30 Jan Veterans National Homecare Raising Awareness About Agent Orange-Linked Spina Bifida
by Katie King |Katie@ewbullock.com
Veterans National Homecare Raising Awareness About Agent Orange-Linked Spina Bifida
Pensacola, Fla. (January 30, 2020) – Veterans National Homecare is a nonprofit organization working to promote national awareness about the direct linkage between Agent Orange, a tactical herbicide used by the U.S. military in warfare during the 1960s, and the biological children of Vietnam and Korean War-era veterans born with spina bifida as a result of a parent’s herbicide exposure during service.
The organization’s mission is to ensure that the biological children of all Vietnam-era veterans born with spina bifida are made aware of the expanded benefits they may be entitled to. Veterans National Homecare will help any affected individual or family navigate through the eligibility and application process within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans National Homecare was founded by Denis McKinnon Sr., a highly-decorated Marine aviator whose son, Darin, was born with spina bifida in 1970 as a result of McKinnon’s service in Vietnam.“Many veterans and their families don’t even know they could be eligible for compensation, health care and vocational training,” said Denis McKinnon, Sr., president of Veterans National Homecare. “Our job is to educate them on the potential for expanded benefits and also help streamline the application process by getting them connected to the right people at the VA.”
Spina bifida is a life-threatening birth defect condition in which the spine fails to form or close properly during pregnancy. Surgery to close the infant’s back and to protect the spinal cord is generally performed within 24 hours after birth to minimize the risk of infection and preserve existing function in the spinal cord.
People born with spina bifida may need other surgeries and extensive medical care because of the potential for paralysis resulting from damage to the spinal cord. Symptoms depend on the type and severity, a person with spina bifida may have nerve damage, paralysis and be unable to walk, and have problems with their bowels or bladder. Sometimes spina bifida can cause hydrocephalus, or fluid in the brain.
Veterans National Homecare wants to raise awareness within the military communities to help more affected children gain access to expanded care.
If you are a Vietnam or Korean War veteran whose son or daughter was born with spina bifida as a result of your military service, or for more information, go to the Veterans National Homecare website at veteransnationalhomecare.com.