New analysis of Agent Orange in the veteran population revealed that more than just Vietnam War veterans may suffer long-term effects from the herbicide. A new report from the Institute of Medicine found that Air Force reservists who served from 1972 to 1982 may have been exposed to contaminated aircraft.
The C-123 planes used to spray Agent Orange on fields and jungles in Vietnam during the war may have contained chemical residue long after spraying of Agent Orange stopped. Twenty-four of these planes were put into regular fleet use in four U.S. Air Force reserve units. These planes were used for medical and cargo transport as well as military airlifts.
Upon the initial discovery of Agent Orange contamination, several Air Force reservists who were on those planes filed claims under the Agent Orange Act of 1991, but were denied benefits because they were not deemed to have “boots on ground” service in Vietnam. These veterans sought advocacy for their conditions and denial of benefits. After extensive chemical testing and discussion of the matter, a committee tasked with reviewing the appeal found it plausible that the reservists could have been exposed to a reasonably serious level of Agent Orange.
Unfortunately, the time for investigation of this matter is long since passed and the investigative committee was unable to locate work records connecting many reservists to the use of specific C-123s known to be contaminated. Levels of contamination have also weakened over the years and it is no longer possible to determine how serious the exposure was back in the 1970s and 80s when the reservists were in service.
Air Force reservists active between 1972 and 1982 who flew in C-123s and believe they now have Agent Orange-related health conditions should speak with a veterans disability advocate to discuss their potential for obtaining veterans disability benefits. When you’re ready to get started with your disability claim, contact Veterans Help Group ® for assistance and support. Call today – 1-855-855-8992.