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I know that several of you have either taken this journey already or will be taking it yourself but I would like to share my experience with you in hopes that you will get a glimpse into what it is like to go into the unknown. My journey started with a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at 18. I had always had problems with my periods, I started at 13 but then I didn’t have another one until I was 15. I had sporadic periods and the pain would intensify with every one I had from then on. I went to Planned Parenthood when I was 18, as I didn’t have a regular OB/GYN, they did a pap test on me, I almost came off the table as the doctor pinched me with the speculum, and she said that since my “situation was so far outside the realm of norm,” she was going to have to refer me to an high risk OB/GYN.  At that point, I hadn’t had a period in 2 years. Thus began the roller coaster ride.

I started to see the OB/GYN, which then prescribed birth control pills for me to take to get my periods under control. That is when the facial hair began to really grow in fast, she then added a water pill to make the facial hair stop growing, it didn’t work but I sure did have to go to the bathroom a lot. I changed birth control pills 3 times that year. One made me bleed, one made me sick and one made my hair fall out. I started to have pain in my abdomen and that is when I started getting the large cysts. The pain was unreal. I would usually end up in a hot bathtub full of water, soaking, that is the only thing that would ease the pain.

I got married at 26, Richard and I wanted kids very badly. We tried for 3 years to have children. We went to my OB/GYN, she put me on Clomid, a fertility drug and had me taking my temperature to check for fertility everyday. It was an exhausting process. I had 3 pregnancy tests come back positive and I was exstatic!  I had all the symptoms of being pregnant, I was nauseous all the time, I had the breast pain, I was gaining weight, everything, so I called the doc. She gave me a due date of January 21 over the phone and scheduled me for an OB workup and ultrasound. I went in for the appointment and when I went for the ultrasound, the woman, very rudely, demanded to know just who told me I was pregnant. I told her Dr. Yablonkski told me and she said, again, very rudely, “there’s nothing in here, take off your underwear!” So, I did and she shoved the ultrasound wand inside me none to gently and she told me there was no baby growing inside me. I was absolutely beside myself! I was crying and I just wanted to go home and grieve but they made me wait to see the doc. When she finally showed up, she wanted me to take more Clomid and Provera to get rid of my lining. When I told her I didn’t want it, she told me I was being “irrational and overly emotional,” and that I needed to just get back in there and try again. She gave the scripts to Richard, he tore them up, threw them at her and we never looked back.

We went to another OB/GYN at Riverside before I found the one that I have now and she did and exam and told me that I had a chemical pregnancy. She didn’t really explain anything to me. While doing the exam, she found a polyp on my Cervix and she said I might feel some cramping and she removed it with no anesthesia or anything. It was so painful that I had to bite my lip to keep from yelling out. Needless to say, I never went back to her either.

I went to see Dr. Atwood that spring. She looked through my records and saw what happened with the pregnancy that almost was, and she started asking me questions about it. When I told her what the woman at Riverside told me and that she never explained what it meant, she just shook her head and apologized to me.  A chemical pregnancy is when the sperm and the egg get close enough to meet but they don’t fertilize into a viable pregnancy and they send out the chemicals to the brain that you are pregnant. It was nice to finally have an explaination of what had happened to me, I thought I was crazy, that was in 2004. We tried a couple of different types of birth control pills to regulate me but getting my diet under control actual did the most good. I was eating more healthy and walking 2 1/2 to 5  miles a day and it did more than any pill for my system. It regulated itself and I could almost set my watch by it. Then I had my first big nervous breakdown. I didn’t care about anyone or anything and I took to my bed.

I started to have pains again with my periods in 2006, it was gradual at first. I would get nasty cramps to let me know I was going to start and then I would be fine after that, then it would be for the first day then I would be fine, then it got to be almost everyday. This became habit so I had gotten used to carrying Ibuprofen in my purse and having it in my locker at work, 1600 mg and I would be able to make it through the day, then 3200 mg wasn’t touching the pain anymore. 2008 comes and the pain in my abdomen ends me up in the ER more than once. It was actually a saving grace. I had a CT scan done and they found spots on my lower lobe of my lungs. After several tests and scans and one cancer scare later, they found that it was Sarcoidosis, not cancer. That is when we first started talking about hysterectomy. That to me was a death sentence. I just knew it to be a dark, scary thing that was going to hurt and that was going to make me stop being a woman!

