Vietnam War veterans in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea receive Agent Orange disability benefits through their governments. Canada has compensated citizens who were exposed to herbicides during prewar testing of the chemicals. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid billions in disability benefits related to herbicide exposure to eligible American veterans.
In contrast, Vietnamese Americans who were exposed and are now sick -- a group that includes both veterans and civilians -- haven't received a dime.
For the most part, Vietnamese Americans, especially former South Vietnamese veterans, have not demanded redress for harm caused by herbicides, even though there's evidence they are suffering from higher rates of some cancers tied to Agent Orange exposure. By blaming American military action for their community's illnesses, many feel, they would be siding with a Vietnamese Communist government they disdain against their new country, the United States, to which they are fervently devoted. - Inside Bay Area