On Jan. 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit extended the presumption of exposure to herbicides to cover veterans who served in the territorial sea of the Republic of Vietnam. The definition of “served in the Republic of Vietnam” now extends to 12 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam. On March 26, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs decided not to appeal the ruling and took action to begin processing claims within this mandate, according to a press release sent out by the York County public information office.
There could be as many as 3,000 veterans and surviving spouses in York County who could be affected by this landmark court ruling. The presumptive conditions for exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam are:
Diabetes mellitus type 2
Ischemic heart disease including coronary artery disease
Chronic b-cell leukemia
Peripheral neuropathy (early onset)
Soft tissue sarcoma
If you are a Navy or Marine veteran who served at sea in the territorial waters of Vietnam during the Vietnam War and have one or more of these presumptive conditions, or if you are a surviving spouse of a Navy or Marine veteran who died with one of these conditions as a primary or contributing cause of death, please call your County Department of Veterans Affairs officer.