Agent Orange Exposure Fairness Act
Rep. Courtney stands with Gerry Wright, a Vietnam veteran from Andover, CT who has raised awareness on Agent Orange exposure
Congress has worked for decades to right the wrongs committed against our servicemembers through their exposure to the toxic Agent Orange defoliant during their service in Vietnam and elsewhere. Unfortunately, some of our servicemembers have been left behind.
Of the fourteen diseases currently recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs as being linked to Agent Orange exposure, three have an additional requirement that a veteran demonstrates that the disease manifested within a year of their service in Vietnam. These manifestation periods create avoidable legal struggles and a fundamental unfairness for many of our Vietnam veterans. The dangers of Agent Orange were not well understood until years after the end of the Vietnam War and Congress did not act to require compensation for exposed veterans until the Veterans’ Dioxin and Radiation Exposure Compensation Standards Act passed in 1984, nearly a decade after the end of the conflict in 1975.
I believe it was unreasonable in 1984 to require a veteran to provide documentation of when their symptoms began so long after the fact and so long before a connection to Agent Orange was established. It is even more unreasonable to ask them to do so today.
That's why I have introduced H.R. 566, the Agent Orange Exposure Fairness Act, which would simply remove these one-year manifestation requirements from the three diseases already linked to Agent Orange exposure. This bipartisan bill is strongly supported by major Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Information about the Agent Orange Exposure Fairness Act:
Support for the Agent Orange Exposure Fairness Act:
- American Legion
- American Veterans (AMVETS)
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
- The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA)
More on Agent Orange Exposure Fairness Act
A Vietnam veteran who says he was left sterilised by Agent Orange has ridden more 10,000 miles across the US on a motorcycle to rally support to change compensation rules.
Gerry Wright, 70, is one of thousands of former soldiers who sprayed the herbicide during the Vietnam War to kill dense vegetation that provided cover for Viet Cong troops.
Agent Orange has since been acknowledged as causing Parkinson's disease, leukemia, diabetes, prostate cancer and other devastating illnesses.
After a six-week cross-country motorcycle ride, Andover resident Gerry Wright has more than mileage to show for his effort.
Wright rode more than 10,000 miles throughout May and June to raise awareness of the diseases many veterans suffer from because of their exposure to Agent Orange during their service in the Vietnam War.