Episode 2509 – Prof Olson – VA Agent Orange policy for Vietnam Vets who served in Thailand

Udorn Royal Tahhai Air Force Base, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Udorn Royal Tahhai Air Force Base

Episode 2509 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a look at the VA’s Agent Orange policy toward Vietnam Vets who served in Thailand. The information shared in this episode is a portion of the report created by the Merry Band of Retirees titled, Use of Agent Purple, Agent Orange and Agent Blue on Royal Thai Air Force Base Perimeters in Thailand during the Vietnam War.

The paper was submitted by Kenneth R. Olson and Larry Cihacek. Olson was a professor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois [krolson@illinois.edu]. He is a US Army Vietnam Era Veteran and professor emeritus of soil science. Cihacek is a professor at the School of Natural Resource Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota. He is US Army veteran and professor of soil science.

In this episode, the following portion of the paper that is titled 2.5 VA Should Presume Exposure to Herbicide Agents for all Thailand Veterans? Thailand Veterans Were Exposed to the Same Agents as Vietnam Veterans will be featured. According to Olson and Cihacek, Before the PACT Act was enacted on August 10, 2022, the Veterans Administration’s (VA’s) application of its Thailand perimeter policy only conceded exposure for service members with a security-related military occupational specialty (MOS), such as military police, who conducted foot patrols at the perimeter.  In such a strict application, the VA arbitrarily ignored its own policy of conceding herbicide exposure for veterans who served near the perimeter.

Five bases in Thailand, including Nakhon Phanom (NKP), Ubon, Korat, U-Tapao and Udorn endured sniper fire interdiction, perimeter penetration, and sapper (combat engineer) attacks. Nam Phong an eighth Royal Thai Air Force base was used by the United States Marine Corps air operations starting in 1972. The Rules of Engagement (ROE)  provided authorization and limits for the employment of herbicides throughout the Southeast Asian conflict.

Listen to episode 2509 and discover more about the VA’s Agent Orange policy toward Vietnam Vets who served in Thailand.

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