I suffered for the next 2 years with cramps so bad that they started in my abdomen and went clear through to my lower back. The ONLY thing that made it better was either soaking in a hot bath or I was plugged in with a heating pad all day, everyday!  It was so bad toward the end that the pain was radiating down my legs. In 2011, started to get heavier periods and I was passing blood clots the size of baseballs. I was weak and I was sick all the time. I made the appointment with Dr. Atwood and I told her about what was going on and she just asked me, “are you ready yet?” It was then I decided that I had to do the right thing and end the pain and the suffering that I had been living with for YEARS. I didn’t realize how bad it was until she asked Richard how bad it was and he told her that I couldn’t function even to do basic everyday things. I didn’t think he was noticing or that it was effecting him, but it was. We tried for almost 10 years to get pregnant and it was killing me that this was how it was going to end but all Richard said to me was that he wanted me to be ok, that was all that mattered to him. I am thankful and blessed to have him. He was feeling it too.

She scheduled it for October 4th 2011. I had 3 weeks to get used to the idea and believe me, I was terrified! On one hand, I was at peace with the idea. I was tired of the pain, I was tired of being tied to that blessed heating pad, I just wanted it to be over. On the other hand, I was in mourning for the fact that I was 38 years old and I would never have the one thing that I wanted the most in this world, children. I would never get to feel what it was like to carry a child in my womb, I would never get to feel the agony of childbirth. It was just going to have to be ok.

The morning came, and I was nervous. We didn’t tell anyone but my dad and Jane, our good friend Lora and our dearest friend Kelly that I was having the surgery. I needed to be focused on myself and getting through whatever was going to happen on that day. No one was with us at the hospital. I went back and they prepped me for surgery, everyone was really nice, they are at the hospital where it was done. I was so cold, it was freezing back there. I don’t remember anything else til I woke up in my room.

I woke up with Richard and my dad and Jane with me. I just remember wanting to get out of bed right away. I was still groggy. Richard always buys me a stuffed animal when I have surgery, he bought me a TY Bat, my dad brought me some beautiful  flowers. I was talking to them and all of the sudden I told them I was going to be sick and it just came in waves. I couldn’t stop, the only thing I can think of now is that I was on a Morphine drip (your best friend) and I hadn’t had anything to eat. The nurses came and changed me and changed me bed and moved me to the room I was going to be in from then on. My bladder didn’t seem to want to cooperate for 24 hours after the surgery. I had a catheter in and I was drinking one of those 32 oz cups of ice water an hour and I wasn’t putting anything out. They were getting very concerned and kept doing ultrasounds on my bladder but it finally turned around right before I was let go to go home. I was told that what she found when she got in my abdomen was that my ovaries were the size of small potatoes and covered with sacs of blood and that scar tissue was beginning to attach to my bowels so instead of leaving my uterus and one ovary like she planned, she had to take everything.

I had staples across my abdomen. They don’t suture you after the hysterectomy. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was completely numb across there so I didn’t even feel them, except right before they were to come out, one was getting infected and it was pinching a little . I didn’t feel it one bit when she took them out, it was all still numb when she took them out. I haven’t had any pain since she did the surgery and I am so relieved! I am still numb across my abdomen a year later, but numb I can live with. This is a decision that I wrestled with, am I still a woman, yes. Am I still grieving, some. Do I regret it? No! It is something that we go through as women because our bodies are flawed and need to be corrected, not because there is anything wrong with us as women!

I hope that this glimpse into my journey helps to ease a fear, to let you know that you are not alone.

