Arkansas congressman files bill to aid toxin-exposed veterans

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U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman filed legislation last week to help veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides while serving in Thailand.

A Mena man, Bill Rhoades, says he came in contact with toxic defoliants while serving at the Nam Phong Air Base, northeast of Bangkok, in 1973. The 68-year-old blames the exposure for a long list of illnesses he has subsequently battled.

But U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs regulations prevent him and thousands of others like him from having their claims reviewed, lawmakers say.

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