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Agent Orange Breakthrough

June 20, 2018


Thanks to Army veteran Gene Clarke, thousands of veterans may be in line for much needed compensation.  Clarke has discovered documentation showing that veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange in Korea.  Using the Apple iPad his wife gave him as a retirement gift, Clarke was surprised by all the online documents he found showing that U.S. soldiers who served in Korea during 1967 may have been exposed to Agent Orange.


Now, here’s the hard part for Clarke, convincing government officials that Agent Orange was in fact used in Korea before 1968 in the narrow demilitarized zone between North and South Korea where about 55,000 U.S. soldiers served during the mid and late 1960s.

Clarke is an Army veteran who served in Korea in 1967. If confirmed, his efforts mean thousands of veterans could become eligible for ailments they hadn't suspected were connected to Agent Orange, the highly toxic chemical used to defoliate trees and jungle vegetation to expose enemy troops below.















"There are probably people out there who have no clue why they are sick because they weren't in Vietnam," said Tony DiFrancesco, the director of veteran's affairs for Dauphin County.


DiFrancesco was referring to the fact that many Vietnam veterans are eligible for benefits related to Agent Orange. So are veterans who served in the so-called DMZ in Korea from 1968 to 1971. The eligibility stems from the fact the U.S. government has acknowledged use of Agent Orange in those areas beginning in 1968.


Meanwhile, Clarke about 10 years ago developed Type II diabetes — one of the conditions associated with Agent Orange.


Between 1962 and 1971, the U.S. military sprayed approximately 20 million gallons of herbicides in Vietnam, a tactical operation known as "Operation Ranch Hand." More than half of it was Agent Orange.

If the government extends the benefits, it could mean better health care for the affected veterans and compensation for them, and their spouses, for disabilities related to Agent Orange exposure. Agent Orange has been linked to a list of illnesses, including several cancers, Type II diabetes and assorted ailments affecting the skin, nervous system and organs. 

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John R. Morgan, Sr., 10/27/18

None of us had a clue that our government would expose us to things that would be harmful to us. Plus the VA is only in existence to make it appear they care while they deny any exposure even if went up river on firing missions, winds carrying the herbicides out to the ships. That the ships themselves filtered the water we drank, showered in, food prepared and ate and cleaning, etc. They refuse to acknowledge it even when you show proof where the ship was and when they do not put it on the list. Anchoring in a harbor that is surrounded by land on all sides with a narrow channel to enter and exit does not count to them. Degenerative bone and joint disease from service connected diabetes you can have it in your knees but not your neck, whole spine other joints does not count unless they say so. The burden of proof is always yours and the VA helping with your claim is a farse to only cover up what the VA pulls on us veterans. Good Luck with it all you'll need it.


Jack DeWalt, 6/21/18

Even if you WERE in service in a sprayed area, the VA has yet to use that "presumptive" aspect for unexplained illnesses - you can only be eligible for benefits if your illness is on THEIR list !! I was denied because mine wasn't !?!?!?!?


Angel Pineiro-Lopez, 6/20/18

Timothy, to be connected, neuropathy has to be a consequence of your diabetes. If you are diabetic, apply for a compensation on your diabetes and latter connect the neuropathy as a consequence of the diabetes.


Gary Stahlman, 6/20/18

Sprayed and betrayed!!!!


Hugh D. Hatmaker, 6/20/18

I was stationed in Viet Nam from May 63 till May 64, Spent a 90 day TDY there in Jan, Feb and Mar 68 (during thr TET Offense. I have never registered for Agent Orange. I retired from the Air Force as a MSgt in Apr 76. Thanks, Hugh.


Walter Quigley, 6/20/18

I'm 71 and can't imagine how or why I have not shown symptoms of Agent Orange related diseases as, in 1968, I spent time at Bin Hoa/Long Bin, Viet Nam and Saigon. My permanent duty station was Vung Vung Tau, Viet Nam at the 36th Evacuation Hospital. My work station was located 100 yards from the dust-off helicopter pad where the Agent Orange was stored and I spent many, many days , perhaps 50 or so, bathing in the ocean waters off of the Vung Tau, Viet Nam coast where many rivers and tributaries emptied into those waters. I guess I've been blessed thus far. Can anyone, otherwise, explain how I've done as well as I have concerning my health?














Timothy Cole, 6/20/18

I am a Vietnam veteran (1967-1968) and everyone knows the US used Agent Orange in Vietnam for numerus years.  I have been trying to get benefits now for over 11 years, for neuropathy (a nerve disorder) in my both legs. I have appealed numerous times and my case has been Re-maned back to the VA, three times, the last time from the Board of Veterans? Appeals?  Washington, DC., November 2017. So, don't think they're going to just hand benefits over to you, you have to fight with them to get benefits.


Dave Kilgus, 6/20/18

Not everyone exposed to Agent Orange was in Viet Nam! It was used at shore based facilities, mostly overseas; and carried on all types of Navy ships.


William Willoughby, 6/20/18

Agent Orange is slowly killing me, my lungs , heart, legs, etc.