© Karen Wengert

Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance

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We have compiled a list of 63o reported illnesses that the biological Children of Vietnam Veterans are suffering from to try and find common threads. There have been no official claims that anything on this list has been proven to be caused by Agent Orange/Dioxin unless otherwise noted in the information below. Other reports indicate that there are up to 30 years of illnesses and conditions being collected that we suffer from as the second generation. While many of us are born with these problems, our members that participated in this list are generally between the ages of 20-45 both male and female, often with no prior family history. If you are suffering from any illness not listed, please email us at COVVHA@GMAIL.COM or fill out the comment section on our “Contact Us” page. This list has been updated as of July 24, 2012

Abnormal Cervical Bleeding
Abnormal growth between the ovaries
Abnormal Pap Smears
Abnormal Periods
Abnormal Rectal Bleeding
Achy Body
Acid Reflux
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Addiction (cigarettes)
Addiction(other than cigs/alcohol, non drug)
Addison’s Disease
Adult Acne
Alopecia Areata
Anal Squamous Cell Carcinoma-Basiloid Type
Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
Anemia SC (as a small child when I had pneumonia)
Anger Issues
Ankylosing spondylitis
Annual decrease in (night) vision
Aortic Pulmonary Regurgitation
Arachnoid Cyst in Brain Space
Arnold Chiari Malformation
Arterial Vienous Malformation (AVM)
Arthritis: Inflammatory, of the SI Joint, Rhumatoid, Juvenile
Asperger’s Syndrome
Atrial Fibrillation
Autoimmune Disease (Unknown Etiology)
Autonomic Neuropathy
Bacterial Infections
Back Pain
Balance Problems
Bell’s Palsy (now-resolved)
Berger’s Disease (Kidney Disease)
Benign Cyst (armpit)
Benign Multinodular Goiter
Benign Oral Cysts
Benign tumor on thryoid/ near total thyroidectomy surgery
Bicorneate Uterus
Bicuspid Aorta Heart Valve
Bicuspid Valve Prolapse
Bilateral Baker’s Cyst
Bilateral Uterus
Bipartide Patellas
Bipolar Disorder
Bladder infections/ UTI’s
Bladder Lift
Bleeding Issues
Blood in Urine (undefined)
Blood Vessel Issues
Bone Cancer
Bones Spurs/Problems (Undefined)
Bones Missing at Birth
Borderline High Blood Pressure
Borderline Diabetic
Borderline Schizophrenia
Born Blind
Born Deaf
Bowel Deformity/Issues
Brain Issues (Water on the brain, etc)
Brain (calcification & an enlarged Penvascular space)
Brain Lesions, Aneurisms, Tumors, Surgery
Brain Stem Abnormalities(Too small)
Brain Tumors
Breathing Problems (undefined)
Bronchitis/Bronchial Spasms
Calcium Deficiency
Calluses on vocal Chords-Faulty “flap” stomach acid caused
Cardiac Arrhythmia
Cardiac Deformity
Cardio Sarcoma
Carpel Tunnel
Caudal Regression
Cava Perthes
Celiac Disease
Cellulitis Infections
Central Nervous System Disorder
Cerebellum Issues (Undefined)
Cerebra Aneurysm
Cerebral Palsy
Cervical Cancer
Cervical Dysplasia/Incompetency
Cervical Infections
Chiari Malformation (Assoc. with Spina Bifida)
Chemical Sensitivity
Chest Wall Pain/ Breast Pain
Childhood bedwetting
Childhood Extreme Shyness
Choristoma ( tumor in the ear)
Chromosome Abnormalities
Chronic (Asthmatic) Bronchitis
Chronic Candida and Other Female Reproductive Organ Infections
Chronic Childhood Ear Infections
Chronic Cold/Flu
Chronic Constipation
Chronic Costochondritits
Chronic ENT issues resulting in adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy and ear tubes
Chronic Fatigue And Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFAIDS)
Chonic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
Chronic Insomnia
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Knee Dysplasia
Chronic Migraines
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Pneumonia (Childhood/Recurring)
Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic Urinary tract infections
Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), Severe
Cleft Palate, Lips
Clotting Disorders
Club Foot (Talipes equinovarus )
Cold Hands and Feet
Collapsed Vertebrae
Colon Issues
Complete Hysterectomy: Age 25, Age 31, Age 37,Age 36
Complete Pelvic Floor Collapse
Compromised Immune System
