Agent Orange in Fort McClellan

Updated: August 11, 2014

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 :

Agent Orange: Herbicide Exposure in US Thailand Bases 1961-1975

Report on Defense Tactics in Thailand

A recently declassified Department of Defense (DoD) Report written in 1973 titled, “Project CHECO Southeast Asia Report: Base Defense in Thailand 1968-1972,” contains evidence that there was a significant use of herbicides on the fenced-in perimeters of military bases in Thailand to remove foliage that provided cover for enemy forces.

VA determined that herbicides used on the Thailand base perimeters may have been tactical and procured from Vietnam, or a strong, commercial type resembling tactical herbicides.

Agent Orange: Thailand Military Bases

Vietnam-era Veterans whose service involved duty on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may have been exposed to herbicides and may qualify for VA benefits.

The following Veterans may have been exposed to herbicides:

  • U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases at U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. However, the Army Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned an MP military
    occupational specialty whose duty placed him/her
    at or near the base perimeter
    .

To receive benefits for diseases associated with herbicide exposure, these Veterans must show on a factual basis that they were exposed to herbicides during their service as shown by evidence of daily work duties, performance evaluation reports, or other credible evidence.

VA Benefits

Veterans

Eligible Veterans may receive the following VA benefits:

  • Agent Orange registry health exam: A free, comprehensive examination. Veterans who may have been exposed to herbicides during a military operation or as a result of testing, transporting, or spraying herbicides for military purposes may be eligible.
  • Health care benefits: A full range of medical benefits. There are many ways a Veteran may qualify.
  • Disability compensation benefits: A monthly payment for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure. Veterans who believe they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides outside of Vietnam must show on a factual basis that they were exposed in order to receive disability compensation for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.
  • Other benefits: Home loans, vocational rehabilitation, education, and more

Children and Survivors

Surviving spouses, children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides and died as the result of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure may be eligible for benefits. These benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, education, home loan and health care benefits. Find out if you qualify for survivors’ benefits.

Need Help Determining Exposure or Eligibility?

Contact VA for help determining Agent Orange exposure and your eligibility for VA benefits.

By Telephone

In Person

Rolling Thunder Memorial Day Weekend POW/MIA Observance

The Rolling Thunder Memorial weekend “Ride” began in 1987 with 2500 patriotic motorcycle enthusiasts.  It was organized by a group of Vietnam Veterans who wanted to bring attention to the POW/MIA’s that were left behind after the Vietnam War ended.   Today, more than 250,000 motorcyclists participate in this annual ride through the streets of Washington D.C.  Assuring that the U.S. Government “Never Forgets” that all soldiers left behind deserve to make it home.

Join in the 2012 “Ride For Freedom”

Like Patriotic Motorcycle Runs?  Check out these:

2011 Nation of Patriots “Patriot Tour”

2nd Annual “Never Forget” Ride

Vietnam Era, Navy and Coast Guard Ships Identified as Having Been Exposed to Agent Orange

Update: Blue Water Veterans Agent Orange Report

Agent Orange: U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Ships in Vietnam

September 5th, 2011
The VA has released an updated list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships associated with military service in Vietnam and possible exposure to Agent Orange based on military records.

This evolving list will help Veterans who served aboard ships, including “Blue Water Veterans,” find out if they may qualify for presumption of herbicide exposure.

Veterans must meet VA’s criteria for service in Vietnam, which includes aboard boats on the inland waterways or brief visits ashore, to be presumed to have been exposed to herbicides.

Veterans who qualify for presumption of herbicide exposure are not required to show they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides when seeking VA compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.

Find Your Ship

Ships or boats that were part of the Mobile Riverine Force, Inshore Fire Support (ISF) Division 93 or had one of the following designations operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam. Veterans whose military records confirm they were aboard these ships qualify for presumption of herbicide exposure.

During your Vietnam tour, did your ship or boat have one of the following designations?

Alphabetized Ship List

If your vessel is not included in the Mobile Riverine Force, ISF Division 93 or above designations, check VA’s Alphabetized Ship List.

