Agent Orange’s lethal legacy: For U.S., a record of neglect

The Chicago Tribune ran a powerful series of articles on the toxic legacy of the U.S. military’s use of Agent Orange in Vietnam.  The nightmarish health effects have haunted generations of Vietnamese and U.S. soldiers and their families.   As a main staging base for air operations in Vietnam, Guam is also heavily contaminated with Agent Orange.    There is a shameful link to Hawai’i as well.  Agent Orange was secretly tested in Hawai’i by University of Hawai’i agricultural researchers. Although the defoliant was a military project, research programs were funded through the Department of Agriculture.   Two UH workers who were drenched with Agent Orange as they guided aerial spraying of the agent later became seriously ill and died.  They were unsuccessful in their lawsuits for compensation.    Retired UH journalism professor Bev Keever and her students helped to uncover this shameful episode.   A UH agricultural research area on Kaua’i is contaminated with Agent Orange.

Agent Orange was one of the deadly products of the classified U.S. biological and chemical weapons program caleld Project 112/Project SHAD.   It involved the testing of nerve gas in the Waiakea forest on the Big Island and the release of biological ‘simulants’ on O’ahu.

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/agentorange/chi-agent-orange1-dec04,0,6366546,full.story

AGENT ORANGE: PART 1 OF 5

Agent Orange’s lethal legacy: For U.S., a record of neglect

Poisonous defoliants still exact a toll in U.S., Vietnam

Daily seizuresDo Thi Hang, 19, experiences a seizure as her father Do Duc Diu, 58, tries to keep her from injuring herself. Hang suffers from frequent seizures as a result of fluid that accumulates in her brain, which has been linked to her father’s exposure to Agent Orange. (Tribune photo by Kuni Takahashi / June 25, 2009

By Jason Grotto and Tim Jones Tribune reporters

December 4, 2009

Part 1 of a Tribune investigation finds that U.S. officials have neglected a lasting problem even as the health fallout has spread. Complete coverage >>

In central Indiana, two sisters struggle through another day, afflicted by a painful condition in which their brains are wedged against their spinal cords. They are in their 30s, but their bodies are slowly shutting down.

Thousands of miles away, amid the rice paddies of Vietnam, a father holds down his 19-year-old daughter as she writhes in pain from a seizure brought on by fluid in her skull, which has been drained four times in the past four years.

“The doctors said that they were sorry, but they could not cure her,” the father says. “They told me I should take her home and that she would pass away very soon.”

These women come from different cultures, from nations separated by more than 8,300 miles. Their fathers fought on opposite sides of the Vietnam War, but they are linked by the stubborn legacy of Agent Orange and other defoliants sprayed by the U.S. military decades ago.

Contaminated with dioxin, a chemical now considered the most toxic ever created by man, the defoliants are linked to a higher risk of multiple cancers, birth defects and other conditions that are contributing to a dramatic increase in financial compensation for U.S. veterans and their families.

Service-related disability payments to Vietnam veterans have surged 60 percent since 2003, reaching $13.7 billion last year, and now account for more than half of such payments the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides to veterans of all wars. The average compensation payment for Vietnam vets is 41 percent higher than that for World War II veterans and 35 percent higher than for those who served in Korea. Those disability checks do not include the billions spent on health care for Vietnam veterans.

The price tag is only expected to escalate as scientists learn more about the effects of dioxin, as veterans are stricken late in life and as the children of veterans discover they are sick. In September, three more diseases were added to the list of illnesses for which the VA provides compensation — an expansion the agency estimates will affect roughly 200,000 veterans and cost billions of dollars annually.

Meanwhile, untold numbers of Vietnamese — including many who weren’t even alive during the war — also suffer from maladies associated with the defoliants. Tens of thousands more are at risk today from dioxin that remains in the environment at dozens of former U.S. military bases.

Yet in the 30 years since Agent Orange was recognized publicly as a potential health threat, the federal government has established a record of neglect.

U.S. veterans seeking compensation for their illnesses face delays and a maddening bureaucracy. Adding to their frustration, the federal government never has gotten to the bottom of Agent Orange’s full impact, failing to follow through on requests for large-scale studies on how defoliants may have affected veterans’ health.

In Vietnam, children sing songs of the devastation caused by Agent Orange and government officials wonder how the U.S. can avoid fully addressing the health and environmental havoc wreaked by the chemicals, even as the two nations foster stronger trade and military ties.

