According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. military used Agent Orange to spray trees and bushes in Vietnam during the 1960s and early 1970s. The chemical provided them with a way to destroy all the foliage, making it hard for the enemy to hide.
However, the lasting health effects of those exposures, including increases in cancer risk, are still being questioned.
Clement thinks it is important to bring this to light again because it is not talked about in the media anymore, and the veterans need to be compensated for their health issues. She said she was married to a man who came home from Vietnam a completely different person, both physically and mentally. He died at the age of 41.
“We are just now receiving fairly conclusive evidence that the government has finally acknowledged a few ailments, syndromes and diseases,” Clement said. “They are beginning to monetarily issue payments for the veterans who are sick and have only received a slight percent of payments due to the war.”
The town hall meeting will be held in Krieger Hall, Room 109, at Concordia University, 4090 Geddes Road in Ann Arbor, from 1-5 p.m. Saturday.
The following numbers are available for veterans to call to reapply for compensation or for compensation continuation: 313-961-9568 or 313-226-4181.
To read more of this story by Stephanie Lulofs, see today's print edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.