Agent Orange
This site is designed to assist you in obtaining Agent Orange benefits.
Agent Orange can very well effect all of the AVEL soldiers.  Having served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971 each of you might suffer from one of the many Agent Orange related symptoms and effects.  Many of the AVEL soldiers flew on missions in Vietnam and Cambodia where the LZ was sprayed by Agent Orange.  AVEL soldiers worked on dust covered choppers and the dust covered avionics boxes were on the work benches.
VA’s policy is that if you were in Vietnam one day, you can claim that any and all of the illnesses on the list was caused by Agent Orange  and therefore you are entitled to VA medical services and monetary compensation.
If you have any of the symptoms listed in the sites shown below, go to VA for medical attention and file for compensation.  I had my civilian MD check for prostate cancer.  I had cancer and I started treatment.  I also filed for VA compensation and payment started retroactive to the filing date…..
Here are a few sites that have information on Agent Orange.  There are many more…..
Please feel free to log your Agent Orange related concerns on this site and encourage everyone to seek VA medical attention. If you have a problem in getting benefits maybe some of us can help you.
Thanks for your service.
LTC (MAJ) Roger Shiley
AVEL Central 70-71
Do you have any questions about Agent Orange and its symptons for our members who have Agent Ofrange related illnesses?  Ask them here.
Do you have an Agent Orange related illness?  Share your experience, symptons, etc. with your fellow Avelers.
You can also discuss any issues you have with the VA here.  Bring up any issues you are having. I am sure someone else on here has already dealt with it.

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Mike Blatt AVEL Central on January 18, 2015 at 6:12 PM said:

Jack, sorry to hear about this. I would be all over my Congressman and Senators on this. Give em hell! Good Luck.
Jack McCabe on January 13, 2015 at 5:57 AM said:

Well, received a response from the VA on my claims. My records (complete 201 file) are missing. They have no record of my service. So... I guess I am SOL
Perry Wargo on December 7, 2014 at 12:18 PM said:

there is a clinic in Allentown went there and talked with the service officer from AMVETS
He sent me several papers to fill out and to have my dr. fill out. all that is now done and in the mail to him.
he said it could take several months
Perry on October 23, 2014 at 7:46 AM said:

Look up your nearest VA hospital in the phone directory, or go to and there will be a map showing the VA hospitals. Your county offfice should have a Veterans Service Officer. Call and get his hours and visit him. He/SHE will help you fill out the paper work and assist in getting an appointment with VA.....OR Call the closest VA and get in touch with a patient advocate and they will work for you.....Whatever you do, you need to get your local congressman and one of your two state's senators...Do not worry about "making waves" Send them a detailed letter and follow up in seven days ( with a phone call) to be sure his office got the letter. Each senator and congressman has staff people that do this "leg work" and be sure to keep notes with dates and the names of contact people so you can talk to the same person each time. I hope this helps...Roger Shiley AVEL 70-71
Perry Wargo on October 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM said:

just had a heart attack sat now I'm told I have heart dease
how do I file a claim with the va
Pete Poirier on October 19, 2014 at 8:09 AM said:

To a very concerned friend: First, thank you for your concern and advocacy for a fellow Vietnam veteran exposed to Agent Orange. You need to know that there are far too many complications involved with dioxin and the immune system to be addressed on a military unit blog. We all need to rely on the best medical advice available, and in the case of Vietnam vets that means using the VA's assistance particularly when Agent Orange may be involved. Your friend also needs to advise his gastroenterologist about his probable exposure to dioxin. Dioxin was a herbicide that was used to destroy foliage and rice crops; it likely has an adverse effect on gut flora. If your friend's gut flora is compromised and he is receiving large doses of antibiotics his immune system may react aggressively. So, do not delay in sharing information about exposure. The fact that he is on antibiotics and has been recommended for surgery suggests that the diverticulitis already has eroded the large bowl. If that is the case, then it is almost certain that the infected section will need to be removed and, in most cases, a temporary ostomy will be recommended in order to allow the bowl tissue to heal before an anastomosis is performed. It is critical that there be an internist who is familiar with the effects of dioxin to be involved in your friend's case. It is very likely that the only doctors available who have that expertise are with the VA, so get him connected now. All of us who follow this blog will want to hear more from you about what happens and wait to hear about your friend's recovery.
very concerned friend on October 17, 2014 at 12:03 AM said:

I have a good friend he was exposed to Agent Orange and now has diverticulitis they are giving him repeated doses of antibiotics and wiping out his good bacteria is there anything can be done to heal his intestine before they start cutting it out he doesn't want to really admit it Agent Orange may be the problem either way what can be done to save his intestine after massive repeated doses can it be healed or is surgery the only option my email is thank you
Roger Shiley on September 30, 2014 at 2:26 PM said:

Great news from all you guys that are getting results from VA. Those of you that are "ILL" or think you have agent orange related illnesses, take time to research our old comments and contact your VA....If your VA is still in the 1990s then you can go to another VA, in another state and file through them.....Some of these VA offices are still behind in thier services and you need to get results NOW....DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTANT YOUR CONGRESSMAN OR SENATOR AND GET THEM TO WORK FOR YOU!!!! GOOD LUCK !!! ROGER SHILEY, AVEL 70-71
Peter Poirier on September 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM said:

Here is some great news! You may recall that following my cancer, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. My ejection fraction was 20% compared to an ideal 60%. My heart was so weak that my kidneys could not function properly and my creatinine climbed to a critically high 3.1 versus a typical for me 1.7 or so. I was told that the chemo had damaged my heart and that there was a 30% chance that with medication and therapy I might stabilize at 20% or even see some improvement. A nuclear stress test indicated blockage in the left descending artery (also known as ischemic heart disease which is a another covered condition for vets exposed to Agent Orange)so I had two stents placed. I went back out on the tennis courts and played for all I was worth. Last Friday I had a follow-up echocardiogram and -here is the good news- my ejection fraction is now 54%. That's considered low normal. My message to you is if you were there and you are sick, get treated and file for compensation. Dioxin is one of the nastiest chemicals ever used in a way that was sure to affect humans. Medical care and compensation is the least that you are due.
Roland Langlois on September 13, 2014 at 8:57 AM said:

