Agent Orange in Fort McClellan

Updated: July 21st, 2013

Please be aware that H.R. 2052 (The Fort McClellan Health Registry Act) is now H.R. 411. It is the same bill, just renamed when it was re-introduced in January of 2013.

If you were ever stationed at Ft McClellan, Alabama, in the years 1935 through 1999, during your military service then you were exposed to toxic chemicals. You need to file a claim with the VA for 100% service connection for toxic chemical exposure.

After serving at Ft. McClellan, did you or someone you know become sick with an illness or multiple illnesses that doctors could not explain? Were you ever diagnosed with an illness that simply did not make sense?

If you support care for our Veterans and/or you would like to see the US Government do right by Ft. McClellan alumni, please join our Facebook group here.

Original Article August 21st, 2012 by VFWlady Laurie Cox

Exposed Soldiers Await Acknowledgement & Action from VA, Monsanto, & Congressional Subcommittee on Health

There is a House Bill that stalled in the U.S. 112th Congress (H.R. 2052) called the Ft McClellan Health Registry Act.

It calls for the U.S. Government and the VA to act responsibly and take care of the health issues that soldiers experienced, and continue to suffer from today.

Why? These soldiers health issues are due to EPA recognized PCB exposure, which has damaging affects similar to Agent Orange exposure, while serving at  Ft McClellan, a U.S. Army base in Anniston, Alabama.

Fort McClellan Alabama, situated in the town of Anniston and the county of Calhoun Alabama, should retroactively inform all veterans stationed there from 1935-1999 to report immediately for independent health screenings to determine those who are most likely suffering from long term disability or diseases which are wholly matching to PCB exposure, Sarin Gas exposure, Germ Warfare exposure, (CN) Gas Exposure, and VX emission exposure.

Many people do not realize that PCB is a principal component of agent orange. Or that Monsanto was the company manufacturing PCB and helping the Military make agent orange. (Read: Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution) It is due to this relationship that Anniston, Alabama is the site of one of the worst (likely producing the highest number of) cases of chemical poisoning in U.S. history.  The machine had Monsanto dumping tons of PCBs into the town and Fort McClellan nearby where the Army had their only stateside factory producing live agents of agent orange.

The following facts apply:

1. No agency to date in Alabama or otherwise has made
any official notification to the McClellan veterans about
the town-wide PCB contamination zone which existed there
since the 1930′s from the former Monsanto and Solutia

2. Gulf War likened illnesses and syndromes have emerged
in the McClellan population group even though most are
from the Korean and Vietnam Era years of service.

Read This Heartbreaking Story from One Exposed Veteran:

Gary Cox, Ret., U.S. Army Military Police Corps
“We were exposed to toxic PCBs that were used in Agent Orange. These toxins cause many illnesses, tumors, cancer, birth defects……. After many cases and complaints, the EPA got involved in the 90s, Ft McClellan was deemed a hazardous waste site, and was shut down by 1999.

For years the solders and veterans were not told of the hazardous exposure they endured. There is plenty of documentation to support the bill and to show that something should have been done a long time ago.

While at Ft. McClellan in 1985, my wife and I found a bulge on my left rib cage.  I was told by the doctors there that it was “nothing”.  A few months later, while in Korea, I had to have exploratory surgery to remove a tumor that was there.  A year later doctors found another 13 1/2 pound rare tumor, that left me disabled. Since then I have had many other problems, including diabetes.

Please help me and the others fighting to get word spread about this issue. If you, or someone you know has ever spent any time at all at Ft McClellan, AL it is a must to check into. If you support the troops and veterans, and want justice for us, please re-post this to spread the word.”

Thank you,
Gary Cox
Ret., U.S. Army Military Police Corps

The 2013-2014 (H.R.411) – Fort McClellan Health Registry Act

There is one summary of the bill shown Here: http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/411  Introduced in House (01/23/2013)

Fort McClellan Health Registry Act – Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish and maintain a special record to be known as the Fort McClellan Health Registry containing the name of each individual who, while serving in the Armed Forces, was stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, during the period beginning on January 1, 1935, and ending on May 20, 1999, and who: (1) applies for care or services from the VA; (2) files a claim for compensation on the basis of any disability which may be associated with such service; (3) dies and is survived by a spouse, child, or parent who files a claim for dependency and indemnity compensation on the basis of such service; (4) requests a health examination from the VA; or (5) receives such health examination and requests inclusion in the Registry. Requires the Secretary, upon request, to provide such health examination, as well as consultation and counseling with respect to examination results.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) notify individuals in the Registry of significant developments in research on the health consequences of potential exposure to a toxic substance or environmental hazard related to service at Fort McClellan; and (2) carry out appropriate outreach activities with respect to such health examinations, consultation, and counseling.