Compulsive Skin Picking
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Congenital Anosenia (Born without the ability to smile)
Congenital Heart Blockage
Congenital Hips
Congenital Hypertension
Congenital Scoliosis
Cognitive Issues
Connective Tissue Disorder
Conversion Disorder
Cranial Synthesis
Crohn’s Disease
Crossed Eyes (Newborn)
Cushing’s Syndrome
Cystic Acne
Cystic Fibrosis
Cysts: Arm, Brain, Hand, Leg, Shoulder Blade, Thyroid, Arm, Ovaries & Wrists.
Daily Headaches
Debilitating Muscle Spasms
Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)
Deformed Extermities/Digits
Deformed Sinuses
Deformity Chest/Brest
Deformity Shoulder/Muscles
Degenerative Disc/Bone Disease
Degenerative Ligament Tissue
Degenerative Joint Disease
Dental Problems
Depression (Major, Clinical, Severe)
Developmental Delay
Deviated Septum
Diagonal earlobe Crease
Digestive Issues
Disc Desiccation
Dissociative Disorder
Dizzy Spells
Double Cervix
Double Hernia at Birth
Double Ureter
Double Uterus/Cervix
Double Uvula
Droop Eye (Ptosis)
Drug Abuse
Duane Syndrome
Ear Infections, Problems, Surgeries, Tubes
Ectopic Pregnancy
Electrolyte Abnormalities
Elevated Heart Rate
Emotional Problems
Endocrine Disorders
Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial Hyperplasia
Enlarged Liver (Cause Unknown)
Excessive Sweating
Extra body parts (Organs)
Eye Problems (Undefined)
Facet Joint Syndrome
Facial Aplasia
Factor Z Leiden
Familial Tremor
Fatty Deposits on Liver
Felty’s Syndrome
Fever (Undefined)
Fever Seizures
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Fibroid Cysts in Breast
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)
Food Allergies
Follicular Lymphoma/Large B Cell Lymphoma
Foot Deformity, Issues, Burning
Fragile X Syndrome
Fused Digits
Fused Vertebrae in Neck
Gall Bladder Disease
Ganglion Cyst
Gastrointestinal Problems
Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gene Mutation
Gluten Intolerance
Goldenhar Syndrome
Grand Mal Seizures
Grave’s Disease
Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD)
Growths/Lumps on Skull
HAE – Hereditary Angioedema (still being tested for verification)
HAE – Hereditary Angioedema Type 3
Hair Loss
Hairy Cell Leukemia
Hashimoto’s auto-immune thyroid disease
Head Sores
Heat Intolerance
Hearing Loss/Deafness
Heart Attack
Heart Disease
Heart Failure
Heart Problems/Surgery (Undefined)
Heart Murmur (as a child) Heart Palpatations
Heel Spur
Hereditary (atypical) heochromatosis
Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT)
Herniated Discs
High Blood Pressure
High Cholesterol
High Pulse Rate
Hip Deformity, Pain, Surgery (Undefined)
Hip Dysplasia
Hip Pain (Undefined)
Hip Replacement
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Hormone Issues/Replacement
Hidradenitis suppurativa
Hydrococle Hernia
Hylan Membrane
Hyman Issues (Partially Intact)
Hypermobility Issues/ Surgeries
Hypoplastic Heart
Hyoplasia –Entire Right Side
Hypothyroidism (HASHIMOTOS)
Idiopathic Gastroparesis
Idiopathic Intercranial Hypertension (IIH)
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Platelet Disorder
Immune System Issues (Undefined & IVIG Infusions)
Incompetent Cervix
Infertility (SECONDARY)
Insulin Resistance
Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
Intracranial Cyst
Intracranial Hypertension
Involuntary Muscle Spasm (Face) (EYE, LEGSSTOACH,ABDOMEN)
Iron Deficiency
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Ischemic Heart Disease
Jaw Deformity/Surgery
Joint & Muscle Problems/Pain
Joint Hypermobility Syndrome
Keratosis pilaris
Kidney Disease/Surgery
Kidney Stones, Infection, Cysts
Kienbock’s Disease
Knee Problems/Dysplasia ,Pain, Surgery
Knee Replacement
Lateral Microtia
Lazy Eye (x2)
Learning Disabilities
Legally blind
Leukocytosis with neutrophilia
Lhermitte’s Sign
Lichen Planus
Liponas-(non-cancerous tumors throughout the body)
Liver Disease (Fatty/Undefined)
Liver Inflammation/Other
Liver Lesions
Long QT Syndrome (LQTS)
Loss of Skin Pigment
Loss of Strength in Limbs
Low Blood Count (Red)
Low Blood Pressure
Low Estrogen
Low Potassium
Low Testosterone
Low vitamin D levels…even with sun and supplements
Lumbarization (Extra Vertabrae)
Lung Deformity (3rd Lung)
Lung Disease, Nodules, Tumors, Clots
Lupus of the Skin
Lymphatic Tumors/ Lymphangioma
Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Lymphocytic Thyroditis
Malabsorption of food/drink
Marfan Syndrome
Melanoma (spreading)
Memory Loss
Memory Retention Problems
Meniere’s Disease
Menopause Issues (Early)
Menstrual Cycle Issues
Mental Health Issues
Mental Retardation
Metabolic Syndromes
Methicillin Staphylococcus Resistant Aureus (MSRA)
Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR)
Migraine headaches ( Cluster, Basilar, and Hemiplegic Migraines)
Mild Displasia
Missing a whole layer of dermis (skin)
Missing Big Toe
Missing Fingers
Missing Limb (Right Leg, Below the Knee)
Mitral valve prolapsed
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)
Mood Swings
Motor Development (Slow @ Childhood)
Mullerian Aplasia
Multiple Cardiac Arrests
Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Reoccuring Undiagnosed Oozing Sores
Muscle Spasms, Pain, Numbness, (Undefined)
Musco-Skeletal Problems
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis
Mycobacterium gordonae
Nasal Cancer
Nasal Polyps
Nausea/Vomiting for no apparent reason.
Neck Pain/ Problems
Nerve Damage
Neuralgia: Face, Feet, Hands, Legs
Neurological Problems (Undefined)
Nevus Sebaceous
Night Blindness
Night Terrors
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Numbness (Hands, Feet, Body, Limbs)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Orthostatic Hypotension
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian Cysts
Overactive Bladder
Pain (Undefined)
Pain in chest, radiating up right side of neck
Palate Problems
Panic Attacks
Para-Thyroid Gland Disfunction
Pars Plantis
Patellar Subluxation (Left Knee)
Pectus Excavatum
Peeling As If Sunburned (Face and body)
Pelvic Bones Not Fused
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (before hysterectomy)
Pelvic Reconstruction/Issues
Peptic Ulcers
Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral Nervous System Disorder
Periventricular Leukomalacia
Personality Disorder
Phantom pains in random places in my body with no apparent cause
Pierre Robin Sequence
Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
Pituitary Issues/Tumors
Planar Spaciatis
Poland Syndrome
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Poly Cystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
Polycythemia Vera Without Genetic Factor
Poor Egg Quality
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
Potassium Issues
Pregnancy Complications (Undefined)
Pregnancy, Partial Molar
Premature Babies
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Primitive Neuro-Ectodermal Tumor (PNET)
Prolapsed Cervix
Prostate Problems/Enlarged
Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pseudo tumor Cerebri
Pseudo Obstruction (Intestinal, Neurological)
PTSD (Primary)
PTSD (Secondary)
Pulmonary Edema
Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary Fibrosis/Other (Undefined)
Pulmonary Restriction
Pyloric Stenosis
Rapid Absorption
Rash (Skin, Newborn, Undefined)
Raynaud’s Syndrome
Rectal Prolapse
Rectal Seal Prolapse
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
Renal Cysts/Calcifications
Renal Failure
Reproductive Problems (Female)
Respiratory Infections/Distress
Restless Leg Syndrome
Retroverted Uterus
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
Sacral Agenesis
Sacral Luburalization
Salpingitis Isthmica Nodosa (SIN)
Sebaceous Cysts (Lumps on the head)
Seizures, Stress
Seizures, Petite Mal
Sensitive Skin
Sensitive to Medication
Sensitive Teeth
Septate Uterus
Severe Chronic Neutropenia
Severe Light Sensitivity
Shingles: Ears, Mouth, Opthamalic, Throat
Short term memory problems
Sinus Tachycardia
Sinus Infections/ Problems
Skin Cancer
Skin Problems/ Deformity
Skin Rashes
Sleep Apnea
Slight Deviated Jaw
Social Problems
Spastic Colon
Speech Problems
Spina Bifida
Spina Bifida Occulta
Spinal Cord Disease/ Tumors
Spinal Deformities
Spinal Deterioration
Spinal Meningitis
Spinal Surgeries/ Pain (Undefined)
Sphincter of Oddi Disorder-
Splentic Cysts
Squamous Papilloma (Benign Polyp in Mouth)
Stenosis of the Spine
Stomach Pains/Problems
Strange Growths
Sturge Weber Syndrome
Subglottal Stenosis
Suicidal Tendencies
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
Swelling (Undefined)
Swollen Glands
Tachycardia (Unknown, Due to WPW Syndrome)
