A four year battle with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over whether Air Force Reservists who flew C-123 planes should get Agent Orange benefits is almost at an end. We have written previously on the inexplicable delays these reservists have experienced.
But now, the waiting game is almost over as VA Secretary Robert McDonald said he plans to make an announcement in the coming weeks about health care benefits for the crews who flew C-123 aircraft. Many of those planes were used during Vietnam to pray Agent Orange over the countryside, and they continued to be used after the war.
Multiple Air National Guard units used these reserve planes in various states across the U.S.
Up until January of this year, there was some uncertainty as to whether reservists had, in fact, been exposed to the herbicide. But an Institute of Medicine study released in January challenged that uncertainty.
The Institute of Medicine researchers wrote, “It is plausible that, at least in some cases … the reservists’ exposure exceeded health guidelines for workers in enclosed settings.”
Therefore, the report continues, some reservists likely experienced “non-trivial” increases in their risks for certain diseases. These findings bolster an earlier 2012 report by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry that these individuals’ levels of exposure to dioxin were 182 times higher than safe amounts.
However, it was four years ago when Retired Air Force Major Wesley Carter started requesting documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) after he and some fellow reservists were diagnosed with multiple cancers, heart disease, and other Agent Orange-associated illnesses.
Since then, the reservists have been battling the VA to receive the same benefits as those who served in Vietnam. After a few delays, it appears that will finally happen.
At Legal Help For Veterans, PLLC, we focus exclusively on veterans’ rights. If you are a veteran looking to get the benefits that you deserve, call us today at 1-800-693-4800. We handle a variety of claims, including Agent Orange and other service-connected injuries. www.LegalHelpForVeterans.com
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC fights for veterans rights. We fight to make sure you get the benefits you deserve from the Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more or contact a veterans lawyer, visit http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/ or call 800.693.4800