(VIETNAM) STORY OF AGENT ORANGE

U.S. Veteran Dispatch Staff Report, November 1990 Issue
Forwarded by Captain Jack MacKercher, U.S. Navy (Ret)

This message has been sent to as many of my friends who served in Vietnam that I have addresses for, with an attached LINK to the story to which I refer. Note the publication date was 1990.

I never gave a lot of credence to Agent Orange and its effects on us. I thought some GIs were trying to get disability. Some unusual things were discovered on my retirement physical which the doctors didn't discuss so I thought they were unimportant.

I never had pimples as a teenager. Lucky, I guess. Then in the full years of maturity plus 40 I began to break out in a rash on the legs, arms, behind the ears. Finally, five years ago I broke out every time I went into my swimming pool. I have had several squamous cancers removed and countless basals removed.

I was one of those fortunate fair haired blue eyed beasts who didn't sunburn. My dermatologist, whom I've been with for 13 years, when I finally asked him, he said he felt it was related to Agent Orange, based on his readings and studies.

No one in my family had my kind of cancer. I began to have neurological problems some time ago… right leg collapsing, heavy tremors in my right hand and wrist. I'm convinced that our friend Herb Hetu (another officer in our group) died as a result of Agent Orange.

What upsets me is that Dow Chemical and cohorts knew about the toxic effects of AO. Oddly enough, the heaviest concentration of its dispersal was in III Corps, particularly around Saigon. I remember on my arrival in June 66, being billeted in the Majestic Hotel - which, you will recall, was on the Saigon River. Every night flares would go up and the Ranch Hand CO-130s came along dispersing AO. Same for Danang and IV Corps.

The moral of this email: “Don't bet your life on higher authority protecting you, in or out of government.”