Decades after the Vietnam War ended, Bill Casto is feeling the effects of Agent Orange, an herbicide he used to clear vegetation for the purpose of weapon disposal in Thailand. Fox 2 Now in St. Louis details the story here.
Just 20 years old at the time, Casto was supporting his country and gladly taking part in an unpopular war. He was doing what he needed to do without reservations. Now suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and Peripheral Neuropathy, sicknesses long associated with Agent Orange, it is safe to assume that his country is doing what it needs to do for him.
Or is it?
Since Casto’s participation was in Thailand and not Vietnam directly, his application for well-deserved benefits are being denied repeatedly by the Veterans Administration (VA). Casto believes the government is purposely delaying on veterans like himself so that they will die before the VA commits to shelling out benefits.
Lt. Col. Kenneth Carp, a St. Louis Veterans Affairs attorney, is forming a Facebook group called “Vietnam Vets – Agent Orange” to include veterans like Casto, who need a support group to share their experiences. Mr. Carp states, “If you all left the room and I had a conversation with that wall and there was no echo in the room whatsoever, it would be comparable to that because they don`t care.” Carp feels that the government has turned its back on the people it depended on most in the worst of times. The VA will find every loophole possible to avoid giving out benefits to people like Casto. “No matter how many times you tell ‘em, here’s the receipts I sent you six times before. Well, we don’t have it so we need to start again,” states Carp.
The group started by Lt. Col. Carp is an open forum which encourages Vietnam veterans to come together and support each other. Carp believes that the Vietnam Vets have been the “Ignored Vets,” and his group is taking the first step in rectifying that.
The Vietnam war was not a popular war, but that is not due to the soldiers who served in honor of our country. Blame the government for the war, and certainly blame them for not coming to the defense of its veterans the way the veterans came to the defense of it.
For more information on Veterans legal issues in your area, please call the Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp at (636) 947-3600 or click here now to contact us.