The Naval Fleet Reserve Association recently provided the following information regarding updates of the Veterans Administration list of vessels exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam conflict. This will include many more veterans eligible for VA care for the many diseases attributed to this product.
New Updates VA List of Vessels Exposed to Agent Orange
FRA urges all Vietnam veterans to review the latest updates to a list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard (USCG) vessels exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam Era. The updated list, maintained by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), is available at www.fra.org/agentorange and is of particular interest to those former service members experiencing health problems related to herbicide exposure. If service aboard one of the listed vessels can be confirmed, it may help expedite claims for VA health and disability benefits. Veterans should understand that the list is not complete and presumption of exposure will not be denied solely because a veteran’s ship is not on it.
To start a claim, contact your nearest VA Regional Office ) or contact Chris Slawinski, FRA’s national veterans service officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-FRA-1924 (ext. 115).
Revising the VA’s Agent Orange policy is a top priority for the Association and is repeatedly addressed in FRA’s congressional testimony and in discussions with legislators and their staff. FRA strongly supports “The Agent Orange Equity Act” (H.R. 812), sponsored by Rep. Bob Filner (Calif.), that would authorize the VA to presume service-connection for veterans and retirees suffering from ailments related to exposure to Agent Orange if they served in the waters off the coast of or in the skies above Vietnam. Those impacted by herbicide exposure and others are urged to use the FRA Action Center at www.fra.org to communicate with their elected leaders on this issue.
MCPO, USN (Retired)