VA Reverses Benefits Denial in Agent Orange Case

Veterans Affairs officials said they have reversed denial of benefits to a veteran who flew on an aircraft that may have been contaminated with Agent Orange.

Paul Bailey, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who served during the Vietnam War, received notice Monday that he will receive total benefits for cancer.

His illness is associated with his service in the 1970s, when he was on board an aircraft that was used to spray the toxic defoliant during war, The Washington Post said.

"The preponderance of the evidence suggests that you were exposed to herbicide on board U.S. Air Force C-123K air crafts," the Department of Veterans Affairs decision states.

Bailey, 67, has prostate cancer and metastatic cancer of the pelvis and ribs.

He said the disability compensation will allow his wife to stay in their New Hampshire home after he dies.

"The financial and emotional support this provides is just tremendous," he told the Post. "It takes a huge burden off me."

Bailey's claim was initially denied by the Manchester, N.H., office in February.

"VA regulations do not allow us to concede exposure to herbicides for veterans who claim they were exposed to herbicides after the Vietnam war while flying in aircraft used to spray these chemicals," the office said at the time.

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