During the Vietnam War, Agent Orange was used to reveal enemy positions by destroying all surrounding plant life. The incredibly strong herbicidal compound was believed for some time to contain harmful chemicals that may induce unfavorable—even fatal—health conditions. With the war close to forty years in the past, the American government was finally decided to extend health benefits to veterans who came into contact with Agent Orange during the war.
Beliefs concerning the negative effects of the compound have been upheld by Congress, which has declared Parkinson’s disease to be among the illnesses caused by the compound. The offer is extended to veterans regardless of liability concerns due to lifestyle, which is a good thing for the war vets as Agent Orange is also suspected of having caused Type II diabetes in some people. The benefits being offered include free healthcare as well as checks for disability. Some of these perks require extensive paperwork, but Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1089 is helping them with the process.
Meetings are being held on a regular basis to inform the aging vets of the perks they are able to receive, as it is believed that many are unaware the benefits are even being extended to them. The Agent Orange benefits are being explained to the vets’ families as well, as they are the ones who stand to receive them once the veterans have passed on. Considering the spite that many veterans received upon returning home, some are happy just to be getting a measure of the respect they feel they have earned, the dnj.com reports.
The government is trying to put the pressure on to make sure that all required benefits are handed out as soon as possible, as waiting may put some veterans in danger of missing out altogether. Some veterans who have previously applied for Agent Orange benefits are irate due to the length of time it has taken them to receive them, though officials are claiming that the issue has been taken into account and previous filings are now being taken into consideration once again.
Those exposed to Agent Orange must be able to obtain and convey the proper documents in order to receive aid, and further must be able to prove that their medical conditions are related to those known as side effects of the compound. It is also suspected that the children of soldiers who came into contact with Agent Orange may also be affected, so aid is being offered to them as well.