In a recently published policy paper, two groups claim there is evidence veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Guam during the Vietnam War. The paper says that tens of thousands of veterans who served in Guam during the War may have been exposed to the herbicide and become ill as a result. If confirmed, it could help thousands of Vietnam-era veterans claim disability benefits for ailments believed to have been caused by Agent Orange exposure.
Agent Orange is one of several so-called “Rainbow Agents,” chemical herbicides developed by the United States military for the tactical destruction of farmland or foliage used by hostile forces. While at the time it was not believed to be harmful to humans, it has since been shown that Agent Orange exposure can cause a variety of long-term health problems, as well as causing birth defects in pregnant women. As a result, many Vietnam-era veterans developed chronic health issues, which in turn has led to laws being passed ensuring they can receive disability benefits for Agent Orange-related illnesses.
The new paper, published by the National Veterans Legal Services Program and the Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, claims an evidentiary link that proves it is reasonably likely that Vietnam-era veterans serving on Guam may have been exposed to the toxic defoliant. This is important because, if proved to be accurate, it would allow many veterans who served on Guam to receive the same “presumptive disease” status that other Vietnam veterans receive for Agent Orange exposure. This would make it easier for them to receive disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, and perhaps allow them to gain compensation for harm they suffered from Agent Orange exposure.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Although the courts are closed except for essential proceedings, our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.