Temporal Arteritis
Testicle Deformity
Thinning of the hair, top front
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Throat Tumors
Thyroid Cancer (Hoshimotos)
Thyroid Issues & Cysts (Hyperthyroidism)
Tilted Uterus
Tinnitus (Lifelong)
Tooth Decay (Abnormal)
Tooth Formation Absence (Adult Teeth Never Came In)
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula
Tremors/ Ticks
Triple Ureter
Triple X Syndrome
Truncus Arteriosis
Tuberculosis (TB)
Tumor on the parathyroid
Tumors on Liver
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Ulcers, Stomach, Mouth, Nose
Ulcerated Colitis
Undiagnosed Rash (One Side of Body)
Unexplained Numbness
Unexplained Tingling (Right Side Of Body)
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)/ Issues
Uterine Cancer
Uterine Leiomyosarcoma
Unspecified Immunodeficiency
Uterine Fibroids
Uterine Polyps
Vacterl syndrome
Vaginal Bleeding
Vascular Headaches
Varicose Veins
Vertibrae, Extra/ Missing
Vision Problems
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Vulvodynia (Pain In The Vulva)
Weak Muscles (Left Leg)
Webbed Toes
Weight Loss
Whole Thyroidectomy Surgery
Wolff- Parkinson- White Syndrome
VA has recognized that certain birth defects among Veterans’ children are associated with Veterans’ qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea. Spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta), a defect in the developing fetus that results in incomplete closing of the spine, is associated with Veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea. Birth defects in children of women Veterans is associated with their military service in Vietnam, but are not related to herbicide exposure. The affected child must have been conceived after the Veteran entered Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone during the qualifying service period. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Many Children of Vietnam Veterans (COVVs) and family members of COVVs, contact us with questions about COVV’s health concerns. At this point in time, the government does not recognize that Agent Orange causes birth defects or illnesses in the children (or grandchildren) of male Vietnam Veterans, unless the COVV has Spina Bifida (Only for Children of Vietnam Vets not Grandchildren). This is a tragic denial of the many unexplained medical illnesses and birth defects many Children of Male Vietnam Veterans face. Please, if you or a loved one is suffering from an unexplained birth defect, or illness, you think may be caused by Agent Orange read the information below.
Please file a claim with the Department Of Veterans Affairs as soon as possible. This claim will be denied, but we have to start identifying ourselves with the VA.
You can find all mentioned forms on
Please follow the instructions below:
You will need to provide years your Father was in Vietnam and his Social Security number.
If your father has passed away, and his death was linked to Agent Orange exposure, state that.
1. Application for benefits (be sure to keep copies for your records)
A. Complete claim form no. 21-03042
B. Complete Statement of support form no. 21-4138 used to add additional information. Add anything you feel is necessary in understanding your claim.
Send these forms in as soon as possible!
Please be advised your claim will be denied. It will state, “There is no record of your mother serving in Vietnam or Korea. There is no proof of spina bifida.” This is their standard answer to all of the children of male Vietnam Veterans (unless you have Spina Bifida, then you are eligible for benefits).
3. Filing an appeal
A. Your next step is to file an appeal
1. Complete: Appeal Form VA9
2. Complete: Release of Medical Information Form 21-4142
a. The VA most likely will not attempt to acquire your records
4. Prepare for the hearing
A. Wait for your hearing Date
B. Gather all your medical records that support your claim
5. The Hearing
A. Take any witnesses that can support your claim
B. Contact your Senator or Congressman and senator, asking them to attend the hearing or to send a representative.

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© 2014 ‎(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC

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