YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In January, WKBN 27 First News told you how Youngstown Vietnam veteran Fred Marshall was fighting with Veterans Affairs over benefits he claimed he deserved from exposure to agent orange.
After that report, Marshall has received between around 30 emails and phone calls from people looking to get advice or give advice.
“I got calls from California, Washington, Montana, Michigan, all over the United States,” Marshall said.
Sitting at a table inside his home on the north side of Youngstown, Marshall retold the story of his years during the Vietnam War where he was based in Thailand, which was often sprayed with agent orange. Today, Marshall suffers from several ailments, including Parkinson’s.
“I contacted agent orange is the only thing I can say is when I was in Thailand,’ he said.
At a March 6 hearing with Veterans Affairs, Marshall laid out his case for agent orange benefits.
“They said we can’t verify without a doctor’s approval,” Marshall said.
Shortly thereafter, he was sent to Butler, PA, for a meeting on a request he made five years ago for PTSD benefits. Marshall said he was told he should apply.
“First off, I don’t feel like I qualify for PTSD,” he said.
The VA approved Marshall for PTSD benefits. He recently received $35,000 for back benefits and his first $1,400 check. Back pay on VA benefits begins on the date a veteran applies. Marshall applied for agent orange benefits five years before PTSD benefits.
“Which cheated me out of $150,000,” Marshall said.
Shouldn’t Fred Marshall be grateful for what he did get?
“I am. I’m grateful because I could have gotten nothing, but the way they were doing it, they’re screwing me out of $150,000,” Marshall said.
The benefits Marshall received were for 70% of the PTSD benefits allowed. He hopes the agent orange ruling will give him 100%, so his wife will be covered if he should die first.