Agent Orange Awareness Day is an annual observance created to raise understanding about the effects of the herbicide known as Agent Orange. The substance was widely used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War and thousands of service members and civilians were exposed.
Observed on August 10, Agent Orange Awareness Day marks the day the substance was first used in Vietnam. It is meant to pay tribute to those who were exposed to the toxic spray. The observance is important because it helps raise awareness about the health issues experienced by those who were exposed to the substance, and to help prevent future mistakes when it comes to the use of chemicals in warfare.
There is no official way to observe Agent Orange Awareness Day. Many people remember loved ones and friends who are impacted by Agent Orange. Another way to bring awareness is to educate others who may not be aware of the history of this substance and how it affects others.
Around 50,000 of the veterans currently living in West Virginia served during the Vietnam War era. Many of them were exposed to Agent Orange. You may be one of these veterans, or you may know one. We can help connect veterans to benefits they are eligible to receive because of a sickness or injury caused by their service.
One federal benefit is disability compensation. Disability compensation is paid to veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury or resulting from service, including Agent Orange.
Some of the illnesses related to Agent Orange exposure include:
- AL amyloidosis
- Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Diabetes Mellitus, Type II
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Respiratory Cancer such as bronchus cancer, larynx cancer, lung cancer, trachea cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma
- Multiple Myeloma
Veterans and family members concerned about Agent Orange exposure are urged to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to schedule an appointment for an Agent Orange Registry health exam. Your local WVDVA benefits office can give you the information for how to set up this appointment. There is no fee for eligible veterans to get examined for such exposure.
Contact one of our Veteran Service Officers at a Benefits Office to find out more. You can find the closest Benefits Office here: https://veterans.wv.gov/field-office/Pages/default.aspx.