——————————————————————————————————

Previous report: June 20, 2011

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently addressed the findings on the affects of Agent Orange on Blue Water Sailors — those who served on deep water Navy or Coast Guard vessels. In summary, the report stated that the exposure of Vietnam-era Blue Water Navy Veterans to Agent Orange cannot reasonably be determined due to a lack of data on environmental concentrations of Agent Orange contaminants.
The VA is telling Blue Water Navy Veterans who feel they were exposed to AO should submit claims and apply for benefits, despite the reports findings.Read more on the Military Advantage Blog.
—————————————————————————————————————————-

The following is a list of  Vietnam Era, Navy and Coast Guard Ships Already Identified as Having Been Exposed to Agent Orange:

All vessels of Inshore Fire Support [IFS] Division 93 during their entire Vietnam tour:

. USS Carronade (IFS 1)
. USS Clarion River (LSMR 409) [Landing Ship, Medium, Rocket]
. USS Francis River (LSMR 525)
. USS White River (LSMR 536)

. All vessels with the designation LST [Landing Ship, Tank] during their entire tour [WWII ships converted to transport supplies on rivers and serve as barracks for brown water Mobile Riverine Forces]

. All vessels with the designation LCVP [Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel]
during their entire tour

. All vessels with the designation PCF [Patrol Craft, Fast] during their
entire tour [Also called Swift Boats, operating for enemy interdiction on
close coastal waters]

. All vessels with the designation PBR [Patrol Boat, River] during their
entire tour [Also called River Patrol Boats as part of the Mobile Riverine
Forces operating on inland waterways and featured in the Vietnam film
"Apocalypse Now"]

. USS Ingersoll (DD-652) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River, October
24-25,1965]

. USS Mansfield (DD-728) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River August
8-19,1967 and December 21-24,1968]

. USS Richard E. Kraus (DD-849) [Destroyer] [Operated on coastal inlet north

of Da Nang, June 2-5, 1966, protecting Marines holding a bridge]

. USS Basilone (DD-824) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River, May 24-25,
1966]

. USS Hamner (DD-718) [Destroyer] [Operated on Song Lon Tao and Long Song
lao Rivers, August 15-September 1, 1966]

. USS Conway (DD-507) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River, early August
1966]

. USS Fiske (DD-842) [Destroyer] [Operated on Mekong River, June 16-21,
1966]

. USS Black (DD-666) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River, July 13-19,1966]

. USS Providence (CLG-6) [Cruiser, Light, Guided Missile] [Operated on
Saigon River 3 days during January 1964]

USDVA Issues List Of Ships That Qualify For Presumptive Agent Orange Exposure

. USS Mahan (DLG-11) [Guided Missile Frigate] [Operated on Saigon River
October 24-28,1964]

. USS Okanogan (APA-220) [Attack Transport] [Operated on Saigon River July
22-23, 29-30,1968 and August 5-6, 1968]

. USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) [Combat Stores Ship] [Unloaded supplies on
Saigon River and Cam Rahn Bay,

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) has added the below
named ships to the already existing list for Navy and Coast Guard ships and
vessels that are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.  If you
serve on any of these mentioned ships and you have had a claim denied, you
should reapply citing the VA list as the source for your reapplication.
NAUS advises that the VA is already working on a third list that will have
more ships listed.  If you have a claim and evidence the ship you served on
was in Vietnamese waters and/or actually tied up to a dock there, make sure
you include that with your claim.

Vessels that operated primarily or exclusively on the inland waterways:

