WYSO

Disability Benefits Possible For Reservists Exposed To Agent Orange

Jun 15, 2015

"Patches" is one of the C-123 cargo planes used to spray Agent Orange. It's now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Credit Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The Department of Veterans Affairs is now saying that Air Force reservists who became ill after being exposed to Agent Orange residue while working on planes after the Vietnam War should be eligible for disability benefits.

The VA says it's been working to finalize a rule that could cover more than 2,000 military personnel who flew or worked on Fairchild C-123 aircraft from 1972 to 1982. Many of the planes were used to spray Agent Orange in Vietnam.
 

The proposal awaits approval by the White House budget office. It would be the first time the VA has established a special category of exposure for those in the military who lacked "boots on the ground" or inland waterways service in Vietnam.
 

An announcement is expected as early as this coming week.