Twelve hunger-striking veterans who vow to starve to death unless they meet with President Reagan said they had heard nothing from the White House. The strikers want more research into possible long-term effects of the defoliant Agent Orange and examinations of veterans exposed to it in Vietnam. They also want examinations for "post-Vietnam syndrome" and recognition of the stress-related problem as a legitimate medical concern.
Meanwhile in Washington, the House approved several bills to give veterans additional training, counseling, health care, and business assistance. One would let Vietnam veterans receive treatment for conditions that may be associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Another would extend for three years the operation of readjustment counseling centers.
A training and business loan bill would provide two years of additional eligibility for on-the-job and vocational training assistance for Vietnam-era veterans. It also would authorize the VA to give or guarantee loans of up to $ 200,000 to assist Vietnam veterans in starting their own b usinesses.