Since the countries normalized relations in 1995, Congress has allocated just $6 million for herbicide-related issues in Vietnam, even though Vietnamese officials say addressing them will take tens of millions. The Ford Foundation, a philanthropic organization that has made Agent Orange a focus, has provided $11.7 million.

With assistance from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, the Tribune spent a month traveling to eight provinces throughout Vietnam, conducting nearly two dozen interviews with civilians and former soldiers who say they were exposed to the defoliants.

The newspaper used a database of every spraying mission, mapping software and a GPS device to help corroborate their stories. And in the U.S., the paper researched thousands of pages of government documents and traveled to the homes of veterans to gauge the impact and measure the cost in both dollars and human misery.

Some scientists remain skeptical that Agent Orange and other defoliants directly cause diseases. But with hundreds of independent studies completed in the years since the war ended, there is strong evidence that people exposed to the herbicides have a higher risk of contracting illnesses such as soft tissue sarcoma and non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The number of medical conditions linked to the defoliants continues to grow.

The lingering controversy over the herbicides on both sides of the Pacific Ocean provides a sobering reminder of the often unforeseen consequences of war at a time when the country is fighting protracted conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We do not know the answer to the question: What happened to Vietnam veterans?” said Jeanne Stellman, an epidemiologist who has spent decades studying Agent Orange for the American Legion and the National Academy of Sciences. “The government doesn’t want to study this because of international liability and issues surrounding chemical warfare. And they’re going to win because they’re bigger and everybody’s getting old and there are new wars to worry about.”

A deadly defense

The U.S. military began spraying herbicides in South Vietnam in 1961, as the Cold War raged and America seemed beset on all sides by the threat of communism. Vietnam, a sliver of a country hugging the South China Sea, was split in half, with communists controlling the north. Led by nationalist leader Ho Chi Minh, the communists sought to reunite the country by toppling the U.S.-backed Republic of Vietnam in the south.

The greatest asset of the armies fighting the U.S. may have been the landscape of South Vietnam. Triple-canopy jungles cascading down mountainsides, patchworks of rice paddies and dense forests covered a battlefield where the line between enemy and civilian was often blurred.

The verdure allowed North Vietnamese forces to harass, resupply and melt back into the thick vegetation while surviving on food grown by local supporters.

The U.S. countered with chemical defoliants aimed at destroying the natural fortresses protecting the enemy. Over 10 years, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces released nearly 20 million gallons of herbicides in Southeast Asia, enough to blanket Lake Michigan four times. The vast majority of the missions took place in South Vietnam, but border areas in Cambodia and Laos were also sprayed.

Though Agent Orange was the most widely used herbicide, there were actually a half-dozen “agents,” including White, Blue, Purple, Pink and Green. About 65 percent of them were contaminated with TCDD, a highly toxic form of dioxin, while more than 1 million gallons of Agent Blue contained arsenic.

The U.S. military stopped using Agent Orange in 1970 after a study for the National Institutes of Health showed that a chemical found in some of the compounds caused birth defects in laboratory animals. Soon after, the U.S. surgeon general halted the domestic use of that chemical, a dioxin-tainted compound known as 2,4,5-T.

Some limited spraying continued in Vietnam for another year, but only with agents that did not contain dioxin. The herbicide program, known as Operation Ranch Hand, stopped in 1971, four years before the war officially ended.

‘We’re a mess’

Nearly four decades later, on a quiet street in Brownsburg, Ind., Carrie Price-Nix and Amanda Price Palmer have resigned themselves to a life of prolonged fatigue and permanent disability. They’ve had 41 surgeries between them in the past 20 years, including five brain operations, two spinal cord surgeries and one hysterectomy.

Their father, Stephen Price, was an Air Force mechanic who served at the U.S. air base in Da Nang in 1967. Even today, the site is contaminated with levels of TCDD that are as much as 365 times higher than what the World Health Organization deems safe.

Price died in April 2008 after fighting leukemia, diabetes and chloracne, all of which are associated with the herbicides used in Vietnam. He began receiving full disability compensation from the VA in 2005, after waiting two years for his claim to be approved.

His daughters both have Chiari malformation, a structural defect in the base of the brain associated with spina bifida, which the VA recognizes as a defoliant-related birth defect in the offspring of male veterans.

Price filed a claim with the VA for Price-Nix in July 2002. Three and a half years later, she was approved for partial compensation. By that time, her bladder had shut down, and her father was dying.

