C-123 Veterans Association
Before the study, VA had resisted recognizing that post-war C-123 aircraft personnel were, like Vietnam veterans, exposed to dioxin. Now that the study has left little doubt as to these reservists’ exposure, VA is contending that it lacks the legal authority to compensate those reservists who were exposed and now suffer diseases that by law are presumed to be connected with Agent Orange.
VA’s assertion is incorrect—it has authority under existing law to provide benefits to these injured reservists, many of whom have waited for years while suffering from terrible diseases and disabilities. In the spring of 2015, students in the clinic prepared memoranda on behalf of the C-123 Veterans Association and Vietnam Veterans of America explaining why VA has the legal authority to compensate these reservists. Punting this problem to Congress is unnecessary and unjust for this group of reservists, many who are very ill and elderly and cannot afford to wait.
Prior to the 2015 study, students in the clinic had 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. That memo can be found here.