Agent Orange catching up to Vietnam veterans decades later

Air ForceOWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Snow fell outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 696 as its members held their monthly meeting Feb. 9.

Although attendance was down, most of those present were Vietnam veterans receiving some percentage of disability benefits from their exposure to Agent Orange — a herbicide sprayed by the United States military during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971.

Among them were Billy Milan, Lou Drawdy and Terry Stinson.

They were like thousands of other Vietnam vets who returned home unaware that they had been exposed to the same toxic dioxin that was meant to combat their enemies — the Viet Cong guerrillas and the North Vietnamese Army, known as “Charlie” to U.S. forces.

Now, decades later, Agent Orange is catching up with Vietnam veterans, leading to debilitating and deadly health problems that range from heart disease to various forms of cancer.

The three men said they were proud veterans, but, like many of their comrades, struggle with their Vietnam experience because they live every day with a multitude of illnesses stemming from Agent Orange exposure.


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Posted by on February 27, 2016, With 4409 Reads Filed under Agent Orange, Health, Veterans Administration (VA). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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4 Responses to "Agent Orange catching up to Vietnam veterans decades later"

  1. ManCavePatriot  February 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    My brother developed ‘Wegner’s Granulomatosis’ as a result of being sprayed in Nam. The VA will not acknowledge this illness as combat related, thus he must use his private insurance to cover treatment. A life of misery as payment for serving his nation’s call to arms.

  2. Suitcase  February 28, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I remember the first time I was dosed with Agent Orange. I was on the “Green Line” in An Khe. The “Green Line” was the name of the perimeter that surrounded our base camp and was several miles long. Me and my buddys were sitting on a bunker enjoying a little “Kungsah” (sp.??) when a LOCH chopper came roaring by about twenty feet above us and about 200 feet out in front of us. The concentric swirls of mist began to drift toward us and within seconds we were covered with the stuff.
    That night I went into convulsions and had a high temperature. The next morning, I hitched a ride with the chow truck back to base camp and was sick as a dog when I reached the 17th field hospital. I was diagnosed as Malaria at first and hospitalized for four days.
    I checked my records many years later and the whole episode was listed as ….you got it…Upper Respatory Infection. If you’ve been in the military, you know how funny this diagnosis is.

  3. captain obvious  February 28, 2016 at 3:59 am

    my stepdad a sufferer of it, it stores in fat cells so if he has some alcohol for a few days or loses a bunch of weight it dumps back into his bloodstream, the reaction is like a bad LSD or PCP trip, is a pretty fair description. normally he’s a good guy, very cool, but oner the years I’ve seen him go through some episodes and it IS craziness. “they” denied it for decades with a lot of veterans dying off, now that the numbers are smaller and its all been proven they half admit it?! now they’re doing the same regarding “depleted uranium” and other toxic crap too.

  4. methuselah  February 27, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I met a guy at a beverage store and we got talking, he said he was giving up beer because the VA docs told him it was causing his swollen liver. Vietnam? Yeah. I bought him a bottle of milk thistle capsules, then another about six months later. Ran into him three years later at the same store. He looked great and credited it with
    saving his life. Buy it from a health food store, they know the best brands.

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