Thank you guys for putting up this site. It has opened my eyes to a whole bunch of questions and also explanations.
I served in Vietnaum in 69-70 but Agent Orange couldn,t be me I wasent directly exposed I didn,t think.
First let me tell you I have 4 wonderful children 3 of wich were born in the army after I came back. The Army doctors said they were all fine, after I got out and had there first checkup with a civilian doctor it was found the 1st was born with 2/3 of a kidney on one side and none on the other he needed a kidney transplant. The 2nd had a whole in his heart and a large blockage has had 2 open heart surgeries.
I asked could they be Agent orange problems ( Nope )
Since then I have found out #3 my daughter can,t have kids and #4 as far as we know just can,t smell anything. ( not always a bad thing ) possible Agent Orange Nope no way.
I myself have spent many a time in the hospitial since 1980 for various reasons.
Since coming here and looking at all the symptoms posted on this site. I have found that I have 1or 2 in each category. I have filed a 10-10EZ and requested to be seen by the VA in my area.They have gotten the request and are setting up a date for me.
My question is what else do I need to do ? and do I need to bring anything with me.

Thanks Roland Langlois
Avel South
Elvin Wilkerson on July 24, 2014 at 12:26 AM said:

Man, I am so glad I found this website (actually someone else found it for me). I have been trying off and on since the mid '90s to piece some info and memories back together. This site has been a great help. I actually recognized a bunch of the guys in the photos (I had lost all of mine). Thank you and God bless you for putting this set of pages together.

Jack McCabe on June 21, 2014 at 8:53 PM said:

God Bless you Pete. And all Vietnam Vets.
Jerry Mahanay on June 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM said:

Pete, that is an incredible story and to let everybody know that Pete also played tennis almost every day while going through radiation and chemotherapy. The best part of it all is that now Pete is cancer free. Please everyone this is a testament to not giving up and even the VA stepped up to the plate for Pete. Do not give up and just because the VA in Phoenix is screwed up doesn't mean that your local VA is horrible. Let's hear other stories!!
Roger Shiley on May 12, 2014 at 7:08 AM said:

Thanks Pete !!!Welcome Home!
Pete Poirier on May 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM said:

Hey, it could happen to anybody. That's what I said years ago when my feet started to go numb. When my family doctor said I had Type 2 diabetes, I said hey, it could happen to anybody. And when I was told I had cancer I said hey, it could happen to anybody.

The oncologist I went to asked if I had any neuropathy which I did. When I asked him why he said that whenever a hazardous chemical is introduced to the body there is a high probability of nerve damage starting with the extremities. The chemotherapy could aggravate the condition so the combination of drugs was adjusted to cause the least amount of damage. As it turned out, my cancer is on the short list of conditions presumed to result from exposure to Agent Orange. So now I have three conditions all of which are presumed to result from Agent Orange. One could happen to anybody. Two could happen to anybody. Three is a bit much to credit to coincidence.

When I told my brother about all this he asked if I was going to file a claim. I told him I didn't think so because it could happen to anybody besides there are all these kid coming home today with no legs (and although no one mentions it, their balls are probably blown off too) or they are missing one or both arms or They are wrecked from traumatic brain injuries. So who am I?

That's when he pointed out that no one on either side of our family for as far as we can trace ever had diabetes. I'm 5' 10" and 190; not exactly a typical diabetic profile anyway. Also, no one in our family ever had bi-lateral peripheral neuropathy. And, he pointed out, I am the first to ever have Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. Yes, I finally did file a claim with the VA although I didn't hold out much hope for a response in less than a few years if I even lived that long.

Here is the good news. The VA handled my claim to conclusion within six months. They determined a 100% disability. They gave me back pay for six months and started a monthly direct deposit of over $3000. They also qualified me for a military ID that grants access to commissaries, exchanges and MWR (moral,welfare and recreation for you civilians) which means I can drive on base and play tennis at the Navy Club with my Virginia Beach buddies.

Now here is the strange part. Twenty years ago I was hospitalized with peritonitis from a small hole in my large intestine which resulted from diverticulitis. That condition does appear in my family history but not what happened next. I was given large doses of antibiotics which saved my life by killing all the bacteria in my body. The good went along with the bad so for a while I had no bacteria in my gut at all. The gut is the center of the body's immune system, it works it's magic through various combinations of bacteria and stomach flora that maintain equilibrium in our bodies defense mechanisms. My defense mechanisms went wild. My own immune system attacked me. My intestines started melting right out of my body just like the Vietnamese villagers described after they were exposed to massive doses of dioxin. Now I am starting to get it - ingest a toxic defoliant, then watch what happens when the flora in your gut get killed off, first the bacteria react then they take over the job of balancing the defense systems. But kill the bacteria in the absence of the beneficial flora and watch the immune system go on full out attack. I ended up with seven major surgeries that gradually removed all of my large intestine and part of the small one. Not fun.

And now the purpose of my story. You are a Vietnam vet. Things may happen to you that may or may not happen to other people. The difference is you were there when we sprayed the countryside with one of histories nastiest chemicals. You breathed the air, you worked on the equipment that flew the dioxin, your clothes were washed in water that had runoff from the defoliated areas. If you get sick my brother, claim your due, if not for yourself then for your family!

Please wear your orange wristband and share the stories of Vietnam vets whose wounds appeared so much later.

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