hope may be on the way for Maine veterans who have unsuccessfully tried
for years to convince the U.S. veterans administration that their
health problems are due to their exposure to Agent Orange - an herbicide
they encountered while training at a New Brunswick military base. Sen.
Susan Collins recently met with officials in Canada, where the
government has awarded cash benefits to Canadian soldiers who were also
exposed to the chemical defoliant.
stories about diabetes, cancers and respiratory illnesses have
circulated for years among Maine veterans who trained at Canadian Forces
Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. For almost as long, Sen. Susan Collins
says Maine veterans were pretty sure why they were getting sick.
"Those veterans believe that their illnesses may be linked to the use of
the Agent Orange way back in the late 1960s," Collins says.
The U.S. government has refused to acknowledge any linkage between the
soldiers' illnesses and their exposure to the chemicals. And the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded this year there was
no linkage between veterans' illnesses and their experience at
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