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Vietnam War Veterans Health Issues

VA provides support for Agent Orange exposure and its related health issues

A group of veterans stands and talks while planting American flags.It's important to understand the health care needs of Vietnam War Veterans because of the long-term effects of military service during the Vietnam War era. If you served during the Vietnam War, including Veterans who served on Blue Water Navy vessels or Coast Guard ships, you may be at risk of certain health conditions. Understanding these needs will allow you to receive better care.

Learn about these conditions and what to do next to take care of your health.

Health risks related to the Vietnam War

What you can do now

Take these steps to make sure you're taking care of your health:

  1. Get your toxic exposure screening. This makes your VA health care team aware of any potential exposures to toxins during your military service. 

  2. Talk to your primary health care provider or your local VA environmental health coordinator about other health concerns related to your military service. Remember, you can use Secure Messaging (sign in required) to send a private note to your doctor if you have any questions or worries.

  3. Ask your local VA environmental health coordinator about getting a free Agent Orange Registry health exam.

  4. Find out if you can get benefits from any illness or injury caused, or made worse, by your active-duty service, such as illness-related to Agent Orange or contact with hazardous materials.

Be sure your doctor knows if you have a history of Agent Orange exposure. Because of the possibility of increased cancer risk, your doctor may suggest cancer screening tests and to report any symptoms as soon as they appear.

Expanded eligibility and benefits through the PACT Act

The PACT Act expands eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras. The PACT Act also added 2 new Agent Orange presumptive conditions, 5 new Agent Orange presumptive-exposure locations, and 3 new radiation presumptive-exposure locations for Vietnam Era Veterans. To see a complete list of the new presumptive conditions and locations, visit The PACT Act and your VA benefits.

With a My HealtheVet Premium account, you can send your health care team a Secure Message to discuss any possible toxic exposure in your service history. 

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