Thursday, September 26, 2013


Orange Crush - Part 4

Part IV of our veterans’ exposure to herbicides during the Vietnam War.

In addition to the planned dumps of herbicides, accidental and intentional dumps of defoliants over populated areas and into the water supplies was not unusual, according to government documents.

A memorandum for the record dated October 31, 1967, and signed by Col. W.T. Moseley, chief of MACV's Chemical Operations Division, reported an emergency dump of herbicide far from the intended target.  At approximately 1120 hours, October 29, 1967, aircraft #576 made an emergency dump of herbicide in Long Khanh Province due to failure of one engine and loss of power in the other. Approximately 1,000 gallons of herbicide WHITE were dumped from an altitude of 2,500 feet. No mention was made of wind speed or direction, but chemicals dropped from that height had the potential to drift a long way. 

 "Shouldn't there be a cutoff date—either in age or years since service in Vietnam—for disabilities that may be related to Agent Orange? At some point, the system now goes far beyond what the law requires—resolving reasonable doubt about the degree of disability in favor of the veteran, after careful consideration of all available data—as Veterans Affairs is required to do."
Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 2001 - 2005

The Law

§3.102  Reasonable doubt.

            It is the defined and consistently applied policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs to administer the law under a broad interpretation, consistent, however, with the facts shown in every case. When, after careful consideration of all procurable and assembled data, a reasonable doubt arises regarding service origin, the degree of disability, or any other point, such doubt will be resolved in favor of the claimant. 

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