Last year, VA added ischemic heart disease, hairy cell leukemia and other chronic B-cell leukemias, and Parkinson’s disease to the list of diseases presumed to be related to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. It was a long time coming for Veterans who have been debilitated by diseases they may have contracted as a result of their combat deployment. So far, over $2.2 billion has been paid to 89,000 Vietnam Vets and survivors who have filed claims.
Today, VA is recognizing many Vets who may have been exposed to Agent Orange by contact from operations on and off their Naval and Coast Guard vessels. An updated list of ships that navigated inland waterways, docked on shore, or had crewmembers sent ashore in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975 are listed alphabetically here.
If you served aboard any of those ships and have a disease linked to Agent Orange, you should file a claim immediately. You can file online through eBenefits after setting up a premium account. To get that, create a basic account instantly, and then head to your VA regional office. Make sure to bring a government-issued ID, proof of address and your DD-214.
VA recognizes the enormous sacrifices borne by our Vietnam Veterans and I hope everyone eligible take steps to receive what they rightfully deserve.