VA Expands List of Ships with Agent Orange Risk

Military Times: By Patricia Kime – Staff writer The Veterans Affairs Department has added 47 vessels to its list of Navy and Coast Guard ships whose crews may have been exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange. Former service members who served aboard these “blue water” ships as well as the more than 200 others listed in VA’s database from 1962 to 1975 may be eligible for disability compensation. Vessels recently added to the roster include the hospital ship Repose, which operated in close coastal waters from 1966 to 1970, and the transport ship General R.M. Blatchford, which landed elements of the 1st Infantry Division at Vung Tau in October 1965. The online inventory is not fixed; it is updated periodically as veterans or VA staff provide or find evidence that a ship moored, operated close to shore or traversed an inland waterway where its crew risked exposure to the toxic herbicide. VA pays disability compensation to qualifying veterans or their survivors for 14 medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange.