Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance
Agent Orange Dioxin Survivors Uniting Internationally
501C3 Registered Non-Profit



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COVVHA member, Dawn Piercy, speaks out and shares her story about her family’s battle with Agent Orange. 

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Kelly L Derricks, President Of COVVHA, Sharing Tears With Vietnam Veteran, Steve Moore.  http://covvha.net/

Kelly L Derricks, President Of COVVHA, Sharing Tears With Vietnam Veteran, Steve Moore.
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On October 2, 2013, COVVHA President and Co-Founder, Kelly L. Derricks, attended VVA’s national Town Hall Meeting Held at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. The video below is Kelly’s Finale Speech.

“If we continue to think that the fight against Monsanto is only about GMO’s, we have already lost.” ~ KLD

 

http://youtu.be/kTPzK3FuOlc

If You would like to watch Kelly’s Family Panel Speech, Click Here http://youtu.be/8uW5xSKPp_4

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The impact of health issues on the nation’s veterans will in time confront our children and grandchildren in the form of genetically modified organisms (GMO).

The greatest threat to public health is genetically modified organism (GMO) plant production by Monsanto Company (Agent Orange and Bt cotton) and Pfizer, Inc. (Zyklon B. Holocaust gas). Both have research facilities in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta to produce GMO’s.

Our nation’s veterans suffered from the impact of Agent Orange for years before the Veterans Administration acknowledged causation of toxic exposure to dioxin, a defoliant used in Vietnam to kill the jungle like conditions that provided cover for the enemy. The herbicide utilized two chemicals–2, 4-D and 2, 4, 5-T that was linked to a variety of health disorders: headaches, liver and blood disorders, nerve damage, cancer.

Now we know that veterans, who served in Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange, had their DNA mutated by exposure to herbicides, and unknowingly passed on genetic mutations to their unborn. Interesting enough the male and female veterans may have children born with spina bifida, but the woman veteran exposed to dioxin may have child with a whole host of different medical conditions supporting genetic mutation.

With this history now well defined the Agent Orange Benefits Act, was passed in 1996 to provide benefits for Vietnam veterans’ children who were born with spina bifida, as a result of Agent Orange exposure.

These benefits include lifetime health care services for children with spina bifida

and “any disability associated” with spina bifida, a monthly monetary allowance ranging from $200.00-$1,200.00, and Veterans Affairs (VA) vocational training/rehabilitation services.

Read More: Veterans health today, our children and grandchildren tomorrow? http://www.scribd.com/doc/214179754/Veterans-health-today-our-children-and-grandchildren-tomorrow

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The “NEW” Lessons from an Old War, do not Include Agent Orange, According to University of Pittsburgh’s Honors College Panelists

When something is just to good to be true and it usually is. The University of Pittsburgh held a college honors program, March 4th, called Vietnam: New Lessons  from an Old War, a Half Century On. The speakers were Senator Bob Kerrey, Vietnam Veteran and former governor of Nebraska, Peter Arnett, from New Zealand, he won a Pulitzer prize for his journalism during the war, Thomas Vallely, the former director of Harvard’s Vietnam Project and Vietnam Veteran. Laura Palmer, reporter during the Vietnam War and author, and lastly,  historian Edward Miller, an expert on Vietnam and an associate professor at Dartmouth College.

I was interested in how those who were in the thick of the Vietnam War have processed what they went through as a young adult. I was also very interested in hearing panel members talk about the chemical defoliant the U.S. used in Vietnam to kill the jungle and decimate crops. The D.O.D. sprayed over 19 million gallons of herbicide  on south Vietnam. The herbicide manufactured by seven different chemical companies were contaminated with dioxin. The dioxin in the herbicide, poisoned drinking water, and food.

Agent Orange has left a permanent mark on Vietnam Veterans and their families.  It has also destroyed the environment and people’s lives in Vietnam. Vietnam Veterans are dying quickly. Their children and grandchildren have been begging the government to take seriously their claims of devastating chronic illnesses and birth defects they say have been caused by their father’s exposure. Even with the explosion of epigenetics their cries for help falls on deaf ears.

The second floor ballroom was packed with well over two hundred people. Thirty people were milling about in the standing room only section. I pushed through the crowd and slid down along the back wall just before the event began.  As my Vietnam Veteran father taught me, not through words, but through action, whenever I’m in the crowd, I have to be aware of my surroundings. I scanned the crowd, lots of college kids who were probably forced by some professor to come, who wouldn’t even bother attending themselves, a few journalists, many baby boomers, some academic types, and several Vietnam Veterans. I have Vietnam Veteran vision; they do not have to wear their Vietnam Veteran ball cap (though many were) for me to spot them. They are usually the sixty something men who look a bit haggard, even sickly, who are maybe walking with a cane, or have a Parkinson’s tremor, they look wise beyond their years and tonight, they looked hopeful. I also checked for my escape route “just in case.”

Even though Agent Orange took my Father’s life sixteen years ago it is his actions that I learned from. My father genuinely cared for others who were veterans in need. He would drive Vets to V.A. to get care. He served as Commander in the D.A.V. several times in his town’s chapter. He became an agent Orange Activist after I was born with multiple birth defects. While his  desire to be there for others drove him out of his PTSD symptoms at times, ultimately he became very sick. My father had emergency bypass surgery on his heart at age 38, five arteries were clogged at the time was a fit laborer in a steel mill. He had a 50/50 shot of surviving the surgery. He did. He went on to develop diabetes at age 40, at 48, he had a stroke, and at age 50 he died of a massive heart attack.

A Vietnam veteran in the row in front of me offered me his chair since I was standing; I declined and thanked him as the program began. The first go around through the panel was to be a three to four minute response to quickly introduce themselves and their connection to the Vietnam War. Peter Arnett was first to respond. He relayed the fact he was an Associated Press Journalist from 1962 to 1975. He then launched into a prepared diatribe beginning with the biggest downfall of the American Military during the Vietnam War. In Mr. Arnett’s opinion, American Military didn’t know their adversary. Rule number one, “Know your Adversary.” He went on to explain, the US believed by shear military force and by reputation, America thought they would be successful in Vietnam. The downfall being, the U.S. did not have any allies in the war who understood Vietnam, Australia was our only true allies and they had little or no understanding of Vietnam either. No one knew who the enemy truly was, Arnett explained. He suggested if the U.S. would have gone to the French for advice they could have done a better job. From my vantage point, I started to see Vietnam Veterans shift uncomfortably in their seats.

Senator Bob Kerrey was next to speak, he downplayed his military service stating he took a free physical and ended up volunteering for the Navy. What he failed to mention was he wasn’t just any other sailor, he was a Navy Seal.  There was no mention of his swift boat patrol which he led into a village in Thanh Phong, where his platoon killed innocents because they believed they were Viet Cong. He didn’t explain, he was brought up on having committed war crimes in 2002 by the Vietnamese. He didn’t talk about the controversy that swirled as these charges were brought up. People  were outraged a suspected war criminal held a position as College President at The New School, in New York. He didn’t talk about how he lost part of his leg later in combat.  Unless the young college students in the crowd had done some research, there is no way they would have known the extent of his Vietnam War history.

What Senator Kerrey did share was after he was home; he worked to oppose the war. He stated it is not easy to make peace happen.  He credited the U.S. for normalizing relations with Vietnam in the 1990’s when it would have been just as easy to forget about Vietnam.  I believe there were a lot of Vietnam Veterans who were there to see Senator Kerrey.

The Vietnam Veterans in the crowd were disappointed. There is so much he could have shared about the lessons he personally learned from his time in Vietnam. So much real life angst and trauma he endured and afflicted. There was such an opportunity for him to connect with other veterans who were there because he was there, to help them move on, and move through. They wanted to know someone understood their own anguish.

