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VA Health registries provide special services

The VA Medical Program includes several registries to provide special health examination and health-related information.

I will list two of them.

Gulf War Registry: For veterans who served on active military duty in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War, which began in 1990 and continues to the present, including Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). The Gulf War examination registry was established after the first Gulf War to identify possible diseases resulting from U.S. military personnel service in certain areas of Southwest Asia. These diseases were endemic to the area or may have been due to hazardous exposures, including heavy metals. Furthermore, air pollutants, i.e. carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, singly or in combination, could have caused chronic health problems.

Agent Orange Registry: For veterans possibly exposed to dioxin or other toxic substances in herbicides used during the Vietnam War, between 1962 and 1975, regardless of length of service, or while serving in or near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) between April 1, 1968, through Aug. 31, 1971, or as a result of testing, transporting, or spraying herbicides for military purposes. DoD has provided a list of locations and dates where herbicides, including Agent Orange were used. This DoD list is available at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures. For those sites not listed, the veteran should provide some proof of exposure to obtain a registry examination.

Information is also available through VA’s Special Issues Helpline at (800) 749-8387.

I will be traveling to Arboles for the Senior Lunch today, Oct. 6. I hope to see those veterans who live in the area. Stop by, and if you have some questions, bring them to me.

Further information:

For information on these and other Veterans benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-3590, and e-mail is raytaylor@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. (the old Mercy Medical Center). Phone number is 247-2214.

Meetings

The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

• American Legion Post 108: Second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

• Veterans for Veterans: Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., Buffalo Inn, 164 N. Pagosa Blvd.

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