Sunday, April 15, 2001


VA accepts post-
service claims for adult-
onset diabetes


Question: I served in Vietnam during the war and have recently been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, long after my active-duty service.

I recently read that the VA has linked Agent Orange to diabetes, and was wondering if I could file a disability claim with the VA.

Answer: Yes, you can. The VA announced on Nov. 9 that it has added Diabetes Type II to the list of presumptive diseases associated with herbicide exposure (Agent Orange) for Vietnam veterans.

Honorably discharged veterans who served in Vietnam from Jan. 9, 1962, through May 7, 1975, and have "adult onset diabetes mellitus" are eligible. This not only applies to veterans who served in-country, but those who served aboard ships in the waters off Vietnam as well.

The VA is accepting claims now and forming a registry. Contact the VA benefits and services office at 433-1000 for more information, or pay them a visit at the VA's E-Wing facility, Oceanside, Tripler Army Medical Center. The VA has also established a toll-free Agent Orange help line at 1-800-749-8387 to answer questions about Agent Orange exposure.

Additionally, there is an Agent Orange Web Page at

If you have questions about benefits as a veteran, call Fred W. Ballard, assistant public affairs officer, at 433-0049, or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.

Gregg K. Kakesako can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at

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