) erstreckt sich bis zum Golf . This significantly enhances the credibility of these statements by confirming the veterans knew exactly to what they were exposed all along even though the government continued to deny the exposure. Rhodes and his fellow veterans who served in Thailand and suffer from Agent Orange-related illnesses are continuing to press Congress to take action to update the presumption policy through the orange envelope letter-writing . Do You Qualify for Long Term Disability Benefits? Daily life on Thailand bases also exposed service members to herbicide agents. I spent 2 months there and handled equipment that arrived from NAM. Our job was to off load air craft. Interestingly, this was after all aerial herbicide spray missions in Vietnam had ceased. As of the enactment of the PACT Act on August 10, 2022, veterans who served in Thailand are eligible for presumptive service connection,regardless of their MOS or where on the base they were located. These cookies dont collect information that identifies you. In his request, the Commander stated: Application must be by air because area is overgrown and ground application would be extremely dangerous due to live munitions in the area., In order to create a uniform standard for the use of herbicides, military leadership established annual training and standard operating procedures. . While there is a proposed legislative fix, Rhodesand his fellow veterans who served in Thailand and suffer from Agent Orange-related illnesses arecontinuing to press Congress to take action to update the presumption policy through the orange envelope letter-writing campaign. Hence, the records suggest the movement of herbicides to and from Thailand was not exclusively associated with RANCH HAND missions and that herbicides were used throughout Thailand. When Congress enacted this law, it stated that the term herbicide agent means a chemical in an herbicide used in support of the United States and allied military operations in the Republic of Vietnam during the period beginning on January 9, 1962 and ending on May 7, 1975. 38 U.S.C. Lets reauthorize PEPFAR now, Stakeholder Voices Important to Farm Bill Process, Boozman Continues Leadership to Combat Arkansas Physician Shortage. That expansion includes Navy veterans who served in the territorial waters of Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as veterans of all branches who may have been exposed in other locations, including stateside bases. In a 56th Special Operations Wing memo with the subject Lessons Learned from the Attack on Udorn, 26 Jul 68, the Deputy Commander of the 7/13th Air Force ordered base commanders in Thailand to review base defense plan with an eye to covering critical areas which are adjacent to the perimeter. As a result, defense surveys and reassessments were conducted throughout Thailand, including one survey conducted from June 23 to 30 1969, at NKP, Udorn, Ubon, Korat, Takhli, and U-Tapao. These cookies are essential so that you can move around the website and use its features. She has also spent several years working with the Department of Veterans Affairs audiology programs in Salt Lake City, UT and Pocatello, ID. Herbicides were also used to kill crops to diminish the enemys food supply.
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