I would never expect a man of his stature to break down in front of a crowd, or to totally bear his soul, but SOMETHING. There were zero attempts to connect with the Veterans in the crowd. At one point later in the program, a question was asked about whether the draft should be reinstated.  Senator Kerrey quickly responded “No.” He stated the all volunteer military has moved us into professional soldiers. He summarized, while their tours are long, and not as many civilians feel a connection with the military, we need to respect them, but also not glorify them too much.

The next panelist that interested me was Laura Palmer. Laura shared how in a twisted set of events, she ended up in Vietnam as one of the youngest female reporters reporting in Vietnam. She focused a lot on journalism and how she ended up leaving Vietnam the Day Saigon fell. She was very nostalgic for her time in Vietnam. I felt she tried to connect with the audience more than the others. She gave a riveting tale of her last moments in Saigon. Her notoriety came from her account of evacuating Saigon by helicopter.

Laura, plugged her book about the Vietnam Wall, but did mention to the audience war not only affects the Veteran but the families as well. I thought things were looking up. When asked about the parallels between the current military conflicts and Vietnam she responded that she just doesn’t understand why the public isn’t outraged by the epidemic of suicides of our veterans. She also stated that we need to do more to recognize all the Vietnam veterans who ended their lives prematurely by suicide while the V.A. made veterans go it alone, unlike today’s efforts to protect our emotionally wounded warriors. She stated so many Vietnam Veterans have died of suicide, if the National Park service were to add their names to the Wall; the Wall would stretch to Virginia.

I have say I have done my own research over the years, “Twenty two veterans die every day from  suicide,”  is a popular quote, but according to the VA’s 2010 report 68% of the Veteran’s completed suicide are committed by males with an average age of fifty or older. Another opportunity was missed by a panelist. She could have connected the past to the present. A strong lesson in proper mental health care for ALL VETERANS no matter the era in which a veteran served could have been stressed. A plea for Vietnam Veterans, who are still struggling with the aftermath of their service, to get the free mental health services they are eligible for through the V.A. could have been made.  Instead she mourned her time in Saigon, her “hometown” as she put it.

Between speakers Vietnam veterans, started leaving. I saw it. They tried to not show their frustration, but for someone like me who was watching, it was very sad. It started in trickles but more and more would leave as the question and answer session continued.

Audience members were asked to submit questions for the panel. I had written two in hopes one would be answered. Neither of mine were chosen by the moderator. Most of the questions asked dealt specifically with Vietnam as a country, is Vietnam now more capitalist then communist?  Was Ho Chi Minh a communist or a Nationalist? Lots of questions in regards to journalism were asked, not surprising, as the moderator is himself the executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  More Vietnam Veterans escaped.

Mr.  Arnett escaped himself, into two other prepared ten minute diatribes, and the historian Edward Miller, plugged his research, himself, and his book. Mr. Vallely did not speak much at all.  I held out hope my questions would be asked right until the very end. I looked around in disgust, as I knew; the program was drawing to a close. The veteran who had offered me a seat was gone.

Could this really still happen? Could the “New” Lessons from an old War, not include the irresponsible use of herbicide, also known as Agent Orange? A two and a half hour forum such as this and not a single mention of the ill that is killing Vietnam Veterans quicker than any other Veteran era has faced? The issue that is on the minds of Vietnam Veterans and their families was not even alluded to. Not a single utterance of herbicide, or Agent Orange. Surprisingly, not even the Vietnamese struggle with the aftermath of herbicide was mentioned. It was as if it didn’t exist, just like Senator Kerrey’s admittance that he was a Navy Seal. The panel closed and the moderator thanked everyone. He mentioned folks could still make it home to see the Arizona game on TV, and that was the end.

As the crowd filed out, I decided to go and talk to some of the panelist.  I spoke with Senator Kerrey, I gave him my card and quickly told him about our organization, Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance.  I told him about my dad and my birth defects and how many kids of male vets are suffering and are not recognized for the same birth defects that are covered in the children of women Vietnam Veterans. His response, “I didn’t know so many were out there. “ My response, “Now you do, please put us on your radar. “

Journalism college students were no match for me, I maneuvered my way around and was assertive, until I was able to speak with Laura Palmer. I had the most hope for my conversation with her. After all, during the panel she mentioned children, wives and families. I basically wanted to introduce myself and say “thank you,” for mentioning the struggles of military families. I gave her my card and introduced myself, told her briefly about my story.

She stopped me mid sentence and said, “I am not reporting anymore.”

Shocked I said,” I just wanted to thank you for mentioning families.”

She replied, “There are a lot of journalists here, like people from the Post Gazette. I am no longer reporting.”

I said,” I don’t need a reporter, I just wanted to introduce myself, thank you for mentioning the families.”

“Oh, Ok, you’re welcome,” she said, nervously.

With that, I left. I felt numb. I wanted to scream, but there is no energy to scream anymore. I wanted to cry, but there are definitely, no tears.

The “NEW” Lessons from and Old War, taught tonight were (don’t get excited they aren’t new):

  • Vietnam was an unpopular war.
  • If we pretend Vietnam Veterans don’t exist we can rewrite history the way we want it viewed.
  • War is violent and people don’t like to admit their involvement.
  • We can try as hard as we can to do “good” in the country we engaged in war with, it doesn’t change the fact we were at war with them and they with us.
  • Some people had exciting adventures during the Vietnam War. They built their careers while soldiers and civilians died.
  • We don’t want to glorify the soldier, because then you are promoting war (Total B.S.).
  • Agent Orange? What is that? Huh? Never heard of it.

One thing I will take away from this evening is Peter Arnett’s, quip, “Know your adversary. Tonight I watched our Vietnam Veterans shrink away slowly from the familiar pain of disapproval. How many more times do the lessons from an “Old” war have to repeat and be reinforced in their lives by people who should know to do things differently?

Heather A. Bowser © 2014 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.

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On October 2, 2013, COVVHA President and Co-Founder, Kelly L. Derricks, attended VVA’s national Town Hall Meeting Held at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. The video below is Kelly’s Family Panel speech.  The evening panel video with Kelly will be released next week.

“If we continue to think that the fight against Monsanto is only about GMO’s, we have already lost.” ~ KLD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uW5xSKPp_4

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Agent Orange

Heather A. Bowser Stands Feet Away From Okinawa Grounds In Question November 2013

Heather A. Bowser Stands Feet Away From Okinawa Grounds In Question
November 2013

Nearly 1 month ago, COVVHA Co-Founder, Heather A. Bowser, caused quite a stir after she wrote a “Letter To The Editor” warning parents of dangerous secrets being hidden only feet away from where their children play.  In an article titled “Dioxin Threatening School Grounds” Bowser pieces together the trail of buried lies in this graphic http://covvha.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Dioxin1.jpg.

Today, in a new article by Jon Mitchell, the story continues….

Kadena moms demand truth

by Jon Mitchell

Six months ago, dangerous levels of dioxin were discovered near two U.S. Department of Defense schools on Okinawa Island — but only now are many service members based there learning the full extent of the contamination.

Parents whose children attend the potentially poisoned facilities at Kadena Air Base claim the Pentagon has failed to inform them of the risks or investigate whether the pollution extends onto the school ground. Many are accusing the military authorities of endangering their children’s health and now they have formed a group to demand answers.

The focus of parents’ fears are the playing fields of Bob Hope Primary School and Amelia Earhart Intermediate School, facilities operated by the Department of Defense for the children of U.S. service members.

Last June, construction workers unearthed more than 20 chemical barrels on civilian land bordering the schools.

Following tests the following month, the barrels were found to contain high concentrations of dioxin, a substance that can cause cancer, immune system damage and developmental problems in children. In nearby soil, dioxin levels measured 8.4 times the legal limit, while water peaked at 280 times the level considered safe. The land had once belonged to the adjacent air base but was returned to civilian use in 1987.

