Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vietnam Veteran 7 1/2 Year Wait For Agent Orange Testing

Local veteran waits on Agent Orange testing for 7 1/2 years
First Coast News
Ken Amaro
November 23, 2015

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- During the Vietnam War, 20 million gallons of Agent Orange was dumped on Vietnam and parts of Cambodia.
Bill Harnage, 65, now retired after 20 years of service in the Army and the National Guard, said he was in the line of some of the dumping. "I was a gray water soldier.

The area we were Agent Orange was in use."

The Vietnam veteran is on a new mission. He wants to be tested for exposure to the herbicide

"I asked to be tested, but never did get it," he said.

In 2008, the former Army medic made his request in writing to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It was sent to the VA Medical Center in Gainesville and received. But, he said, nothing happened.

"They don't know why it wasn't addressed," said Harnage.

The irony is every year he goes to the VA for his annual physical exam. He said at no time was he asked to take or was he given an Agent Orange exam.
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Eligibility for Agent Orange Registry health exam These Veterans are eligible for the Agent Orange Registry health exam:

Veterans who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975, regardless of length of time. Veterans who served aboard smaller river patrol and swift boats that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam (also known as “Brown Water Veterans”). Check VA's list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam.

Veterans who served in a unit in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) anytime between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971.

U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases near U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.

U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.

U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. However, the Army Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned a military occupational specialty whose duty placed him or her at or near the base perimeter.