Friday, July 19, 2013

Vietnam Veterans Still Fighting Agent Orange

For many Vietnam veterans in Sumner County, across the nation, the Vietnam conflict still isn’t over as the effects of exposure to Agent Orange takes its toll on the veterans, their descendants and survivors.
“Operation Ranch Hand” was the code name for the spraying of a host of herbicides, primarily Agent Orange, by the U.S. military in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries to protect American and allied troops by defoliating the dense jungle vegetation hiding enemy positions.
Over the past few decades, a substantial body of scientific and medical research has shown that Agent Orange and other herbicides containing dioxin have a high probability of causing or contributing to a variety of health conditions suffered by veterans who served in Vietnam between January 1962 and May 1975. Approximately 2.8 million veterans served in Southeast Asia.
No one knows for sure how many of these veterans were exposed to Agent Orange. Some were deployed in areas during and immediately after spraying operations, while others actually handled Agent Orange and did the spraying. Veterans exposed to Agent Orange and its dioxin contaminants have reported a variety of serious health problems and symptoms.
The Veterans Administration has determined that 13 diseases suffered by Vietnam veterans, including prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, respiratory cancers (of the lung, bronchus, larynx or trachea), chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Type II diabetes and some heart disease are among those caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Vietnam veterans and their families who may have suffered from these diseases may file for compensation. Some birth defects affecting children and grandchildren may have also been caused by Agent Orange.

---- Jerald Terwilliger Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996