ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Reliving Agent Orange

ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot are exploring the ways children of Vietnam veterans may be affected by a parent's exposure to Agent Orange. More »

Charles Ornstein and Amanda Zamora of ProPublica talk with Mike Hixenbaugh of The Virginian-Pilot about the joint investigation examining the generational impact of Agent Orange. Listen to the podcast »

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ProPublica Files Lawsuit Seeking VA Correspondence Related to Agent Orange

The suit filed by ProPublica and the Virginian-Pilot claims the VA has stonewalled in response to requests for documents, including those sent and received by David Shulkin, the president-elect’s pick to be VA secretary.

Rethinking The Cost of War

What if casualties don’t end on the battlefield, but extend to future generations? Our reporting this year suggests the government may not want to know the answer

The Agent Orange Widows Club

After their husbands died of an aggressive brain cancer, the widows of Vietnam veterans have found one another as they fight the VA for benefits.

Long List of Agent Orange Decisions Awaits VA in 2017

The Department of Veterans Affairs must decide whether to add new diseases to its list of conditions presumed to be linked to Agent Orange. It also faces calls to compensate naval veterans and those who served along the Korean demilitarized zone.

ProPublica Files Lawsuit Seeking Agent Orange Documents From the VA

The suit claims the VA failed to promptly process a FOIA request for correspondence with a consultant about the defoliant used during the Vietnam War.

Agent Orange Curse Hangs Over Families of Virginia Veterans

There's no proof Agent Orange can be passed from fathers to their children, but that's no solace to Vietnam vets who see their children struggle with life-long health problems — and sometimes die.

The Children of Agent Orange

For decades, Vietnam veterans have suspected that the defoliant harmed their children. But the VA hasn’t studied its own data for clues. A new ProPublica analysis has found that the odds of having a child born with birth defects were more than a third higher for veterans exposed to Agent Orange than

Vietnam Veterans And Their Families Share Stories of Exposure, Illness And Frustration

As part of our Reliving Agent Orange series, ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot have been recording the voices of those impacted by the herbicide, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin.

A Public Official’s Private Pain

A Washington legislator had two children after her husband returned from the Vietnam War. One lacks sight in an eye. The other died of cardiomyopathy at age 21. “We don’t have this in the family,” she said. “The veterans would all say, ‘You know it’s probably Agent Orange.’”

How We Obtained the Government’s Data on Agent Orange and Birth Defects

The Veterans Administration refused to release what it had learned about possible links between birth defects and exposure to Agent Orange. ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot found a novel way to obtain the information under procedures historically used for scientific research by academic scholars.

New Study Could Pressure VA to Expand Agent Orange Benefits

More than four decades after the end of the Vietnam War, research is still showing the effects of the herbicide Agent Orange. The latest findings: An association between exposure and high blood pressure.

Dr. Orange: The Secret Nemesis of Sick Vets

For decades, the military and the VA have repeatedly turned to one man to guide decisions on whether Agent Orange harmed vets in Vietnam and elsewhere. His reliable answer: No.

After Cancer Diagnosis, Vet Refutes Government’s Agent Orange Expert — And Wins

After the VA rejects his claim for benefits, an Air Force veteran challenges the findings of the government’s go-to Agent Orange consultant. Six years later he emerges the rare victor.

Eight Times Agent Orange’s Biggest Defender Has Been Wrong or Misleading

For decades, the government has relied on Alvin Young to advise it on herbicides. Here are some of his statements, and what others have said about them.

VA Officials Pledge New Studies Into Effects of Agent Orange

“These individuals deserve an answer,” a top VA official said at a forum hosted by ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot to address the possible multi-generational impacts of the herbicide.

A Father’s War, A Son’s Toxic Inheritance

Stephen Katz’s estranged father was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Now the Virginian-Pilot photographer wonders if that caused his own health problems.

Reliving Agent Orange: What The Children of Vietnam Vets Have To Say

The children of Vietnam vets describe how they believe their fathers’ exposure to Agent Orange during the war has impacted their families and their health.

On Agent Orange, VA Weighs Politics and Cost Along With Science

Although veterans advocates say the VA should be guided by science as it makes benefit decisions, documents and interviews show that other considerations also come into play. One concern: Will other groups want benefits too?

Vietnam Vets Push VA to Link Bladder Cancer to Agent Orange

The Department of Veterans Affairs is evaluating new research as it decides whether to extend benefits to exposed vets with the disease.

The Exceptions: A Rare Few Score Agent Orange Benefits for Bladder Cancer

While most vets’ claims for benefits are denied, some have figured out a way to win.

Researchers Call for More Study of Agent Orange Effects on Vets and Their Kids

A committee of the Institute of Medicine said even though the Vietnam War ended four decades ago, much is still not known about the way the herbicide Agent Orange has impacted vets and perhaps their children.

Ailing Vietnam Vets Hunt Through Ships’ Logs to Prove They Should Get Benefits

Neither the Navy nor the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a comprehensive list of which ships went where during the Vietnam War. As a result, veterans themselves often have to prove their ships served in areas where Agent Orange was sprayed.

The Evolution of the VA’s Vietnam Ship List

Navy veterans who served in Vietnam often must prove that their ships entered territorial waters in order to receive Agent Orange benefits. It wasn’t always that way. The following history explains how we got to this point.

Help ProPublica Research More Than 700 Navy Ships That Served in Vietnam

Vietnam veterans need historical records to get Agent Orange benefits, but the documents are often scattered. Help us collect them in one spot.

Once Again, the VA Turns Down Navy Vets for Agent Orange Benefits

A federal court had ordered the VA to reassess its policy denying Agent Orange benefits to Navy sailors who served in the Vietnam War. The VA’s conclusion: They still don’t qualify.

Interview a Vietnam Veteran With ProPublica and StoryCorps

ProPublica has gathered more than 3,400 stories about Agent Orange from Vietnam vets and their loved ones. Now, we're inviting veterans to record those stories with StoryCorps.

40 Years After Vietnam, Blue Water Navy Vets Still Fighting for Agent Orange Compensation

Though most didn’t step foot in Vietnam, some 90,000 Navy vets who served offshore may have been exposed to the chemical brew and seek benefits. The battle is playing out in the courts and in Congress. It boils down to a comma.

Blue Water Veterans Share Their Agent Orange Stories

U.S. Navy veterans describe their Vietnam tours, their Agent Orange concerns and their fight for VA benefits.

Why We’re Investigating the Impact of Agent Orange

Podcast: Some 2.6 million Vietnam veterans are thought to have been exposed to Agent Orange, but for many, the fight for health benefits continues.

Agent Orange Act Was Supposed to Help Vietnam Veterans — But Many Still Don’t Qualify

The 1991 law presumes veterans were exposed to the defoliant if they have certain diseases and “set foot” in Vietnam, but Navy vets and Air Force vets in Thailand say they were also exposed. Here’s our guide to groups seeking Agent Orange benefits.

Are You a Vietnam Veteran? Help Us Investigate the Impact of Agent Orange

The U.S. military acknowledges the negative health effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans — but what about their children?

U.S. Turns a Blind Eye to Agent Orange

A report finds that Vietnam vets still have difficulty getting compensation for their exposure to Agent Orange.

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