Agent Orange Will Be Focus of March 8 Town Hall Meeting in Kansas

After successful town hall meetings on Agent Orange last year, the Vietnam Veterans of America will host additional ones in coming months, said Topekan Roland Mayhew.

VVA Chapter 604 is presenting information on Agent Orange from 1 to 3 p.m. March 8 at the Prairie Band Casino and Resort, 12305 150th Road in Mayetta.

The meeting will take place in the St. Lawrence Conference Room, Mayhew said. All veterans and their family members are invited to attend.

Packets of information will be handed out to attendees. Experts also will be on hand to answer questions.

More than 200 people attended a meeting at Prairie Band Casino and Resort in March 2014, said Mayhew, who served with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam in 1966.

Agent Orange was a defoliant deployed during the Vietnam War. The U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides on trees and vegetation during the Vietnam War, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. At least 3 million veterans served in Southeast Asia, and it isnt known exactly how many were exposed to Agent Orange.

Exposure to Agent Orange has led to birth defects and health problems in Mayhews family. He also suffers from complications from his exposure.

VVA also had meetings in Hays and Salina in 2014.

They were very successful, Mayhew said. We touched over 500 Vietnam veterans.

Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits for diseases that have been recognized as associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides. Some of those diseases include diabetes, Hodgkins disease, heart disease, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Parkinsons, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers and soft tissue sarcomas, according to a VA Health Care Agent Orange Review.

Surviving spouses, children and dependent parents of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and died as a result of diseases associated with Agent Orange also may be eligible for survivors benefits, according to the VA review from 2012.

For information on the March town hall meeting, call Thomas Wabnum at (785) 966-4016, Mayhew at (785) 249-4517 or Blas Ortiz at (785) 554-3949.

Children and grandchildren of Vietnam veterans also have reported serious unexplained illnesses, according to the Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance. For more information on COVVHA, visit

The VA also in June 2014 launched the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, which allows veterans to document their exposures and report health concerns. Eligible veterans include those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, Djibouti, Africa, after Sept. 11, 2001, Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm or the Southwest Asia theater of operations after Aug. 2, 1990, according to the VA. For information on the burn pit registry, visit



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