DATE: November 8, 2012
CONTACT: Andrea Busada, Director
Broward County Elderly and Veterans Services Division
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recently implemented new procedures to assess physical injuries to Vietnam veterans and these important changes can help Broward County veterans who served in Southeast Asia.
“It’s really the Vietnam veterans who can benefit the most from this program that assists those with possible exposure to herbicides, such as Agent Orange,” said Owen Walker, manager of the Veterans Services Section of the Broward County Elderly and Veterans Services Division.
The U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides on trees and vegetation during the Vietnam War to help expose possible enemy locations. “Now, all these decades later, concerns about the health effects of these chemicals on our veterans continue,” said Walker.
To help Vietnam veterans – those who served from 1961 to 1975 – the VA has established a free Agent Orange Registry health exam to alert veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to Agent Orange exposure. This affects military men and women who served in Vietnam, Korea and Thailand.
The free, comprehensive health exam includes an exposure history, medical history, physical exam and any tests, if needed. A VA health professional will discuss the results personally with the veteran and in a follow-up letter. In Broward, this exam can be conducted at the Broward County VA Outpatient Clinic, 9800 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac.
Veterans who take the Agent Orange health exam can file a claim for disability compensation. During the claims process, VA will check military records to verify exposure to Agent Orange. “After the exam, any Broward County veteran who would like to file a claim for disability compensation can contact our office for free assistance,” said Walker.
For more information, call 954-357-6622 or visit Elderly and Veterans Services.