Palmer, who has similar health problems, has spent six years seeking compensation from the VA. “They’re waiting for you to die,” her sister said. Last week, the agency denied Palmer’s claim, ruling her illness is not related to spina bifida.

The deterioration of Palmer’s abdominal muscles forces her to remove her feces manually. Price-Nix has a pacemaker-like device to regulate her bowels and must catheterize herself daily.

“We’re a mess,” Palmer said jokingly. Then the sisters began weeping as they pondered the reality that there is no recovery from their conditions.

See video of the sisters discussing their family’s health issues

Far away from Brownsburg, in central Vietnam’s Quang Binh province, Do Thi Hang, 19, suffers from symptoms similar to the sisters’. She has regular seizures caused by the fluid that accumulates in her brain. She can’t walk and has trouble controlling her bowels.

Her parents have never been given a specific diagnosis because of Vietnam’s underdeveloped health care system, but Hang’s ailments mirror those of people suffering from spina bifida.

As a soldier fighting the U.S., Hang’s father, Do Duc Diu, 58, was stationed for four years at an abandoned U.S. air base called A So, located in a valley where parts of the Ho Chi Minh Trail wound along the Laotian border. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces sprayed more than 400,000 gallons of herbicides in the Aluoi Valley, formerly known as A Shau.

New studies show that areas where the U.S. military stored chemicals on the A So air base are still contaminated with dangerously high levels of TCDD.

Since the war ended, Diu and his wife, Pham Thi Nuc, have had 15 children. Twelve died before the age of 3, all from illnesses similar to Hang’s, Diu said. Their small graves sit atop a sandy hill behind Diu’s home where he goes nearly every day to burn incense.

“I can say that I have no future, no happiness,” he said.

See video of Diu’s family at home in Vietnam

Invisible wounds

The compensation U.S. veterans now receive for herbicide-related illnesses was gained only after a long, hard-fought battle in which the lines between science and politics were often blurred.

Part of the problem was that veterans were returning home with invisible wounds. Their fight to receive recognition and compensation for their war-related illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, opened the door for veterans of all wars.

“The better care that troops get now is owed to their Vietnam brothers,” Stellman said.

New scientific studies, dogged investigations into political interference in government-sponsored studies and a $180 million settlement in a veterans’ class action suit against chemical companies paved the way for the Agent Orange Act of 1991.

Among other provisions, the legislation created a list of “presumptive illnesses” for which Vietnam veterans could be compensated. It directed the National Academy of Sciences to review studies on the chemicals found in the herbicides and, every two years, recommend additions to the list. Diseases or birth defects are recommended if exposure to defoliants is more likely than not to increase a person’s risk.

Since then, the VA has added 15 diseases as well as 17 birth defects in the children of female veterans.

But veterans groups say as many as a dozen more illnesses could be associated with the herbicides, as could numerous birth defects in the offspring of male vets.

One reason for the slow pace in adding diseases is that the VA relies on outside research on workplace exposure and industrial accidents instead of conducting a broader epidemiological study on veterans, which Congress first asked for in 1979. For years the agency said it could not study the impact of the herbicides on veterans because it had no way of measuring their exposure.

But that excuse is no longer valid, according to Stellman, professor emeritus at Columbia University‘s school of public health.

With her husband, Steven, an epidemiology professor, she compiled a comprehensive database on spraying missions and used it to develop an exposure model that has twice been blessed by the Institute of Medicine, an independent panel of medical experts whose recommendations on health policy help guide the VA’s decision-making.

The VA said in 2003 it would take the model under advisement. The agency is still evaluating it.

“I’m surprised that it hasn’t been pursued more energetically,” said Dr. David Savitz, a physician at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City who chaired the institute’s review panel.

In September, the VA announced a broad, three-year study on Vietnam veterans’ health, but it won’t look specifically at defoliants like Agent Orange. Coming more than three decades after the war ended, the plan has many veterans believing the government is simply waiting for them to disappear.

“The mantra of the VA is delay, delay, delay until they all die,” charged Paul Sutton, a Vietnam veteran and former chairman of Vietnam Veterans of America.

Retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki, now the secretary of veterans affairs, has acknowledged the adversarial relationship between the VA and former soldiers. A Vietnam veteran who was wounded in combat, Shinseki has vowed to be more of an advocate for those who serve the country.

Members of Congress say much of the foot-dragging on studying Agent Orange is tied to the bottom line.