“Knowing that the base has probably been aware of this situation for many months, I feel very angry. I cannot imagine what could justify their decision to withhold this information from us parents. I believe they were morally and ethically obliged to warn us of the possible threat to our children,” Jannine Myers, the mother of a 10-year old girl attending Amelia Earhart Intermediate School, told The Japan Times.

Myers first heard about the contamination after reading a letter that was published in The Japan Times on Dec. 24 titled “Demand answers about dioxin threat at Okinawa schools.” (www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/12/23/voices/demand-answers-about-dioxin-threat-at-okinawa-schools/#.UtkSbCj8820 )

Angered by the authorities’ failure to notify parents and local residents about the possible dangers, Myers created a Facebook group on Jan. 10 named “Bob Hope/AEIS — Protect Our Kids,” in the hopes of persuading base officials to hold a public meeting and explain what action has been taken.

The group currently has more than 130 members with more parents joining everyday.

“If there is a dioxin threat at the schools, it will take an enormous amount of public pressure to a) have the U.S. authorities admit that they are responsible, and b), cause them to clean up this mess and protect our children,” Myers said.

Correspondence between Kadena Air Base officials and the Okinawa Defense Bureau reveals the U.S. authorities were aware of the proximity of the school fields to the chemical dumpsite as early as June.

Documents obtained by The Japan Times detail the bureau’s inquiries to the base immediately following the discovery of the barrels.

In response to these questions into past usage of the land, Kadena officials replied, “Starting in 1980, the area adjacent to the site was used as baseball fields and playgrounds for a nearby elementary school on Kadena Air Base.”

On Tuesday, in response to questions from The Japan Times about whether teachers and parents had been informed of the potential dangers, David Honchul, U.S. Forces Japan director of public affairs, appeared to contradict parents’ claims that they had not been notified. “There have been notices about the excavated drums and leadership at Kadena Air Base have been tracking the issue very closely,” he said by email.

Honchul also sought to reassure worried parents. “Kadena leadership and USFJ will take appropriate measures in accordance with DOD policy should we become aware of any potential substantial impact to human health and safety,” he wrote.

But it seems for many parents, this is too little, too late.

“The moment the knowledge of the barrels being uncovered and the potential for any dioxins to be found were known, every parent of the schools, and every person on Kadena should have been notified. I feel outraged,” Tina Eaton told The Japan Times. Eaton, who often takes her 3-year-old daughter to play on the schools’ fields, worries about the health effects of possible dioxin exposure on her child.

Meanwhile, on the civilian side of the wire, Japanese authorities are continuing to examine the land for further contamination.

Recently they discovered seven more barrels but they have not yet been unearthed. Unlike the nearby on-base land where American children are still allowed to play, the civilian side remains strictly cordoned off to prevent public access.

Among the barrels initially unearthed last June were some marked with the logo of the Dow Chemical Company, one of the leading manufacturers of military defoliants — including Agent Orange — during the Vietnam War. Tests on the barrels revealed the presence of two of Agent Orange’s telltale ingredients: the herbicide 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodiben-zop-dioxin (TCDD), the most lethal form of dioxin.

Commenting on the results, Katsuhisa Honda, the Ehime University scientist in charge of the study, likened the land to contaminated fields in Vietnam where the Pentagon sprayed millions of liters of Agent Orange in the 1960s.

Despite U.S. military records related to Agent Orange cataloguing a herbicide stockpile at Kadena in 1971, the Pentagon has repeatedly denied it stored such substances on Okinawa Island.

This is not the first time that Kadena Air Base schools have been the focus of public concern.

In 1983, a large quantity of live ammunition was discovered buried beneath the playground of Bob Hope Elementary School.

Recently, a number of high profile environmental concerns have come to light in Okinawa.

Last week, Kyodo published U.S. documents showing the Pentagon conducted dozens of biological weapons tests on the island between 1961 and 1962. Last summer, The Japan Times reported allegations from former U.S. service members that several tons of nerve gas were dumped off the island’s coast in 1969.

Under the current U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement, the Pentagon is absolved of all responsibility for environmental damage caused by its bases. However, in December, Washington announced that it would soon negotiate a new Environmental Stewardship Pact with Japan to supplement the current SOFA.

The Pentagon claimed the deal will improve environmental standards on its installations, but skeptics dismissed it as an attempt to placate Okinawans’ anger over plans to build a massive new military complex in the city of Nago.

However, it seems concerns over military pollution at Kadena Air Base has united many on both sides of the fence.

“We need to find out if our kids are at risk. That is the least the U.S. government/military owes us — and owes the people of Okinawa. They do not deserve this lethargic attitude on such a potentially devastating discovery, and neither do we,” Eaton said.

More Info: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/01/21/national/kadena-moms-demand-truth/#.Ut6WOrROmM

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March Against Monsanto

MONSANTO Kills

This is the story of Agent Orange COVVHA Certified Speaker, Heather Pontruff – Austin Texas, March Against Monsanto October 12, 2013

http://youtu.be/zmNRTw3G20w

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods are being produced in laboratories by the same chemical companies that mass produced Agent Orange. As contractors for the United States Government, Monsanto was the largest and most deadly producer of Agent Orange. Their chemical potency was one thousand (1,000) times greater in deadliness as compared to the other chemical companies producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War era. Today, half of Agent Orange’s chemical compound, 2, 4,-D, and other pesticides like roundup, are the chemicals being sprayed on GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, resulting in triple the danger of food that is not organic. Imagine what happens to a body already exposed to Agent Orange, like the countless Vietnam Veterans and their children that we at COVVHA advocate for, when consuming these GMO pesticides and foods. In a nutshell, Agent Orange was, in essence, the chicken before the GMO egg. March against Monsanto (MAM) was created by Tami Canal, a stay at home mom from a small town in Utah. She was prompted to take action after her family’s ever rising grocery bill to ensure she wasn’t poisoning her family. Instead of staying angry, she channeled her energy into creating a protest to spread awareness of the atrocities being committed by Monsanto and to encourage boycotts. Her main objective is to ensure the health, longevity and fertility of her daughters, things Monsanto and their GMO poison threaten. (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. has teamed up with March Against Monsanto and built an Agent Orange Awareness program that will prove to be a long lasting and far reaching campaign within both organizations. On October 12, 2013 COVVHA joined MAM for the second global March Against Monsanto. Several cities that participated in the day’s events hosted guest speakers from COVVHA’s own private membership base to rise up and publicly share their personal experiences about Agent Orange. Their videos are now being provided for the public to watch and will be released over the next few weeks.

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Agent Orange

(C) Heather A. Bowser

(C) Heather A. Bowser

To the teachers and parents of children attending Bob Hope Primary School and Amelia Earhart Intermediate School, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa:

My name is Heather Bowser and I am the cofounder and national coordinator of the Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Okinawa City where, in June, barrels of an unknown substance were uncovered near your children’s playground.

Have you heard of the discovery? More than 20 chemical drums were found buried on the other side of the fence just past one of your jungle gyms.

Standing near the blue tarps covering the hole from where the barrels were exhumed, my heart ached when I realized its proximity to your schools. I am begging you to demand a full investigation into the toxicity of the land where the schools are built.

There has been lots of speculation about what the barrels once contained. The words “Agent Orange” have even been used. But regardless of what the material in the barrels was, there has been confirmation of TCDD dioxin — independent tests confirmed that the level in nearby water was 840 times safe limits. Have you been told this industrial byproduct has been found less than a football field away from where your children play at recess?

The possible contamination of the ground surrounding your kids’ schools should not be ignored.

In lab tests on animals, dioxin has caused a wide variety of diseases, many of them fatal. Dioxin is not found in nature, but it’s a man-made byproduct of the chemical manufacturing process. Most notably, Agent Orange used in Vietnam was later found to be heavily contaminated with dioxin.

Dioxin is what is responsible for sickening and killing our U.S. Vietnam veterans, Australian Vietnam veterans and of course the Vietnamese. The illnesses presumed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be caused by exposure to dioxin include chronic B-cell leukemias, diabetes mellitus type 2, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer and respiratory cancers — including lung cancer.

Do you know any children already suffering from these illnesses at a really young age? Dioxin exposure could be to blame.

If your children are boys and they have been exposed to dioxin, they have a higher likelihood of having children with neural tube defects like spina bifida. Your future grandchildren do not deserve to carry the burden of negligence. They did not enlist.

Children of Vietnam Veterans has a long history of dealing with our families’ exposure to dioxin. The dioxin they were exposed to was in the chemical herbicides sprayed in Vietnam from 1961 to 1971. We are a group of 20-45-year-olds, many of whom have lost their fathers to illnesses caused by exposure to dioxin.

We have been born with many birth defects and illnesses the government is still ignoring. My mother suffered two miscarriages, and in 1972 I was born two months premature, weighing only 3 lb, 4 oz [1.5 kg]. I was missing my right leg below the knee, several of my fingers, my big toe on my left foot, and my remaining toes were webbed. There was absolutely no history of miscarriages or birth defects in either family. This could be what your children may face when they start their own families.

By age 38, my dad had had five heart bypasses; at 40, he developed diabetes; at 48, he had a stroke; aged 50, he died of a massive heart attack, leaving my mother a young widow.

We do not want anyone to suffer what we as children of Vietnam veterans have gone through, and that is why we are speaking out. We are innocent victims, and our government turns a blind eye to our birth defects.

We are dying; our fathers are dying or have died. Do not allow your family to be added to our dioxin genocide.

Your family deserves to know the truth about possible contamination. If your children have been exposed, they deserve justice and immediate health treatment.

Please research the contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. An investigation found contamination spanned three decades — 30 years of drinking contaminated water.

What are officials doing to ensure your children are not exposed to potential contamination at Bob Hope Primary School and Amelia Earhart Intermediate School? Demand school officials close the playground until the soil can be tested and remediation undertaken if necessary.

Educate yourself on dioxin exposure. Don’t let your children and grandchildren carry this burden.

HEATHER A. BOWSER
Canfield, Ohio
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/12/23/voices/demand-answers-about-dioxin-threat-at-okinawa-schools/#.UriI-LSOefY
COVVHA

(C) Heather A Bowser

 

© 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.

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Agent Orange And Epigenetics Full Study Includedagent orange dna

Father’s diet may affect offspring’s development, study of mice suggests

Watching what you eat and drink isn’t just for moms-to-be anymore. New scientific evidence suggests that the father’s diet before conception might be just as important to a child’s health.

A study in mice linked nutritional deficiencies in paternal diet to a higher rate of birth defects compared with those whose fathers were fed a normal, well-rounded menu. The findings raise concerns about dads unknowingly passing on harmful traits through molecular markers on the DNA of their sperm.

These epigenetic markers don’t change the genetic information, but rather switch parts of the genome on and off. They are susceptible to environment and diet throughout fetal development, but were thought to be wiped clean before birth. New studies, including the one published online Tuesday in Nature Communications, have revealed that some of them may survive all the way from sperm to baby.

When analyzing the sperm epigenomes of the low-nutrition mice, the researchers found abnormalities in epigenetic markers that affected genes linked to development, neurological and psychological disorders and certain cancers.

“We should be looking carefully at the way a man is living his life,” said study author and reproductive biologist Sarah Kimmins of McGill University. “Environmental exposure is remembered in the developing sperm and transmitted to offspring.”

Since it takes human males about three months to produce fully grown sperm from stem cells, Kimmins speculates that men trying to have children could try cleaning up their diets even temporarily.

“If a man has been living a bad, unhealthy lifestyle, he will not only improve his own health but the health of his offspring,” she said.

Scientists at McGill fed male mice a diet containing less than 15 percent of the recommended amount of folate, otherwise known as vitamin B9. High doses of the nutrient can be found naturally in liver, spinach, brussels sprouts, asparagus and avocados. Kimmins chose folate because it can directly affect the body’s ability to produce epigenetic markers.

In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration started to require makers of grain products to enrich breads, pastas, rice and cereals with folic acid, the synthetic form of B9. Most people in the United States get enough of the vitamin, but some groups such as younger women tend to absorb less of it. Also, being overweight or consuming alcohol can cause the body to metabolize less folate.

Babies of women who don’t get enough folate are more likely to have defects in the neural tube, a structure in embryos that later becomes the brain and spinal cord. While it was known that low folate in males can affect their fertility, these findings show a surprising association with birth defects.

“No one ever thinks of birth defects as coming from the father if they aren’t genetic,” said Kimmins. Instead, the focus tends to be entirely on the mother and what she eats and drinks because of the shared nutrients during pregnancy. “This is becoming a really outdated way of thinking,” she said.

One of every 33 children in the United States is born with a birth defect, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but most of those have an unknown, nongenetic cause. Some scientists suggest that the inherited layer of epigenetic information could contribute to birth defects.

Kimmins and her colleagues set out to discover whether they could change the information transmitted by sperm without altering the DNA itself, by tweaking only food intake.

Male mice in one group were fed a folate-deficient diet from womb to adulthood, because sperm cells start to form when pups are still in utero. The control male mice, as well as the females that both groups bred with, were kept on normal, well-balanced diets.

The folate-deficient fathers had fertility issues, as expected, and their litters had almost 30 percent more birth defects than the control group’s.

“The birth defects were quite severe: club foot, underdeveloped digits, shortened jaws, webbing of the digits,” Kimmins said. “I didn’t see any of that in the controls.”

When analyzing the sperm epigenome of the mice, researchers found differences between the two groups that affected genes linked to development, the nervous system and cancer.

Kimmins is now working with fertility clinics to gather human data on paternal folate levels, obesity, and the sperm epigenome in order to link them with reproductive success and child health. She expects the results to translate from mice to men, because they are genetically and epigenetically very similar.

Ohio University endocrinologist Felicia Nowak called the study “a very nice piece of the transgenerational epigenetic puzzle.”

Nowak’s preliminary results on mice fed high-fat diets reinforce the importance of dads-to-be watching what they eat. Male mice who noshed on too many fatty foods fathered heavier pups with higher percentages of body fat compared with their low-fat-diet counterparts, even though all the pups were kept on the same healthy diet.

By Meeri Kim, Published: December 14 E-mail the writerThis Article Originally Appeared In The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/fathers-diet-may-affect-offsprings-development-study-of-mice-suggests/2013/12/14/006834a8-644e-11e3-91b3-f2bb96304e34_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

Agent Orange Paternal Epigenetics

© 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.

BECOME A MEMBER OF CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS HEALTH ALLIANCE
YOU WILL RECEIVE A ONCE DAILY EMAIL OF ANY BREAKING AGENT ORANGE NEWS AND RELATED TOPICS IN ADDITION TO ANY COVVHA UPDATES
PLEASE ENTER YOUR EMAIL IN THE BOX BELOW, A CONFIRMATION LINK WILL BE SENT TO YOUR EMAIL. YOU MUST OPEN THE EMAIL AND CLICK THE CONFIRMATION LINK TO COMPLETE THE PROCESS.
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Agent OrangeAgent Orange Holiday Grief
This holiday season will be the first one Virginia Partain will spend without her husband, Jim, since they married in 2004. Jim, a veteran who was exposed to the carcinogenic herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, died in May after a nine-year battle with multiple myeloma—or bone-marrow cancer—at age 67…..

