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.
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.
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.