“I don’t think they really want to know the answer,” said Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “The (financial costs) would be so high that they’d scare the hell out of everybody.”

Jason Grotto reported from Vietnam; Tim Jones reported from Indiana.

jgrotto@tribune.com

tmjones@tribune.com

13 Comments

MSGT LEROY FOSTER

I prepared, mixed and sprayed Agent Orange herbicides on Andersen AFB Guam and off base fuels facilities and pipelines and security fences surrounding those facilities on and off base including MARBO COMPLEX AND OIL PACKAGED WAREHOUSE IN YIGO, GUAM. I used a u.s. air force 5 ton blue tractor truck with the fifth wheel and pintle hook connected to a 750 gallon old OIL AND ADI TRAILER with a small gasoline engine for hand spraying. I wore rubber gloves to my elbows, plastic face shield and rubber apron. I was suppose to wear rubber boots but they would get way to hot. I would become drenched in my own sweat with the wind blowing back in my face under the shield so it didn’t matter if i had it on or not and the rubber gloves would fill with sweat and fall off and i would look like a chalky mess from all day spraying. I did this from Sept 1968 to May 1978 all over Andersen AFB and off base and the NAS Booster pump station. Many of my buddies ended up sterile like me, chloracne covered my body, severe ischemic heart disease, diabetes II, high blood pressure, high cholesterol unaffected by meds, immune problems, ankylosing spondiolitis, spinal stenosis, osterporosis, severe arthritis, and many more diseases. This is the truth so help me God. Many of my buddies are dead now and many are dying. We need your help

Sheridan Collins

Anyone with information regarding the poisoning of Kauai and the contamination of the Wailua River watershed, please contact me. I am putting together a web site with all information available. I have not been able to find any civilian victims or documentation of their stories. I know I am not the only one. I was a resident of the Wailua River Lots during all my teenage years. I have heard stories about sick local people, but, just like me, they are confused about the source of their many, weird and life threatening illnesses. We just all sound crazy. Maybe some of us are crazy – I have documented brain damage. The frontal lobe (cognitive function) is not fully developed in teenagers and is easily damaged while developing.
Thank you for any information. What I have so far is documentation that the poisons were dumped into the headwaters of the Wailua River. The soils up there are silty clay – meaning the poison would have mostly run off into the river. It is difficult to figure out what happened up there without some knowledge of the area. For example, the Ag Experiment Station is referred to as being in Kapaa. It was not in Kapaa. It was on the edge of a residential area called the Wailua Homesteads.
The following areas are referred to as being used as “test sites:”
Waikoko Block- this is at the Wailua headwaters
Hanahanapuni-this is at the Wailua headwaters
Moalepe
Bauxite Reclamation Areas
Wailua Wildlife Sanctuary (that’s a good one, how many dead animals)
Sam Thronas Area – I don’t know where this is.

There are others. I am sorting through all the info. I was waiting for the EPA Superfund reports. There are none. Now I am backtracking to connect all the dots.

Thanks for your site,
Sheridan Collins
sheridan424@gmail.com

Soonie Park-Ledbetter

Aloha Sheridan,

I read your article and was inspired. My husband recently passed from a serious case of diabetes accompanied with congestive heart failure, kidney failure, neouropathy, and other ailments associated with diabetes. He is a veteran who was not in Vietnam, but Oahu, Hawaii, and served as military police at Schofield Barracks back in 1968-1972. I believe strongly that he was affected by agent orange. Someone who was also a veteran had mentioned how agent orange was stored here in Hawaii. So far, I discovered that Kauai and the Big Island had containers of stored agent orange. I am currently trying to retrieve records of his assignments back then. I remember he mentioned having to transport military prisoners to stockade bases. I am awaiting records that would go more into detail of his assignments and locations. My husband was fairly young at age 68 when he passed, but suffered progressively with ill-health conditions between the span of 20-30 years after diagnosed with diabetes. The interesting thing is his best friend who was also a military police during the same time with the same assignments as my husband was struck with Parkinsons disease at nearly the same 20-30 years span after the agent orange discovery. I do hope to get more information regarding the possible storage of agent orange here on Oahu back then, as well, the locations of where my husband and his friend were assigned. Well, thank you and if you have any added information to share with me I would be so grateful. I also do hope the best for you and your claim with agent orange. Mahalo & May God Bless, Soonie Park-Ledbetter

Donna Sue Powell

I have been reading all the articles I can on Agent Orange,My husband was also stationed at OAHU HAWAII but was never in the jungle of Vietnam or that I can tell at this time.However he has passed away in 1998 ‘with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,since 1987.I feel very strongly that his cancer was linked to agent Orange,I just can’t prove it.I here stories from other service men that there where spills of these 5 gallon containers ,transporting from the US to the aircraft and ships.My husband passed away at age 52,can any one pls help me.I have filed for DIC without luck I have also been referred to a VA office ,and he sez there has to some prof that he was on Vietnam soil for one day.