Agent Orange the Grieving Season

Read More: http://www.newsreview.com/chico/grieving-season/content?oid=12136961

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Agent Orange – Okinawa

Okinawa

Workers examine barrels unearthed from the site of a former U.S. military base in Okinawa, in this July 2, 2013 file photo. (Photo courtesy of Ryukyu Shimpo)

OKINAWA — An environmentalist here has voiced concerns that a controversial state secrets bill might enable the government to hide the truth behind environmental pollution, such as highly toxic dioxins at the site of a former United States military base in Okinawa that may have originated from Agent Orange defoliant.

“When land is returned, will information on pollution be designated a secret because it ‘deals with diplomacy or defense?’ If that happens, even though pollution affects the health of people and the environment, we won’t be able to look into the issue,” warns Masami Kawamura, director of the Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa, which has investigated the existence of Agent Orange in Okinawa.

The dioxins were found in barrels unearthed from a soccer field here on property that was formerly part of the U.S. military’s Kadena base. The base land was returned to Japan in 1987. All the turf on the field has now been removed. A woman who was cleaning a park nearby noted that the field was often used for matches.

“It’s worrying because there were many children there,” she said.

The barrels were uncovered when field’s turf was being relayed on June 13. The barrels bore the name of the Dow Chemical Company, which made Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War. A total of 26 barrels have been uncovered. Agent Orange is said to have caused many deformities in children born in areas where it was used. The defoliant’s dioxins are considered to be the main cause.

According to the Okinawa Defense Bureau, the land where the barrels were found was created by filling in a valley, and the barrels may have been dumped there before the work commenced.

Both the bureau and the Okinawa Municipal Government investigated the barrels and found dioxin levels in excess of the national environmental limit. However, while the city government listed Agent Orange as a possible cause of the dioxins, the defense bureau was more reserved, saying that the dioxins could have come from weed killers.

While former U.S. soldiers and others have said in the past that Agent Orange was brought onto Okinawan soil, neither the U.S. nor Japanese governments have acknowledged it.

“It is revolutionary that the city conducted its own investigation at a time when the national government was possibly trying to play down the situation,” says Kawamura.

Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera visited the field in September and said to Okinawa Mayor Mitsuko Tomon, “We’d like to return the land to its former state in a transparent manner.” The Defense Ministry began magnetic surveying and other follow-up investigations of the site, while the Okinawa Municipal Government plans further investigations of its own.

In the meantime, Kawamura is worried where the special state secrets protection bill is headed. The bill lists four areas in which documents can be designated secret: defense, diplomacy, prevention of specific damaging activities (espionage, etc.), and prevention of terrorism.

In April, the Abe administration reached an agreement with the United States on the return of six U.S. military facilities and areas south of Kadena Air Base. However, the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement exempts the U.S. from any responsibility to restore returned land to its former state or to pay money for doing so. Japan pays for pollution removal and other such costs.

Daisuke Misawa, head of the Okinawa Defense Bureau section handing the U.S. return of land to Japan, says, “We are not planning on making such reports secret,” but Kawamura remains unsettled.

“I don’t want to oppose the central government, but I want information to be shared so we can move in the right direction, and I think the special state secrets protection bill discourages that,” says Kawamura.

November 23, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

Read More: http://mainichi.jp/graph/2013/11/23/20131123p2a00m0na008000c/001.html

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Agent Orange

Agent Orange Daughters

While the Vietnam War ended decades ago, its effects continue to linger on.  Agent Orange haunts the lives of the people it has touched…..

A War Unending the Vietnam War and Agent Orange
 

http://thediplomat.com/2012/11/a-war-unending-the-vietnam-war-and-agent-orange/?allpages=yes

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Agent Orange

Agent Orange MAM

This is the story of Agent Orange COVVHA Certified Speaker, Courtney Clausen. March Against Monsanto, Michigan.

http://youtu.be/a1oXaSSNEXA

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods are being produced in laboratories by the same chemical companies that mass produced Agent Orange. As contractors for the United States Government, Monsanto was the largest and most deadly producer of Agent Orange. Their chemical potency was one thousand (1,000) times greater in deadliness as compared to the other chemical companies producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War era.

Today, half of Agent Orange’s chemical compound, 2, 4,-D, and other pesticides like roundup, are the chemicals being sprayed on GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, resulting in triple the danger of food that is not organic. Imagine what happens to a body already exposed to Agent Orange, like the countless Vietnam Veterans and their children that we at COVVHA advocate for, when consuming these GMO pesticides and foods. In a nutshell, Agent Orange was, in essence, the chicken before the GMO egg.

March against Monsanto (MAM) was created by Tami Canal, a stay at home mom from a small town in Utah. She was prompted to take action after her family’s ever rising grocery bill to ensure she wasn’t poisoning her family. Instead of staying angry, she channeled her energy into creating a protest to spread awareness of the atrocities being committed by Monsanto and to encourage boycotts. Her main objective is to ensure the health, longevity and fertility of her daughters, things Monsanto and their GMO poison threaten.

(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. has teamed up with March Against Monsanto and built an Agent Orange Awareness program that will prove to be a long lasting and far reaching campaign within both organizations.

On October 12, 2013 COVVHA joined MAM for the second global March Against Monsanto. Several cities that participated in the day’s events hosted guest speakers from COVVHA’s own private membership base to rise up and publicly share their personal experiences about Agent Orange. Their videos are now being provided for the public to watch and will be released over the next few weeks.

© 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.

BECOME A MEMBER OF CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS HEALTH ALLIANCE
YOU WILL RECEIVE A ONCE DAILY EMAIL OF ANY BREAKING AGENT ORANGE NEWS AND RELATED TOPICS IN ADDITION TO ANY COVVHA UPDATES
PLEASE ENTER YOUR EMAIL IN THE BOX BELOW, A CONFIRMATION LINK WILL BE SENT TO YOUR EMAIL. YOU MUST OPEN THE EMAIL AND CLICK THE CONFIRMATION LINK TO COMPLETE THE PROCESS.
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Agent Orange, Okinawa

Agent Orange Okinawa

At the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly in Naha on November 11, Heather Bowser stressed the risk posed by defoliants.

November 12, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa COVVHA.NETAgent Orange second-generation victim Heather Bowser gave a lecture at the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on November 11. Her late father was a Vietnam War veteran and a victim of the defoliant known as Agent Orange. She was born without a right leg below the knee, the big toe on her left foot and several fingers.

Dioxins have been detected recently in barrels unearthed in a soccer field in Okinawa City. Bowser urged the authorities to carry out health surveys for residents living near bases and for Okinawan workers at the U.S. bases, including those already retired. During the panel discussion that followed the lecture, John Mitchell, a freelance journalist who has interviewed U.S. military veterans who are Agent Orange victims, commented that herbicides were used at least fifteen bases in Okinawa.

Bowser stressed that people who ignore the problem will in effect become accomplices of the U.S. government, adding that nothing will change unless residents take action. She said that Vietnam veterans suffered from serious health issues such as ischemic heart disease, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. She suggested that if such diseases had occurred among a particular age group and in certain regions in Okinawa, it would provide a clue towards proving the storage or use of Agent Orange. The U.S. government has insisted that it did not use Agent Orange in Okinawa, but Bowser warned that residents would be exposed to defoliants forever if they merely waited for the government to change its stance. She recommended that in cooperation with medical institutions, Okinawa set up a desk to provide a consultation service for possible victims of defoliants.

Mitchell criticized the U.S. Department of Defense for hiding the facts about Agent Orange. He said that the U.S. government should tell the truth, and that the contamination of bases is a criminal act against the people of Okinawa.

