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Oregon Senators Ask VA To Help Vets Exposed To Agent Orange

Oregon’s U.S. senators signed a letter this week asking the Department of Veterans Affairs to treat members of the National Guard who were exposed to Agent Orange.

The exposure largely took place after the Vietnam War ended.

Members of the National Guard used C-123 aircraft stateside. Those planes had been contaminated from carrying the herbicide Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Sens. Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley and other lawmakers are asking VA Secretary Robert McDonald to grant the authority to extend treatment to members of the National Guard who were exposed.

"Justice for these veterans is long overdue and you have the authority and the ability to finally right this wrong," states the letter.

The letter asks for a response from McDonald in the next two weeks.

According to the VA, Agent Orange has been associated with various cancers, Parkinson’s disease and other health issues.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Conrad Wilson is a reporter and producer covering criminal justice and legal affairs for OPB.