Agent Orange Awareness Day marks the first day the substance was used in Vietnam and surrounding countries, and it is meant to pay tribute to those who were exposed to this deadly compound. The day is an annual observation designed to raise awareness of the effects of the herbicide used by American forces to defoliate future and current battlegrounds with the purpose of depriving the enemy ground cover to hide in.

Agent Orange is responsible for a wide range of adverse effects in human beings and the Department of Veterans Affairs lists Agent Orange exposure or potential exposure as a presumptive condition, meaning that those who report exposure and have certain medical conditions are presumed to have those medical issues as a result of military service and most likely have those conditions due to the exposure.

The use of Agent Orange was originally authorized by President John F. Kennedy and Air Force planes began flying missions to disburse Agent Orange as part of something known as Operation Trail Dust.

Millions of gallons of Agent Orange were used which contained an incredibly toxic substance known as dioxin. Dioxin is responsible for cancer, birth defects, and other symptoms.

Veterans and family members concerned about Agent Orange exposure, long-term effects from it, and birth defect issues are urged to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to schedule an appointment for an Agent Orange Registry health exam.