Today, Bowser serves as the director of International Relations for (COVVHA), Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC., and organization she co-founded with another agent orange survivor and daughter of a late Vietnam Veteran.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey) Read More:http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2013/11/19/12249/

 

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Agent Orange, Monsanto, GMO

Agent Orange Slow Burn Genocide www.covvha.net

More and more, we are seeing these news clips being reported by the main stream media. You can help by leaving your comments on these reports. Let everyone know that (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance is fighting for justice! The slow burn genocide of Agent Orange, Monsanto, and GMO foods WILL NOT continue!!!

Read More : http://www.wearecentralpa.com/story/is-agent-orange-hurting-generations-of-americans/d/story/yW99PhWapkSHdboA2z8Njw

Truth Teller

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Agent Orange Survivor’s Stories

Agent Orange Jodi

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods are being produced in laboratories by the same chemical companies that mass produced Agent Orange.  As contractors for the United States Government, Monsanto was the largest and most deadly producer of Agent Orange.  Their chemical potency was one thousand (1,000) times greater in deadliness as compared to the other chemical companies producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War era.

Today, half of Agent Orange’s chemical compound, 2, 4,-D, and other pesticides like roundup, are the chemicals being sprayed on GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, resulting in triple the danger of food that is not organic. Imagine what happens to a body already exposed to Agent Orange, like the countless Vietnam Veterans and their children that we at COVVHA advocate for, when consuming these GMO pesticides and foods. In a nutshell, Agent Orange was, in essence, the chicken before the GMO egg.

March against Monsanto (MAM) was created by Tami Canal, a stay at home mom from a small town in Utah. She was prompted to take action after her family’s ever rising grocery bill to ensure she wasn’t poisoning her family. Instead of staying angry, she channeled her energy into creating a protest to spread awareness of the atrocities being committed by Monsanto and to encourage boycotts. Her main objective is to ensure the health, longevity and fertility of her daughters, things Monsanto and their GMO poison threaten.

(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC.  has teamed up with March Against Monsanto and built an Agent Orange Awareness program that will prove to be a long lasting and far reaching campaign within both organizations.

On October 12, 2013 COVVHA joined MAM for the second global March Against Monsanto. Several cities that participated in the day’s events hosted guest speakers from COVVHA’s own private membership base to rise up and publicly share their personal experiences about Agent Orange. Their videos are now being provided for the public to watch and will be released over the next few weeks.

This is the story of Agent Orange COVVHA Certified Speaker, Jodi Ausland, Tampa Florida

 http://youtu.be/isvGsXzUQks

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Halloween Candy and Brands Containing GMO

PLEASE SUPPORT COVVHA’S FIGHT BY SHARING THIS LINK WITHOUT SEPARATING THE PHOTO

THANK YOU!!!!!

There have long been concerns about the safety of kid’s candy; but beyond urban legend, lead and GMOs are at the top of the list of ingredients in candy that can do harm.

 

According to an infographic circulating in the social-sphere from The GIVE Project using information from The Green Halloween and Non-GMO Project, the top 10 GMO ingredients in Halloween candy are as follows:

 

  1. Sugar (GMO sugar beets)
  2. High fructose corn syrup (GMO corn)
  3. Corn starch (GMO corn)
  4. Soy lecithin (GMO soy)
  5. Soybean oil GMO soy)
  6. Modified food starch (GMO corn)
  7. Fructose, dextrose, glucose (GMO corn)
  8. Cottonseed oil (GMO cotton)
  9. Canola oil (GMO canola)
  10. “Other” ingredients: isolates, isoflavones, food starch, vegetable oil

 

The infographic points fingers at popular items including the beloved Hershey’s Kiss, Snickers, Kit-Kat, Twix bar, Butterfinger, Mike & Ike, Reeses, M&Ms — and the list goes on. They say it includes pretty much every mainstream candy bar made in the U.S. According to the
Green Halloween organization’s “Guide to a Non-GMO Halloween,” over 80 percent of the packaged food in America contains GMOs. And that includes candy.

 

What a lot of people are asking themselves is — if I have to get rid of these conventional candies, what can I replace them with?

 

A lot of advocates would argue that we should try and shift the cultural values away from one that prizes candy. EatRight.org says that when kids are presented with a choice between treats and toys, they prefer the toys.

 

Dr. Kevin Strong, founder and CEO of Dunk the Junk, a national organization to get kids to switch from soda and junk food to healthier options, suggests cool fruits such as clementines, starfruit, and ugli
fruit if your budget allows. However, when pressed on the issue of candy, he concedes that some choices are “healthier.” Those are candies containing nuts or coconut, which contain protein. Strong explains:

 

The protein in the nut will help offset the sugar crash as these nutrients have a longer metabolic life. One of the reasons the junk food epidemic has become so severe is the decline of protein and fat in many diets. We are lacking nutritional endurance — sugar blast, crash, sugar blast, crash, sugar blast, crash. Smooth out the ride with some more protein and your pancreas and liver will thank you dearly.

 

Personally, I’m glad to hear that there is a time, place and even a healthier way to consume candy. It’s not every day and it’s not all the time. When I select treats, I try and eat them after a balanced meal and to keep out the artificial ingredients, GMOs and other toxins in order to minimize the burden of what my body has to metabolize.

 

As for your choices? Either 1.) you can carry this ingredient list around with you and screen all candies before buying them, 2.) you can try to stick with organic items (which can’t guarantee non-GMO or better for you, but they should be a start), or 3.) you can carefully look for items that display the “Non-GMO Project” label.

 

Or, to make it super-easy for candy givers and candy eaters alike, just buy from this list that Veritey developed. (Full disclosure: I’m the founder and we source products for healthy living.) Goodbye, candy conundrum and hello, delicious and reasonably healthy treats!

 

1. Endangered Species individually-wrapped chocolates — in dark chocolate, rainforest mint, chocolate cashew and more. These chocolates are good-tasting (some even have nuts), individually-wrapped, and reasonably priced. The company donates 10 percent of net profits to supporting species, habitat and humanity.

 

2. Maple candies — the positive thing about these treats is that they’re 100 percent made from organic maple syrup, which has some potential health benefits, and is nutritionally better and less processed than refined sugar. However, it’s also still a very sweet sugar to your system. And these candies are not individually-wrapped, so you’ll have to save them for trick-or-treaters you know well.

 

3. Yummy Gummy Candies — this is a candy that’s free of common allergens like peanut, gluten and soy and is also free of dyes, corn syrup, GMOs and more.

 

4. Annie’s — gummy snacks or pretzels or cheddar crackers in snack-size packs for something savory. All Annie’s items are non-GMO.

 

5. Trader Joe’s Organic Pops — these are individually-wrapped lollipops that use natural food coloring from vegetable colors, specifically red cabbage, purple carrots, tumeric and annatto, to keep their candies real.

 

Just do me a favor and remember that candy consumption should be kept to a minimum. As the saying goes, “All things are good in moderation…”

 

For more by Amy Ziff, click here.

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AGENT ORANGE BREAKING NEWS ALERT

What makes this Saturday’s rallies different is that this time victims of Agent Orange and Dioxin Exposures (all members of Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance) will be participating in the events in several cities across the US.

“Never before will so many Children of Vietnam Veterans be speaking out at the same time, on the same day,” the movement said in its statement. “October is Agent Orange Awareness Month; please support those trying to make a difference in their own lives.”

http://rt.com/news/march-against-monsanto-global-996/

 

March Against Monsanto

mArch against Monsanto

 

Hello MAM supporters and participants!! I started the March Against Monsanto in February after an exceptionally expensive grocery trip. I was fuming because of the cost of food to ensure I wasn’t poisoning my beautiful children, whom I would do ANYTHING for. It made me start thinking about their little friends and my friends’ kids. I realized that people wouldn’t knowingly feed their kids things that could truly harm them, You know, cancer and infertility… ailments that really hurt them, BUT the problem is most people don’t know!! I don’t want my girls to grow up watching their friends get sick or die. So I decided to start a campaign of awareness and action. We can all be keyboard warriors, but what really counts is getting in the streets and making our voices heard.

