The C-123 Veterans Association is an informal organization of approximately 1,600 United States Air Force veterans who, after the end of the Vietnam War, flew C-123 aircraft that had been used to spray Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam. Numerous toxicology studies have been conducted on the aircraft since 1979 which demonstrate that the aircraft were contaminated with dioxin, an extremely toxic compound contained in military herbicides. The Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has resisted recognizing that post-war C-123 aircraft personnel were, like Vietnam veterans, exposed to dioxin. As a result, the VA has failed to acknowledge that many of the cancers and other serious health problems suffered by the C-123 veterans are service-connected disabilities, and that therefore these veterans should be eligible for VA disability compensation and health benefits.
In the fall of 2013, students in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic prepared a statement connecting existing medical evidence to the VA regulatory standards for illnesses associated with Agent Orange on behalf of the members of the Association. The single document can be submitted by hundreds of association members around the country who are pursuing disability benefits – many of whom lack representation or the resources to set out the applicable law and current medical evidence.
Statement on Behalf of the C-123 Veterans Association