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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We are usually swamped with emails from people looking for answers to the same types of questions. If you have questions check the FAQs before contacting us. Many of your questions may already have been answered in this forum.

Please be sure that you are unable to find the answer before emailing us. We are unable to keep up with the volume emails we receive daily.

You also might try joining our closed support group on facebook where you can connect with other families of veterans exposed to Agent Orange and ask questions.
Click here for support group: Living with Agent Orange

1) I’m sick, in pain and suffering; what can I do?
We are very sorry to hear that you sick, in pain and suffering. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to print out our Physicians Resource 2013   and bring it to your doctor.
If your doctor will not acknowledge that you are ill due to your veteran parent(s) service; then find a doctor who will.

Make a List of your Symptoms/Do Your Own Research: Most of our families have to do their own research to find answers. First thing you should do is make a list of your symptoms and begin your own research.

Visit our Reported Illness List: To begin your research visit our Reported Illness List and become familiar with the different kinds of birth defects, cancers, autoimmune and rare diseases your peers have reported to us.

High Incidence of Autoimmune and Rare Disease Among Children of Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange: We have found that there is a high incidence of autoimmune and rare diseases among the children of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange. As a result we recommend that you visit NORD Rare Disease Database to continue your research.

Routine Blood Tests do not Detect Autoimmune Disease: We have also learned that routine blood tests performed by your doctor annually will not detect autoimmune disease. You must test for the autoimmune disease in question if a blood test is available. Autoimmune diseases can also be difficult to diagnose because their symptoms can mimic many different kinds of other illnesses.

Rare Disease Difficult to Diagnose: Rare diseases are difficult to diagnose because so few people have them that doctors are unfamiliar with their symptoms. This is why so many of us end up doing our own research.

Children of Vietnam Veterans are at Risk: Our research indicates that the children of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange are at a much higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and many forms of cancer than the average American and at a much younger age.

Children of Vietnam Veterans are at Risk of Possible Organ Failure: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) states that there is untold suffering of persons with autoimmune diseases due to misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis which may result in damage to vital organs.

2) I’ve struggled with unexplained medical problems my whole life and I don’t know what to do; I would like more information.

Our research indicates that the children are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or many forms of cancer than the average American and at a much younger age.
The adult children and their children etc. are also at risk of suffering possible organ damage since there appears to be a high number of autoimmune diseases among the children of Vietnam veterans who have provided their health information to us.

The American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) states that there is untold suffering of persons with autoimmune diseases due to misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis which may result in damage to vital organs

Our research also shows that many of the children of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange suffer from rare diseases. Some rare diseases are also autoimmune diseases which makes diagnosis much more difficult. This leads to extended delayed diagnosis which is one of the causes of possible vital organ damage.

If you believe you are ill then you should visit the following links to begin your research:
• http://agentorangelegacy.blogspot.com/2013/05/reported-illness-list.html
• http://agentorangelegacy.blogspot.com/2013/05/register-now-important-message-to.html
•  http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases

3) Is there any genetic testing for Agent Orange dependents or blood test?  Generational victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin exposure were not exposed first hand or directly so getting a body burden test (blood test) would not be helpful. Even those who were exposed initially did not show any dioxin in their blood. The reason is that as time passes dioxin is eventually stored in the body fat.

However, some children of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange, who provided us with health information, have had genetic testing because they were diagnosed with a rare disease or a unexplained disease. The cases we are familiar with have all found a mutated gene. Mutated genes can be linked to chemical exposure.

Testing of this type is available but very expensive. There aren’t any programs or funding that we are aware of either. The usual process is as described above.

Our research tells us that body burden testing is the least expensive way to find out how much dioxin you might have been exposed to. If you weren’t exposed yourself then “Body Burden” testing will not be helpful to you. If you have lived in Vietnam you might benefit from such a test or if you have been exposed directly yourself.

4) My veteran parent passed away how do I get his/.her records?
Please visit this link for instructions.

5) Are there any benefits available?
At this time the only birth defect in the children of male Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange recognized by the VA is Spina Bifida (not occulta). There are many more birth defects recognized in the children of women Vietnam veterans.

The only other benefit available to the dependent of a service-connected veteran is the Helpless Child Program Ch.07-1.

6) How do I know if Agent Orange caused my birth defect(s) or illness(es)?
You don’t and neither do we, however.  We believe that your veteran parent(s) exposure to Agent Orange caused your birth defect and/or illness.  There are many organizations and groups working to prove it, scientifically.
The only birth defect linked to Agent Orange exposure in the children of male Vietnam veterans and recognized by the VA is Spina Bifida (not occulta).

Many more birth defects have been recognized in the children of women Vietnam veterans.  Birth defects in the children of women Vietnam veterans have not been linked to exposure to Agent Orange.

One of the things you can do to help is register with Birth Defect Research for Children National Birth Defect Registry.  If you are the child of a Vietnam veteran and your child is ill register your child with the above registry.

Birth Defect Research for children is spearheading a petition to build a Children’s Center to provide specific medical treatment to Vietnam Veterans’ children that are in dire need of specific medical treatment related to Agent Orange exposure.

