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Korean War

If you served during the Korean War—anytime between June 25, 1950, and July 27, 1953—you may be at risk of certain health conditions. Learn about these conditions and what to do next to take care of your health.

What health risks should I know about related to my service during the Korean War?

You may be at risk of illnesses or injuries caused by:

  • Extreme cold: Health problems (like skin cancer in frostbite scars or pain, tingling, or numbness in the fingers and toes) caused by the effects of cold climates. You’re at higher risk if you served in the Chosin Reservoir Campaign, conducted from October through December 1950 in extreme subzero temperatures.
  • Occupational (job-related) hazards: Chemicals, paints, radiation, and other hazards you may have come in contact with through your military job
  • Noise: Harmful sounds from guns, explosives, rockets, heavy weapons, jets and aircraft, and machinery that can cause or contribute to hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

What should I do now?

Take these steps to make sure you’re taking care of your health:

  1. Talk to your primary health care provider or your local VA environmental health coordinator about other health concerns related to your military service. Find your local VA environmental health coordinator.

  2. Find out if you can get disability compensation (monthly payments) and other benefits if you have an illness or injury caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service. Learn more about disability benefits.

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