TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A top VA official in the Tampa Bay area told 8 On Your Side this week the Department of Veterans Affairs has come a long way.
Margarita Devlin, principal deputy undersecretary for veterans benefits contends there is no longer a huge back-log of veterans waiting for their claims to be processed and completed.
However, claims languish for veterans who served in Thailand during the Vietnam War and were exposed to a dangerous herbicide known as Agent Orange.
Most U.S. bombing missions over North Vietnam originated in Thailand.
Tampa Veterans like Dan Tolly and Paul Devane supported the war effort from Thai bases.
At Korat, Paul remembers the toxic herbicide Agent Orange landed on him as he worked near the flight line.
“It just floats onto you and you can feel it when it hits your skin because it is an oily substance you can’t wipe it off,” Paul explained.
Dan Tolly’s missile shop at Ubon was close to the heavily sprayed perimeter.
“It was like less than a hundred feet away,” Dan remembered.