After over a decade fighting the VA for benefits, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran client finally won his case by proving to VA that he was exposed to Agent Orange while stationed in Okinawa in 1972. In the years since his service in Okinawa, the Veteran developed multiple illnesses known to be presumptively related to exposure to Agent Orange (dioxin).
He began his fight with VA in 2012, eventually going before 2 Veterans Law Judges, before receiving a decision in late 2023 that acknowledged his exposure to Agent Orange. The Judge stated,
However, in support of his assertions, the Veteran submitted articles to substantiate his claims he was exposed to Agent Orange in Okinawa. An October 2015 article entitled “Agent Orange Dioxin, Toxic Dumps at Okinawa US Military Base” referenced a United States Forces Japan report that specified the detection of dioxin, an Agent Orange component, on Okinawa after water and soil testing. A Map of Defoliants (including Agent Orange) on Okinawa based on veterans’ testimonies showed reports of herbicide storage at Camp Hansen. “Agent Orange on Okinawa,” authored by Jon Mitchell, reflects his research into the presence of military defoliants, including Agent Orange, on Okinawa during the 1960s and 1970s. His research included testimonies from over 20 veterans that served on the island regarding the storage, spraying, and burial of dioxin-tainted chemicals. Finally, the article, “Okinawa’s Agent Orange fears return with the discovery of buried US barrels,” featured in the South China Morning Post, details the discovery of 15 barrels bearing the name of Dow Chemical that were discovered on the grounds of a former US Airforce base in Okinawa.
The Veteran submitted photographs of himself while stationed in Okinawa. One photograph in particular depicted the Veteran surrounded by sandbags and numerous large barrels.
This is a huge win for this Marine Corps Veteran, who will now begin receiving the VA disability benefits he deserves.
If you have any questions about VA disability, the qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys at Gardberg and Kemmerly want to help in any way possible. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call our office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama. We would love an opportunity to discuss your claim.