It seemed to start with Agent Orange. As far back as the 1970s, Vietnam veterans began noticing strange and serious health problems, and it wasn’t long until independent researchers established a link between these health problems and Agent Orange.
As we all know by now, Agent Orange was a powerful herbicide, and the U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of this poisonous substance all over South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and other places – in the hope of making it harder for the enemy to hide in the lush vegetation.
Agent Orange did a good job, but the price was high. Today, we know, and the VA acknowledges, that there is a long list of serious health problems caused by Agent Orange. Unfortunately, as bad as it is, Agent Orange is only part of the problem. For lots of reasons, veterans seem to be at a high risk for many other health problems. A much higher risk factor that for the population at large.
Many VietNow members suffer from the effects of these health problems, and the jury is still out on whether or not the VA is doing everything possible to help veterans with their service-related health conditions. Over the years, the VietNow National Magazine has published personal experiences related to veterans health problems, and other research-based articles.
The world’s first Agent Orange memorial
The world’s first agent orange memorial sits in the shadow of the Huey helicopter at LZ Peace, in Rockford, Illinois.
Agent Orange: A slow and certain death
After his return from Vietnam, an American soldier suffered for years from problems related to his service in Vietnam. PTSD came first, followed by an early death caused by Agent Orange.
Health guru faces Agent Orange ailment and VA denial
When a Vietnam veteran was turned down by the VA because his condition wasn’t on the VA’s Agent Orange presumptive list, he got some outside legal help, and ended up winning his case.
Remand letter? No rating?
Did you get a letter from the Board of Veterans Appeals? Did you know what to do about it?
Hemingway, embellished stories, and Agent Orange
Why it’s so important that Vietnam veterans tell their stories, and facts about Agent Orange.
Agent Orange: It’s still here
Did you think Agent Orange just went away? Did you think Agent Orange is just a minor problem? Read the words of these veterans who leave us messages, and you’ll see the truth.
PTSD linked to dementia in later life
A new study found that veterans diagnosed with PTSD were nearly twice as likely as other veterans to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia as they age.
Tired of waiting for your next VA appointment?
Have they told you there’s going to be a long wait? Maybe you can get care at a facility outside the VA.
Early onset of Alzheimer’s in veterans
Is it possible that early onset of Alzheimer’s in some veterans might be occurring as a result of their military service?
Veteran health: A personal responsibility
How (and why) veterans can take more responsibility for their own health.
A podiatrist tells how you can kick foot infections
Jungle rot, plain old athlete’s foot, and toenail infections. There are ways to fight them off.
Are you sure it’s PTSD?
While someone’s problem may be caused by PTSD, there’s also the possibility that they are afflicted with a more insidious ailment.
Service connection for asbestos-related diseases
If you were exposed to asbestos, whether you think it was service-related or not, you should get medical advice to see if you have any problems developing.
The good bugs are still dying
Agent Orange: Still one of the most ruthless equal-opportunity killers ever.
Nursing students training to work with veterans.
Agent Orange: One veteran’s story
A Vietnam veteran was enjoying life, until his tour of Vietnam caught up with him.
COPD: What you don’t know can kill you
The incidence of this deadly lung disease is high among veterans. The chance that veterans will develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is three times higher than for the general population. Are you at risk?
Are you suffering from ALS?
Scientific evidence linking military service with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is too strong to ignore. All veterans suffering from ALS are eligible for benefits, but most don’t know it.
Another Agent Orange link to cancer
This time it’s prostate cancer. The rate of prostate cancer is twice as high in Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.
Agent Orange: “It was exactly 30 years after I got back that I was diagnosed.”
Vietnam veteran Jim Fiebke had no idea that he was eligible for VA benefits due to his Agent Orange-related illness.
Gunned down in basic training
Those shots you got in basic training were meant to protect you from some really bad diseases. Unfortunately, there have been some unintended consequences that might affect you. Find out how your health may be affected.
Agent Orange and your VA claim
How hard is it to get compensation for an Agent Orange-related health claim? How do you prove it? A retired VA Rating Specialist tells you how. Get the facts here.
For information about PTSD, visit our PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) section.
For information about filing health-related VA claims, visit our VA Claims section.
Caption for image at top of this page: A U.S. Air Force Fairchild UC-123B Provider Ranch Hand aircraft spraying defoliant next to a road in South Vietnam in 1962. Operation Ranch Hand was a U.S. Military operation during part of the Vietnam War, lasting from 1962 until 1971. It involved spraying an estimated 72 mio. ltr. (19 mio. US gal.) of (toxic) defoliants over rural areas of South Vietnam in an attempt to deprive the Viet Cong of vegetation cover and food. The USAF planes were marked as South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) planes. U.S. Air Force photo.
Caption for Agent Orange image on home page: A U.S. Air Force Fairchild UC-123B Provider C-123 Ranch Hand aircraft sprays defoliant over the target area of “Operation Pink Rose” in January 1967. During the Pink Rose test program target areas near Tay Ninh and An Loc, South Vietnam were sprayed with defoliation agents twice and with a drying agent once. Ten flights of three Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses each dropped 42 M-35 incendiary cluster bombs (per aircraft) into the target area setting fires that should burn the heavy growth as well as enemy fortifications hidden there. U.S. Air Force photo.