The following information is courtesy of veteran Sergeant Major Dave McAllister, ret. (Panmunjom Conference Room military stenographer 1958-59). Dave delivered an excellent Agent Orange presentation at the Orlando JSA reunion. The following came from his column in his local Sunday newspaper.
SUBJECT: Item for September Issue of Barefoot Tattler
VIETNAM VETERANS AND ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE, PARKINSON'S DISEASE, AND CHRONIC "B" CELL LEUKEMIA.
You need to understand the meaning of "Ischemic"! Our dictionary says: "lack of blood; an inadequate supply of blood to a part of the body, caused by partial or total blockage of an artery."
Ischemic heart disease includes, but is not limited to, acute, subacute, and old myocardial infarction; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease (including coronary spasm) and coronary surgery; and stable, unstable and Prinzmetal's angina.
You need to understand Parkinson's Disease. Our dictionary tells us it is "an incurable nervous disorder marked by symptoms of trembling hands, lifeless face, monotone voice, and a slow shuffling walk. It is generally caused by the degeneration of dopamine-producing brain cells, and is the commonest form of Parkinsonism."
You need to understand the meaning of "Chronic B Cell Leukemia". Our dictionary says: "blood cancer: an often fatal cancer in which white blood cells displace normal blood, leading to infection, shortage of red blood cells anemia, bleeding, and other disorders "
Now, veterans of the Vietnam War who suffer from any of these diseases are entitled to service-connected disability compensation from the VA as long as they stepped foot on the land or served on the inland waterways of Vietnam during active duty at any time between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Other veterans who suffer from one of these diseases are entitled to these benefits if they can show they were exposed to Agent Orange during active duty.
To qualify, it will not matter when the disease first appeared. For example, a Vietnam veteran who is first diagnosed with ischemic heart disease 40 years after discharge from service is entitled to VA disability compensation benefits.
Qualifying surviving family members of Vietnam veterans who have died, or who die in the future, from one of the three diseases are also entitled to service-connected death benefits known as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Service-connected burial benefits are also available.
The VA has released three new disability benefits questionnaires (DBQ's) (relating to the three new diseases added to the Agent Orange list of presumptive diseases) for private and VA physicians to complete for veterans applying for VA disability compensation. Copies of these DBQ's are available at the Barefoot Bay Veterans Service Office.
If you are a Vietnam Veteran who suffers (or a survivor of a Vietnam veteran who died) from one of the three diseases and you never previously filed a VA disability or death compensation claim for the disease) please come to the Veterans Service Office at Barefoot Bay to file a claim for service-connected disability compensation, or Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
Most of the information provided here comes from the National Veterans Legal Services Program's website at http://www.nvlsp.org/Information/ArticleLibrary/AgentOrange/index.htm and Agent Orange Zone at website: http://agentorangezone.blogspot.com/
For JSA veterans by a JSA veteran www.jsasite.com