Town hall aims to help Vietnam veterans affected by Agent Orange

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 24, 2015 3:34 AM

Photo by Originally from U.S. Army Operations in Vietnam, R.W. Trewyn, Ph.D.

U.S. Huey helicopter spraying Agent Orange over Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

(Harrisburg) -- Veterans in the midstate, like many in the U.S., are still dealing with the fallout from the U.S. military's decision to use a deadly chemical in the Vietnam War.

The military sprayed more than 11 million gallons of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, but it's unclear exactly how many U.S. soldiers were affected.

A town hall tomorrow night aims to help them find assistance.

Agent Orange was used to expose enemy fighters in Vietnam by killing trees and plants served as cover or food.

The Central Pennsylvania Vietnam Roundtable wants to educate veterans who may have been exposed, and show them their options in receiving care.

First of all, the group's Richard Burton says all who may have come in contact with the chemical should at least register on the V.A.'s website.

"And most were not aware of what was being used, or what effects their service would have on their health, their children's health, or even their grandchildren's health," says Burton.

He says experts will be able to help with a second, or third step.

"To help veterans either think about filing a claim, or they have a claim that's been disallowed or denied that maybe some of these individuals can point the veteran in the right area," he adds.

Burton, who served in Vietnam but wasn't affected by Agent Orange, points out it's linked to at least 15 diseases, including cancers and heart disease.

Depending on the severity of the after-effects, single veterans are eligible for more than $3,000 a month.

The town hall is scheduled for 6-9 pm Saturday at the Vietnam Veterans Hall, 8000 Derry Street in Harrisburg.

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