As of July 18, 2013 the current bill has 29 Cosponsors:

Read Related Stories about Ft McClellan Agent Orange Exposure :

Diseases Associated with Agent Orange and Known Exposure Locations

As of July 2012, this is the list of Veterans Diseases that the VA recognizes as being associated with Agent Orange exposure and the current list of admitted locations that Agent Orange was sprayed or stored.

The VA assumes that certain diseases can be related to a Veteran’s qualifying military service. They call these “presumptive diseases.”  VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for disability compensation or survivors’ benefits for these diseases. Here is the current list.

  • AL Amyloidosis
    A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs
  • Chronic B-cell Leukemias
    A type of cancer which affects white blood cells
  • Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
    A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA’s rating regulations, chloracne (or other acneform disease similar to chloracne) must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
    A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
    A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
    A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart, that leads to chest pain
  • Multiple Myeloma
    A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue
  • Parkinson’s Disease
    A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement
  • Peripheral Neuropathy, Acute and Subacute
    A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides and resolve within two years after the date it began.
  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
    A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
  • Prostate Cancer
    Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men
  • Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer)
    Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
    A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues

Children with Birth Defects: VA presumes certain birth defects in children of Vietnam and Korea Veterans associated with Veterans’ qualifying military service.

Veterans with ALS: VA presumes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnosed in all Veterans who had 90 days or more continuous active military service is related to their service, although ALS is not related to Agent Orange exposure.

Locations:

Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam were tested or stored elsewhere, including some military bases in the United States.

Yearly Agent Orange Newslsetter

VA’s Environmental Health Program publishes the Agent Orange Review newsletters, providing information especially for Veterans who served in Vietnam.

Subscribe to email updates and notices of published newsletters.

Below is an archive of all newsletters by date.
2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000
1990-1999 | 1982-1989

Live healthy

There are steps Veterans can take to help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other common diseases of aging. Get the recommended health screenings, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and don’t smoke. Go to www.prevention.va.gov to learn more about healthy living.

How to Fast Track your Agent Orange Claim

AGENT ORANGE Fast Track Claims Processing System

With recent reports of VA Disability Claim backlogs approaching the 1 million mark, and an average 125 day wait, this is valuable information for Agent Orange exposed veterans filing claims for the first time.

The Agent Orange Fast Track Claims Processing System is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website that is dedicated to processing claims for Vietnam Veterans who are filing first-time service connection claims for any of the following conditions:

Exposed veterans can use the website to apply for disability benefits for these conditions if they served in the Republic of Vietnam or in-land waterways between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.  Veterans who have previously applied for service connection for these conditions, or who wish to apply for service connection for any additional conditions,  should apply using the traditional claims process at the nearest VA Regional Office or visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Agent Orange Fast Track has many features to expedite the claims process.

  • You can submit an application for benefits and evidence supporting your claim;
  • You can view your claim status;
  • You can view a list of evidence VA has received;
  • Your physician can submit evidence online; and can also send hardcopy evidence to the Fast Track Claims Processing System.

UPDATE: All veterans can now electronically file and submit copies of medical evidence in support of their claim. See the VA eBenefits for more information.

Asbestos Exposure During Military Service and Pleural Mesothelioma

Countless veterans are currently suffering from life-threatening illnesses that are a result of exposure to asbestos.  Asbestos is a material that was commonly used in hundreds of military applications such as cement, clutches, valves, brakes, gaskets, boilers and ships primarily because of its resistance to fire. Although lesser known than Agent Orange, asbestos exposure has been proven as one of the contributing causes of pleural mesothelioma.

As a result of their exposure during military service, U.S. veterans account for a sizable percentage of pleural mesothelioma patients. Naval veterans are in one of the highest risk groups, and this is a result of the mass amount of asbestos material used on naval vessels. Navy veterans who worked in shipyards or aboard vessels experienced more asbestos exposure than the average member of the Armed Forces and can claim benefits from the VA system for this service-related condition.

The website PleuralMesothelioma.com  has the most up to date and comprehensive information about Pleural Mesothelioma on the web today; with information ranging from a complete list of symptoms, to treatment options and steps to take after a diagnosis.