My Take on the Agent Orange Act of 1991
America’s Veterans like me have been suffering and dying from the effects of herbicide exposure during and in the years after the Vietnam War era. Not all exposure occurred in Vietnam, Southeast Asia or outside the continental United States.
Let me say that before troops were sent to Southeast Asia or Vietnam they first had to be recruited or inducted and trained for the jungle terrain they would encounter when they arrived in Vietnam. Regardless of branch, basic training was conducted stateside; jungle training was conducted in various training locations, Panama Canal Zone, Okinawa, Japan, Philippine Islands and elsewhere.
The United States Defense Department was instrumental in developing what has been referred to as Rainbow Herbicides, among which Agent Orange is but one. They were each assigned a Federal Stock Number and could be ordered through the Federal Supply System regardless of where of location or where they were ordered.
Once produced for the military, transportation and herbicide storage became a huge stateside issue until they were loaded on ships for transport to the area of intended usage. Once received by the requestor it often became the responsibility of the installation or unit commanders to determine where, when and how much herbicide was to be stored until needed or how herbicides would be applied in accordance with Army Field Manual 3-3 Tactical Employment of Herbicides.
I have read the Agent Orange Act of 1991 which assumed that only Veterans who served in Vietnam were the only ones dealing with herbicide exposure, maybe because it was the combat or war zone at that time? What the VA has done since the passage of Public Law 102-4 is to create obstacles for Veterans who did not serve in the confines of Vietnam. One obstacle is creating a “at or near the perimeter” rule for Thailand Veterans of the Vietnam War, while ignoring Veterans of Panama, Okinawa or stateside bases where herbicides were clearly stored or used, when these Veterans suffer and die from the effects of herbicide exposure dating back to the Vietnam War Era.
I have been working with various online Veterans groups and organizations as they work with legislators in an attempt to change federal law CFR Title 38 as it pertains to herbicide exposure for America’s Veterans. After reading through the Agent Orange Act of 1991 what I see staring out at me are two words “In Vietnam” which if amended or eliminated would remove the obstacles preventing presumptive service connection for herbicide exposure for service in the armed forces without regard to location or job description applied by the Veterans Administration. Why has this simple solution not been thought through or applied over the past 30 years after 1991? – I am The Real Truckmaster!
MeWe.Com/The_Real_Truckmaster_Series – 2021