David Foster

This Agent Orange is a complicated issue and now I would like to ask the following. Does anyone have any knowledge if A/O Agent Orange had been used on the Island of Diego Garcia BIOT and was it being stored there?
Diego Garcia BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territory) for those of you that don’t know is an island about 2,000 miles South of India just 400 miles south of the Equater and taken over by the U.S. about 1970 . The natives that lived there were moved elsewhere and now the island was ready for the U.S. to build up. Diego was primarally a coconut plantation on a horse shoe shape island roughly 30 miles long.
After the natives were moved out it was said that a large part of the island was cleared of trees and vegitation. This was to make way for a new large air field, roads, living area and other military related use buildings.
It has been rumored that the initial defoliation was done by use of Agent Orange. I was stationed on Diego from mid 1975 to mid 1976 with NMCB-5. I worked out of MLO (Material Liason Office) in which all construction and other related items passed through our facillity before being used for whatever purpose.
My memory is still very sharp of my time there and all the I did. Out in the back of our MLO yard about 100 feet from one of the back doors sat a medium size connick box which was always locked. The box was highly rusted and had like an orange liquid leaking from inside onto the ground surrounding the box. There were only a few people that were allowed access to the box for inventory purpose and that was myself and my buddy Roger along with an officer and a chief.
What struck Roger and myself so oddly about this box was what we saw inside of it. My first time in the storage unit there several barrels that were orange. the barrels were also slightly rusted and leaking a fowl smelling compound which because of the temperature in that part of the world made it really stink. At the time we never thought much about the barrels and the smell inside the box other than to make note and to pass it along as a report. Also, there were no markings to indicate that anything was called Agent Orange other than wording to indicate that it was some sort of defolliant.
From what I have learned about Agent Orange over the years, it is in my opinion what was stored on Diego and that I was exposed to it on a limited basis. However, I will come out short of being 100% correct on my opinion.
The reason I have taken the time to write this, is because of my unexplained health issues. The latest problem I have learnedthat I have is skin cancer. I have also Endocrin problems and a faulty Pittuitary Gland. Also, I have been suffering from vision disturbences. I frequently get sick from my Endocrin problems. Exposure to Agent Orange I have recently learned can cause skin cancer over time. All of the odd health issues I seem to be suffering from are such that no one else in my family has ever had, not even parents or Grand Parents.
Is anyone else out there aware tha there may have been Agent Orange stored or used on the island of Diego Garcia? If you have any knowledge please let know.
Roger and I have a strong susspision that this was so, but would like the backup or proof so that this can be researched.

Abigail maldonado

My husband was at Schofield Barracks, Ohau Hawaii from 1972- 1974.
He had been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, and have a blood problem. before he was at Ft. Jackson, SC. and I heard that they trainned soldiers there to spray AO in Vietnam, and other places. Any reference that anuone have i will appreciate it.

Soonie Park-Ledbetter

Wow!, all these comments and stories shared of the suspicion that agent orange was the affecting culprit of these ill health conditions to us or our loved ones is phenomenal and worthy of further research. I do hope that we all take the initiative to pursue what we believe will resolve the mystery of why? how? where? and when? According to VA sources, they claim one would have to be in Vietnam during that particular period. However, VA sources are trying to ignore the fact of agent orange being stored here in Hawaii. It’s like in denial. But, we need to stand firm to our beliefs and continue to do our homework. Well, best and may GBW (God Be With), SPL p.s best to the claim area of Diego Garcia BIOT too!

James A Johnston

I was deployed to garcia with mcb4 I believe it was 72-73 and poured solvents and weed burner in to troughs to evaporate. All fluid lefts left oily res. and plastic was deep 6 out pass reef.I became diabetic filed for exposure and was
bluepaged(denied) for not being in country. No proof and no wittness no claim.
Anyone with knowlege to conferm this please help. So far no cancers but waiting. Poured that crap out wearing only cut iff fatuiges drabp green shorts

Rick Young

Yes, it was stored in Schofield Bks. I was a young private with orders assigning me as an assistant NBC NCO to Company A 1/21. A part of our training was to practice protection and decontamination. On one specific training event in early 1975, a drum of the defoliant was used. I know this as I was the one tasked to open the container for demonstration purposes while the NBC NCO described its purpose and the risks of such a chemical. At the end of the training the drum was resealed and put back into storage. I was exposed directly to the chemical but the government will only acknowledge Vietnam as an exposure site.

