(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Veterans Service Officer Brad Bough told the Lawrence County Commissioners on Tuesday morning that new studies have revealed that military personnel on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 could have been exposed to Agent Orange and may qualify for VA benefits.
Those veterans include:
U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases at U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter ..
U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand .
U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime. However, the Army Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned an MP military occupational specialty whose duty placed him/her at or near the base perimeter.
A recently declassified Department of Defense report contains evidence that there was a significant use of herbicides on the fenced-in perimeters of military bases in Thailand to remove foliage that provided cover for enemy forces.
Bough says Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits including an Agent Orange Registry health exam, health care and disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Their dependents and survivors may also be eligible for benefits.
"There are a lot of deadly diseases linked to Agent Orange exposure including lung cancer," Bough says.
The staff at the Lawrence County Veterans Service Office will help veterans determine if they were exposed to the deadly agents and help them file for compensation benefits and for the free Agent Orange Registry health exam. Bough says veterans don't have o file a disability compensation claim to receive the exam.
For assistance, contact the Lawrence County Veterans Affairs Office for more details.
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