Sunday, December 30, 2018

Veterans' request, if granted, could open doors for Guam residents to claim exposure benefits

A veterans' group request to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, if approved, could open the door for Guam residents to seek medical help for presumptive exposure to herbicides with toxic components, such as Agent Orange, during and after the Vietnam War.
Attorney John Wells, executive director of the Louisiana-based Military Veterans Advocacy, sent a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, requesting him to issue rules recognizing the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to veterans who served on Guam from Jan. 9, 1962 through Dec. 31, 1980.
The request also covers veterans who served on Johnston Island from Jan. 1, 1972 until Sept. 30, 1977.
"While many veterans who served on Guam felt that they were exposed to Agent Orange, we must not obsess with that term. The important thing is that they were exposed to herbicides with toxic components. That is sufficient to trigger coverage," Wells wrote in his Dec. 3 letter to Wilkie.

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