Please read this blog post:  IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS: File Form 21-0304

*See important links at end of this page below.

7) Where can I get treatment?
Currently there isn’t any one place the children of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange can get treatment. We do have a LIST OF DOCTORS who have helped Vietnam veterans.  However, there is no way to know if they will also help the children since many doctors do not believe the children have been effected by their veteran parent(s) exposure to Agent Orange.

What is important is if you can find a doctor that will accept research that you do yourself, as well as any information you may find from our website or other similar groups; see Physicians Resource 2013.

There is a PETITION being circulated by Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC).  Betty Mekdeci, Director of BDRC is spearheaded the petition to build a Children’s Center to provide specific medical treatment related to Agent Orange exposure.
Vietnam Veterans of America is also working on legislation for the children’s center.

8) Can grandchildren of Vietnam veterans can be effected?
Yes, we believe that the grandchildren also suffer as a result of the grandparent(s) exposure to Agent Orange. We have heard reports that there is a high incidence of Autism among the grandchildren of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange. However, our research did not reveal this finding. See Reported Illnesses.

9) I am sick what will the VA do for me?
As far as we know the VA will not treat the children or successive generations of Vietnam veterans at their facilities. There is a chance if you call that they might advise you. VA hospitals and clinics only treat veterans. Vet Centers do provide counseling for the families of veterans. Find a Vet Center in your state.


10) My dad was in Vietnam and is a service-connected disabled veteran; how can I get help through my father’s claim with the VA?

There are a number of benefits for the dependents of service-connected disabled veterans. Among these are education benefits.  There also may be additional benefits at the state level.

There also is a Helpless Child Program Ch.07-1. The disabled veteran may also be eligible to receive additional funds for any dependent children.

Minors of a deceased disabled veteran are eligible to receive Dependents Indemnity Compensation (DIC)


11) I’m a Vietnam veteran and the VA turned down my claim for benefits; is there any help for my child?

The only benefits available to a child of a male Vietnam veteran, even if your claim is turned down, is for Spina Bifida (not occulta).


12) Will Agent Orange keep going from generation to generation?
See question eight (8) for answer.


13) I’m told there’s an organization “Order of the Silver Rose” listing veterans who died from Agent Orange caused illnesses with the goal of getting them acknowledged as Viet Nam casualties. Know anything about it?
Yes there is an organization called the “Order of the Silver Rose”. All reports suggest that they are no longer issuing medallions and are closed.

There are several programs honoring Vietnam veterans lost to Agent Orange:

Agent Orange Vietnam Veterans Memorial on facebook
Agent Orange Quilt of Tears
In Memory Program


14) I am sick and someone told me there might have been military exposures at that base where I was stationed; where can I find information on this?
There are several veterans and veterans group that are very knowledgeable about Agent Orange and the different locations it was stored.

Here are some recommended links for you can check out:
Agent Orange Okinawa
Agent Orange Awareness &; Info Yahoo Group
Agent Orange Guam

There is a group of veterans who were at Guam and exposed to Agent Orange. They might have some information that you might find helpful or could provide additional evidence.
Contact Information for Agent Orange Guam:

You should ask for Ralph Stanton or Master Sargent Foster.

-Ralph Stanton: rstanton@stjoelive.com
-Master Sargent Foster: retairforceman@aol.com

MILITARY BASES ON EPA SUPERFUND SITES LIST

Air Force Bases on listed as EPA Superfund Sites.

US Navy – Military Bases on EPA Superfund List

US Army – Military Bases on EPA Superfund List

US Coast Guard – Military Bases on EPA Superfund List


Note: We don’t know if this includes bases worldwide or not.


15) I am a vet dealing with the VA where can I find research about Agent Orange related illnesses?
There is a group on Yahoo which has many seasoned veterans who have information and experience with claims.

Visit Agent Orange Guam

There is a group of veterans who were at Guam and exposed to Agent Orange. They might have some information you might find helpful or could provide additional evidence.

Contact Information for Agent Orange Guam:

You should ask for Ralph Stanton or Master Sargent Foster.

-Ralph Stanton: rstanton@stjoelive.com
-Master Sargent Foster: retairforceman@aol.com


16) I’m doing research on Agent Orange for veteran’s benefits, where do I start?

Start your research with these links:
Veterans benefits and benefits for their families
How many served etc.

Agent Orange Updates from Institutes of Medicine
Resources & Support

If you children and grandchildren are ill register with Birth Defect Research for Children National Birth Defect Registry

17) I am doing research for a Agent Orange Research for Students, Can you help me?

We already have interview questions from one of the students that contacted us.  Click on Agent Orange Research for Students for the questions and our responses.


Important Web Links:
Agent Orange Legacy Reported Illness List
Birth Defect Research for Children’s (BDRC) National Birth Defect Registry
Birth Defect Research for Children veteran’s research
Journal Article written by Betty Mekdeci, Director of BDRC
Rare Disease Database NORD
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Agent Orange Dioxin and Other Toxic Substances Committee Birth Defects Position Paper
© 2013 Agent Orange Legacy

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