The first march in May was more than I could have dreamed it would be. 52 countries and over 2 million people took to the streets to join a global protest that is one of the biggest in history. I can’t tell you the feeling that came with that. Awe, pride, disbelief… I still can’t believe what MAM has become, the journey it has taken from its incredibly humble start. I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for being a part of a cause that means so much to me. I truly have a dream that is becoming a reality.

We are going to win this. We are going to save our food supply. We are going to protect and ensure seed sovereignty. We are going to make sure the world we leave for our kids and grandkids is a better one. We will save our bees and the environment. I get so emotional when I think of what we are doing collectively. We really are making a difference!!

In mere hours, MAM events will start in New Zealand and revolve around the world as we embark on the second March Against Monsanto. This cause has truly united the world! Over 400 cities in 57 countries will take place as we, the citizens of the world, say NO to poison! 3 million people will stand up for the food supply, the environment, and our planet’s sustainability. Join an event near you and be a part of this moment in time: http://bit.ly/Oct12MAM This will go down in history books and we would like to thank YOU for supporting a cause that is very much one of the most important of our lifetimes.

I would like to express my deep gratitude for all at the national level. MAM has an awesome team that has spent countless hours working hard to make these events an international victory!! We would also like to give a very special thank you to all of our local organizers, whose hard work and selfless dedication has been instrumental in the global success of MAM. We would like to give a very special thank you to Dr. Vandana Shiva and the Fortnight of Action For Seed Freedom. Dr. Shiva has worked tirelessly for seed sovereignty and food freedom and it an honor to have her speaking at MAM London.

This time, MAM has teamed up with the Children of Vietnam Veterans Heath Alliance. Agent Orange, a deadly toxin manufactured by Monsanto, has destroyed the lives of millions. MAM has teamed up COVVHA to allow the survivors of this horror a platform to tell their stories. Never before will so many Children of Vietnam Veterans be speaking out at the same time, on the same day, about how Agent Orange has affected their health, and the health of their families.

As we set the course of history in motion, please keep in mind that the third March Against Monsanto is already planned for May 24, 2014. Get this information out there so we can all start building our events for Spring. Start promoting while you have an intrigued audience. Contact www.facebook.com/monstanto to set up an event for 5/24/14. Please be mindful that MAM is a peaceful movement and there will be kids and the elderly in attendance. Have a good, safe time tomorrow!! Take lots of pictures that you can submit to the MAM Facebook page.

The world will be watching tomorrow as we take a stand. We will not stand for poison. We will not stand for cronyism. And we thank you for standing up for what is right and marching against Monsanto.

“Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do.” – Orison Swett Marden

(C) Tami Canal - March Against Monsanto Founder

© 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.

BECOME A MEMBER OF CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS HEALTH ALLIANCE
YOU WILL RECEIVE A ONCE DAILY EMAIL OF ANY BREAKING AGENT ORANGE NEWS AND RELATED TOPICS IN ADDITION TO ANY COVVHA UPDATES
PLEASE ENTER YOUR EMAIL IN THE BOX BELOW, A CONFIRMATION LINK WILL BE SENT TO YOUR EMAIL. YOU MUST OPEN THE EMAIL AND CLICK THE CONFIRMATION LINK TO COMPLETE THE PROCESS.
ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:Delivered by FeedBurner

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AGENT ORANGE, MONSANTO, GMO,
MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO GMO WORLD FOOD DAY

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods are being produced in laboratories by the same chemical companies that mass produced Agent Orange.  As contractors for the United States Government, Monsanto was the largest and most deadly producer of Agent Orange.  Their chemical potency was one thousand (1,000) times greater in deadliness as compared to the other chemical companies producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War era.

Today, half of Agent Orange’s chemical compound, 2, 4,-D, and other pesticides like roundup, are the chemicals being sprayed on GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, resulting in triple the danger of food that is not organic. Imagine what happens to a body already exposed to Agent Orange, like the countless Vietnam Veterans and their children that we at COVVHA advocate for, when consuming these GMO pesticides and foods. In a nutshell, Agent Orange was, in essence, the chicken before the GMO egg.

March against Monsanto (MAM) was created by Tami Canal, a stay at home mom from a small town in Utah. She was prompted to take action after her family’s ever rising grocery bill to ensure she wasn’t poisoning her family. Instead of staying angry, she channeled her energy into creating a protest to spread awareness of the atrocities being committed by Monsanto and to encourage boycotts. Her main objective is to ensure the health, longevity and fertility of her daughters, things Monsanto and their GMO poison threaten.

(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC.  has partnered with March Against Monsanto to build an Agent Orange Awareness program that will prove to be a long lasting and far reaching campaign within both organizations.

Join COVVHA and MAM for the second global March Against Monsanto on October 12, 2013.  Several cities participating in the day’s events will be hosting guest speakers from COVVHA’s own private membership base to rise up and publicly share their personal experiences about Agent Orange.

We are asking our supporters who are attending their local marches to make copies of our COVVHA Flyer and hand them out to help raise Agent Orange Awareness in communities across the country. If the events listed below are not in your area, please CLICK HERE to view MAM’s main event page to find the city closest to you!

Cities Hosting Agent Orange Speakers (Note:  locations with * are pending)
Albuquerque NM*
Ann Arbor MI
Asheville NC ****EVENT IS ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 13****
Austin, Texas
Bellingham Washington
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cleveland Georgia*
Columbus, Ohio
Coos Bay, Oregon
Denver, Colorado
Des Moines, IA*
Hagerstown Maryland*
Hartford, Connecticut
Kansas City, Missouri
Kauai Hawaii*
Laguna Beach, CA
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Las Cruces, NM*
Los Angeles CA
Madison, Wisconsin
New York City*
Ormond Beach, Florida
Oxnard, California
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Princeton NJ
Rockford, Illinois
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Diego, CA
San Antonio, Texas
Seattle WA *
St Pete FL
St. Louis, Missouri
Tampa, Florida
Tucson Arizona
Vancouver BC
West Palm Beach Florida

(C) Heather A. Bowser

(C) Heather A. Bowser

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Agent Orange

GRANDCHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS, THIRD GENERATION, AGENT ORANGE DIOXIN BIRTH DEFECTS & HEALTH ISSUES
Agent Orange In Grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans www.covvha.net

We have compiled a list of 162 reported illnesses that the biological Grand-Children of Vietnam Veterans are suffering from to try and find common threads. There have been no official claims that anything on this list has been proven to be caused by Agent Orange/Dioxin unless otherwise noted in the information below. If your child is suffering from any illness not listed, please email us at COVVHA@GMAIL.COM This list has been updated as of October 1, 2013.

Please click on the page NEWS ALERTS” to become an email subscriber. You will then receive notifications when databases for 2ND GENERATION, 3RD GENERATION, and VETERANS HEALTH have been updated as well as any new articles that are published. Please be sure to check your email after subscribing for your confirmation completion.

