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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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.
Roger Shiley on April 18, 2014 at 3:43 PM said:

Once again I urge all of you that thought you survived Vietnam to get a check of your "good Health". Go to the VA sites listed at the AVEL site and if you have ANY of the many medical problems, go to your local VA and file for disability..... YOU EARNED IT THE HARD WAY ! ! ! I salute all of the many vets that know what AVEL means !!!
Jack McCabe on January 30, 2014 at 4:50 PM said:

I am sorry Oscar. That really sucks. When we left we all thought we survived. Many didn't. So many were killed in Vietnam and died at home 30+ years later.
Oscar Bronson III on January 26, 2014 at 6:20 PM said:

I was diagnosed with Hairy Cell Leukemia in May 2013,have done my chemo and is now in remission. Now they are testing me for Parkinsons disease,all related to agent orange. Vietnam just keeps on killing.I would urge all Avel personnel to sign up for the A O registry.
Jack McCabe on December 9, 2013 at 3:29 PM said:

Al, I will send them along.
Al Buchanan on December 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM said:

Pete: Saw your comments, I got my band at the DC reunion (it was GREAT, guys) have had a LOT of comments and requests for one. My wife knows a woman who's husband surcumbed to AO and wants several for the family etc. If I could get about 24 or so I know they'd go to good homes. Let me know costs for postage etc and I will forward to you.
Thanx again.
Pete Poirier on December 5, 2013 at 1:38 PM said:

I wear an orange wristband, every day, everywhere I go; you should too, here's why. 1.) It gives you an opportunity to tell people about how agent orange has affected thousands of Vietnam veterans when you are asked "What's that for?" 2.) It aligns you with AVEL Vietnam veterans because it says right on it "AVEL VIETNAM". 3.) It's free for the asking if you are part of this group. Just go to the PX and get one.

The public needs to know that Vietnam vets are losing the battle to dioxin. There is no one better able to tell that story than you. It's been almost 50 years, but we don't have 50 years left to make people aware of the on-going sacrifice that Vietnam vets are still making just because they said "Yes" when their country asked them to serve.

We have a good supply of wristbands. All you have to do is ask for one and then wear it. Let it make you angry, and sad, and determined to share what you know with those who otherwise may never know.
Mike Blatt on November 27, 2013 at 1:30 PM said:

Well after almost a year I finally had my Agent Orange exposure assessment yesterday with the VA in Seattle. The interview went very well. I had just went through my yearly physical in September with my personnel physician. I had copied my recent blood reports and brought them with me yesterday to the VA. I gave them to the doctor which saved me from having them to draw more blood. She looked them over and said they are a great help as they would have run the same tests.
It is a great load off my mind to have finally have that completed. Thanks to all of you for pushing me to get that done.
Jerry Mahanay on November 23, 2013 at 5:32 PM said:

John Schroeder, Don't give up keep appealing.Listen to Roger Shiley and send letters to your Congressman and Representatives and don't stop. There is no way Kidney cancer cannot be on the Agent Orange list. Bottom line to everyone that is having issues to not give up and think that there is no help.
John Schroeder on November 12, 2013 at 8:28 AM said:

I served in Phu Loi, Vietnam with the "Big Red One" and developed cancer of the liver. I was diagnosed in 2009, and had a liver transplant in February 2010. When I asked the VA about a possible link to exposure of Agent Orange or other chemicals, they denied any connection. They claim that there are insufficient claims of liver cancer due to exposure.
Jerry Mahanay on November 7, 2013 at 8:33 AM said:

I was 17, just the teenage kid, the year that I enlisted.
I can’t remember why I did, my mom said that I insisted.
I had some strange idea then, that Uncle Sam was right.
Oh momma cried, but she signed the card, And then I went off to fight.

Got off the plane in Vietnam, it didn’t seem like war.
With all I saw I started to wonder what I have come there for.
Some officers got drunk at night, and cheated on their wives.
And the peasants on the other side, where just struggling for their lives.

Oh the army tried some fancy stuff, to bring them to their knees.
Like Agent Orange defoliant, to kill the brush and tress.
We’d hike all day on jungle trails, through clouds of poison spray.
And they never told me then, that it would hurt my health today.

But I got the news this morning, yea, the doctors told me so.
They killed me in Vietnam, and I didn’t even know.
I tried hard to forget the war like everybody did.
Settled down, got married, even had a of couple kids.

Well my children both had birth defects, and the doctors had their doubts.
They never could understand it, but I think I figured it out.
Because I got the news this morning, yeah, the doctors told me so.
They killed me in Vietnam, and I didn’t even know.

This Agent Orange from Vietnam, we carry it with us still.
It stays inside for years and years before it starts to kill.
You might get cancer of the liver; you might get cancer of the skin.
You can file for disability, but you might not live to win.

Oh I got the news this morning yea, the doctors told me so.
They killed me in Vietnam, and I didn’t even know.
Oh the doctor said I got some time, trying to be kind.
I’ve never been a radical, but this has changed my mind.

Oh I’d be so proud to hear my kids say hell no I won’t go,
Because you killed my dad in Vietnam, and he didn’t even know.
Yes I’d be so proud to hear my kid say hell no I won’t go,
Because you killed my dad and he didn’t even know.
Roger Shiley on September 25, 2013 at 8:20 PM said:

We are getting good feed back from soldiers that file with VA>>>>>>>>>>I hope we are going to have another discussion group with those that are getting VA compensation and those that don't!!!!!!! We can help you get the deserved $$$$$$$$$ and medical services!!!!!!!!!!!
See You in DC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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