Luke Rebain

Is anyone aware if Kaneohe Bay USMC air station , Oahu, Hawaii was used to store Agent Orange cira 1970-1971 ?

Kathy Owen

My husband was stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI from 1969 to 1970. He worked the N.T.P.O. there. He was assigned to load several containers onto the ships that were being sent over to Vietnam. He remembers one of the ships he loaded as being the USS Alamo. One of these containers was leaking the chemical, and he got soaked all down the front of his uniform shirt and dungarees. His Chief told him to go to first aid and wash out his eyes and wash his face, then go shower and change his uniform. My husbands eyes were blood shot and swollen for days. He asked his CO what the heck was that stuff he loaded, and his CO said it was “Bug Spray” a defoliant. But here’s the kicker, these containers were like cylinders, tall, slim cylinders and they had a pressure value on top of them. But had a orange stripe. I know the VA only shows pictures of barrels with orange stripes. But I am wanting to know if cylinders were also used when spraying? I cannot for the life of me dig up any of this info anywhere, it cannot be found. I am in the process right now filing a agent orange claim which I am sure to lose this case since they want proof of having your boots on the ground or how you feel you were exposed to it. My husband developed diabetes type ll, ischemic heart disease, kidney failure, liver failure, congestive heart failure, peripheral neuropathy, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and now having cancerous skin cells removed from his back. Amazing he’s still alive, but he’s currently dying since the liver has now gone into stage 4 and has ascites/fluid retention in the abdomen. He’s currently 66 years old. In 1982 12 years after his discharge, he was seen by a doctor that told him after the exam that he had the insides of a 80 year old man. I could use some help to determine if this cylinders were also used during Vietnam and were indeed stored there in Hawaii. His Chief was very upset that these cylinders were being shipped through his post, but there is no documentation at all of these even being shipped aboard the ships to Vietnam. So it’s a dead end for me, but I am not giving up. Hopefully someone would come forward and help me with some info about this.

Karen Quinn

I was raised in volcano Hawaii , my husband was stationed at KMC in the motor pool , volcano Hawaii, he has also been stationed at numberious bases on Ohua. He was stationed there in 1967,68,69 and 1970. The university of Hawaii and the goverment transported agent oeange and other agent to the motor pool at KMC. durring this time the did arial spraying over the forrest and near/over the farms, We lived on the closest farm to the spraying area, we were told by the local agent that they were going to spray but ithere was no danger. On at least 2 occations my husband a young airman was told to load the marked barrels on a truck and transport them up the mountain to the testing sight the 2 men who did the spraying both became very sick and died., My husband who the VA said was only a little bit exposed died of respatory illness and cancer that spread throughout his body. he also had severe RA, asthma, reflux, ect,. To back track some on our farm we had a open water containment system, we caught rain water in a large water tank with no filter other than a screan , all of the family that were on the farm at the time of the spraying and after developed healt problems, my grandmother developed parinsons, my mother came down with severe MS and was totally bedridden when she died, one sister developed fibro myalgia my brother who was a infant at the time was the most affected he had seusers, autisic, mentally retartred and has lived most of his life in a hospital. My daughter who was also a infant developed Lupus , I am cofined to a wheelchair with MS, diabeties, fibro myaliga, and auto amune deseise which has required infussions once a week for years
My mother, grandmother, my daughter, myself, my sister , and my husband all developed diabeties. . I gave studied all of the families genology and there is no records or history of any of these illness in the family prior to our exposier. we moved away from the farm in mid 1970s. In 1973/74 my husband was stationed at Korot AB in Thialand, it has been documented that agent orange was used around the perimter of the base to keep the area clear. there was a creek that ran through the base, where their clothes were washed by the mamasung, the agent orange spraying crossed the cteek twice, my husband did some missions into vietnam, but the VA says he was only a little bit exposed , not enough to cause his illness and death. He was in the Air Force for 21 years and was medically retired but not 100% according to the VA. I anyone wants to contact me please call me @ 727-378-6610, Karen Quinn

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