All U.S. Coast Guard Cutters with hull designation WPB [patrol boat] and
WHEC [high endurance cutters]
USS Mark (AKL-12) [light cargo ship]
USS Brule (AKL-28)
USS Patapsco (AOG-1) [gasoline tanker]
USS Elkhorn (AOG-7)
USS Genesee (AOG-8)
USS Kishwaukee (AOG-9)
USS Tombigbee (AOG-11)
USS Noxubee (AOG-56)
USS Okanogan (APA-210) [attack transport]
USS Montrose (APA-212)
USS Bexar (APA-237)
USS Benewah (APB-35) [self-propelled barracks ship]
USS Colleton (APB-36)
USS Mercer (APB-39)
USS Nueces (APB-40)
Barracks Barge (APL-26 [sleeping quarters]
Barracks Barge (APL-30)
USS Tutuila (ARG-4) [repair ship]
USS Satyr (ARL-23) [ repair ship]
USS Sphinx (ARL-24)
USS Askari (ARL-30)
USS Indra (ARL-37)
USS Krishna (ARL-38)
USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) [landing ship dock]
USS Comstock (LSD-19)
USS Tortuga (LSD-26)
USS Asheville (PG-84) [patrol gunboat]
USS Gallop (PG-85)
USS Antelope (PG-86)
USS Ready (PG-87)
USS Crockett (PG-88)
USS Marathon (PG-89)
USS Canon (PG-90)
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-17) [repair, berthing, and messing barge]
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-18)
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-20)
Winnemucca (YTB-785) [harbor tug]

Vessels that operated temporarily on Vietnam’s inland waterways or docked to
the shore:

USS Card (ACV-11) [escort carrier] [mined, sunk, and salvaged in Saigon
River Harbor during May 1964]
USS Maury (AGS-16) [mapping survey ship] [conducted surveys of Mekong Delta
and other coastal areas and rivers beginning November 1965 through 1969]
USS Henrico (APA-45) [amphibious attack transport] [operated on Hue River
during March 1965 and conducted numerous troop landings through March 1967]
USS Montrose (APA-212) [operated on Song Hue River during December 1965,
operated on Long Tau River during March 1967, and operated on Cua Viet River
and at Dong Ha during May 1967]
USS Talladega (APA-208) [operated on Saigon River during October 1967]
USS Bolster (ARS-38) [salvage ship] [crew operated on land]
USS Canberra (CAG-2) [guided missile cruiser] [operated on Saigon River from
March 31 through April 1, 1966, on Cua Viet River during December 15, 1966,
and on Mekong Delta Ham Luong River during January 15, 1967]
USS Sproston (DD-577) [destroyer] [operated on Mekong Delta and Ganh Rai Bay
during January 1966]
USS Picking (DD-685) [operated on Saigon River during November 16, 1965]
USS Epperson (DD-719) [docked to Da Nang Pier on October 4, 1970]
USS Southerland (DD-743) [operated on Song Nga Bay and Saigon River during
July 1966]
USS John W. Thomason (DD-760) [operated on Nga Be River during 1969]
USS Buck (DD-761) [operated on Mekong River Delta and Saigon River during
October 1966]
USS Preston (DD-795) [operated on Mekong River Delta, Ganh Rai Bay, and
Saigon River during September 28-29 and December 27-29, 1965]
USS Warrington (DD-843) [operated on Mekong River Delta Rung Sat Special
Zone, North of Vung Gahn Rai Bay during March 1967]
USS Dyess (DD-880) [operated on Saigon River and Rung Sat Special Zone from
June 19 - July 1, 1966]
USS Perkins (DD-877) [operated on Saigon River during June 1969]
USS Orleck (DD-886) [operated on Mekong River Delta during July 1969]
USS Joseph Stauss (DDG-16) [guided missile destroyer] [operated on Mekong
River Delta and Ganh Rai Bay during November 7 and December 7, 1968]
USS Waddell (DDG-24) [operated on Cua Viet River during March 1967]
USS Newell (DER-322) [radar destroyer escort] [docked at Port of Nha Trang
during December 22-24, 1965]
USS Duluth (LPD-6) [amphibious transport dock] [docked to Pier at Da Nang
during March and October 1971]
USS Cleveland (LPD-7) [operated on Cua Viet River and at Dong Ha, as well as
Hue River, from November 1967 through 1968 and Saigon River during September 1969
USS Dubuque (LPD-8) [docked at Da Nang on March 15, 1970]
USS Boxer (LPH-4) [amphibious assault ship] [docked to Pier at Cam Rahn Bay
on September 9, 1965]
USS Carter Hall (LSD-3) [landing ship dock] [operated on Cua Viet River and
at Dong Ha during December 1967]
[Source: NAUS Weekly update 25 Jun 2010++]