A panel of local and national experts were scheduled to address the legacy of Agent Orange at a public forum February 16th in Chapel Hill. The toxic herbicide was used by the U.S. government to remove tree cover in the jungles of Vietnam, so the enemy wouldn't be able to hide as easily. Nancy Leterri is executive director of Children of Vietnam. She says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs allows compensation for anyone who had 'boots on the ground' in Vietnam and who suffers from disabilities including certain cancers, Parkinson's Disease... and whose children were born with neural tube defects like spina bifida:
"The Vietnamese government is currently providing small monthly stipends to people they believe are affected by agent orange.. the number is about 200,000 Vietnamese."
Leterri says the Red Cross estimates three million Vietnamese people are still being affected by Agent Orange today, including 150,000 children with severe birth defects.