1. 16p deletion in DNA:
2. Abdominal Migraines
3. Abdominal Scar Tissue Growth
4. Alopecia Universalis
5. Allergies- Food, Milk, Meds, Gluten, Seasonal, Severe, ETC
6. Allergic Rhinitis AKA Hay Fever
7. Amblyopia AKA Lazy Eye
8. Anal Fistula
9. Anemia
10. Anencephaly
11. Anger Problems
12. Anxiety
13. Apraxia of Limb
14. Apraxia of Speech
15. Arthritis
16. Asperger’s Syndrome
17. Asthma
18. Attention Deficit Disorder
19. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
20. Atypical Tuberculosis (Not Regular Tuberculosis)
21. Auditory Processing Disorder
22. Autism Spectrum Disorder
23. Autoimmune Problems
24. Beckwith–Weidemann Syndrome
25. Bedwetting
26. Bicuspid Aortic Stenosis
27. Bilateral Retinoblastoma
28. Bipolar Disorder AKA Bipolar Affective Disorder, Manic-Depressive Disorder, or Manic Depression
29. Blood Clotting Issues
30. Borderline Personality Disorder
31. Born with One Kidney
32. Bowel Obstruction
33. Celiac Disease
34. Cellulitis
35. Chest Pain: Undefined
36. (Chronic) Bronchitis
37. Chronic Ear Infections
38. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
39. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease AKA Emphysema
40. Cleft Palate
41. Clubbed Thumb
42. Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV) AKA Club Foot
43. Congenital Hypothyroidism
44. Constipation AKA Costiveness AKA Dyschezia AKA Trouble moving Bowels
45. Crohn’s Disease AKA Crohn’s Syndrome AKA Regional Enteritis
46. Cystic Hygroma
47. Cysts
48. Deafness
49. Deformed Baby Teeth
50. Depression
51. Developmental Delay
52. Dual AV Node In Heart
53. Dyslexia
54. Eczema
55. Edwards Syndrome
56. Ehler’s- Danlos Syndrome AKA Cutis Hyperelastica
57. Emotional Problems
58. Endometriosis
59. Enlarged Adenoids
60. Enlarged Tonsils
61. Failure to Thrive (Difficulty Gaining Weight)
62. Fibromyalgia
63. Fine Motor Aphasia
64. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
65. Gross Motor Aphasia
66. Headaches
67. Hearing Aids (Both Ears)
68. Hearing Loss
69. Heart Murmur
70. High Blood Pressure AKA Hypertension
71. High Cholesterol AKA Hypercholesterolemia
72. Hip Dysplasia
73. Hirsutism AKA Frasonism (Female facial hair)
74. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
75. Hole in Heart
76. Holoprosencephaly (Lobar)
77. Hydrocephalus
78. Hydronephrosis AKA Enlarged Kidney
79. Hyperflexability in the Joints AKA Hypermobility in the Joints
80. Hypospadias
81. Hypovitaminosis D AKA Vitamin D Deficiency
82. Idiopathic Thrombocytic Purpura (ITP)
83. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
84. Insomnia AKA Trouble Sleeping AKA Sleeplessness
85. Idiopathic Thrombocytic Purpura (ITP)
86. Keratosis Pilaris (KP) AKA Chicken Skin
87. Kidney Problems
88. Kyphosis
89. Learning Disability, Non Specific
90. Leg and Hip Problems at Birth
91. Low Birth Weight
92. Lupus AKA Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
93. Metabolic Syndrome
94. Migraines
95. Minimal Separation of Left Renal Collecting System
96. Missing Teeth
97. Moody
98. Neural Tube Defects
99. Night Terrors
100. Nosebleeds AKA Epistaxis
101. Obesity
102. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
103. One Testicle That is Smaller Than the Other One
104. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
105. Osteoporosis
106. Overall Weak Immune System
107. Past Urinary Problems
108. Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) (Form of Autism)
109. Peeling Finger/ Toe Nails
110. Pericardial Cyst On Heart
111. Photosensitivity
112. Pica
113. Plagiocephaly
114. Poland Syndrome, Undiagnosed
115. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
116. Poor Hand/Eye Coordination
117. Potty Training Problems
118. Premature Birth
119. Primary Teeth Retention- Causes Crooked and Crowded Teeth
120. Prone to Vericocele/ Hydracele
121. Prune Belly Syndrome
122. Psoriasis
123. Pulmonary Stenosis
124. Pyloric Stenosis
125. Radial Dysphasia of the Wrist
126. Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy
127. Retinoblastoma AKA Cancer of the Retina
128. Ruptured Ear Drums
129. Scoliosis
130. Seizures
131. Sensitive Skin
132. Sensory Processing Disorder/ Dysfunction of Sensory Integration
133. Severe Colic
134. Sickle Cell Anemia
135. Sinusitis
136. Skin Problems
137. Sleep Apnea
138. Snoring
139. Social Anxiety Disorder
140. Speech Disorder, Articulation
141. Spinal Muscular Atrophy
142. Spine is Blunt at the Bottom
143. Stickler Syndrome
144. Stomach Pain: Undefined
145. Teeth Growing in Crooked
146. Thoracic Kyphosis
147. Tibial Torsion
148. Ticks
149. Torticollis AKA Wry Neck
150. Tourette’s Syndrome
151. Two Uteruses
152. Type One Diabetes
153. Umbilical Hernia (At Birth)
154. Urinary Tract Infection AKA Bladder Infections
155. Vacterl Syndrome (Born without an Anus)
156. Ventricular Septial Defect
157. Viral Meningitis
158. Von Willebrand Disease
159. Warts
160. Weak Baby Teeth
161. Weak Enamel In/On Teeth
162. Weird Skin Rashes

 © (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC

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Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting With COVVHA Co-Founder Kelly L. Derricks

AGENT ORANGE KELLY L DERRICKS

West Chester University October 2nd, 2013 ✪ Philips Autograph Library

1:00 p.m. – Family panel:

Mokie Porter, moderator, Director, Communications & Marketing, VVA*

Kelly Derricks, President, Co-Founder, (COVVHA) Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, Inc.

John “Sandy” McNeil, VVV*436

Nancy Switzer, Past and Founding National President, Associates of VVA*

Deb Schweitzer, VVA*436

2:00 p.m. – History panel:

Professor Bob Kodosky, moderator, WCU History department

Paul Sutton & George Claxton, military historians

3:00 p.m. – Medical panel:

Dr. Tom Berger, Exec. Director, Veterans Health Council, VVA*

4:00 p.m. – Iraqi/Afghani panel:

Lawrence Davidson, WCU Veteran Council

Kuhio Waters, Professor of English

7:00 p.m. – Grand Finale:

Steven Moore, moderator

Panelists from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. panels

AGENT ORANGE TOWN HALL MEETING 10/2/2013

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Agent Orange & Sarin Gas: Chemical Hypocrisy Of The United States

Agent Orange Hands

Heather Bowser (at age 38) and orphaned resident of Peace Village at Tu Du Hospital (at age 12) HCMC, Vietnam compare their similarities. Even though they are generations and continents apart  both are missing the same limb and digits from the misguided use of herbicides in Vietnam. (2010)

I am writing in response to Mr. John Meinhold’s and Mr. Robert Wickham’s opinions which appeared in letters to the editor in The Boston Herald last week. These letters were  regarding the situation in Syria.  The letters discussed the similarities and differences of the chemical herbicide called Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War and the Sarin nerve agent used in Syria. My father is dead because of Agent Orange. I was born premature with multiple birth defects because of his exposure.

Mr. Meinhold stated, Agent Orange use amounted to “despicable, heinous crimes against humanity that the Pentagon carried out,” as Mr. Wickham argued, the illnesses and birth defects were “unintended consequences” of exposure to Agent Orange and certainly not the result of some deliberate attempt to injure or kill humans. Mr. Wickham is suggesting because Agent Orange did not kill everyone it touched instantly and because they did not initially deploy it to kill humans, but vegetation, it should have no bearing on the current debate in Syria.

I beg to differ, and so would thousands of children of Vietnam Veterans, who are sick and dying of cancers, auto immune disorders, and birth defects. The Pentagon may have not set out to slowly kill anyone who was exposed to the dioxin laden herbicide, but they knew around 1968 from chemical company’s reports Agent Orange was toxic (see the first class action lawsuit documents). It was further broadened in 1969, when the Congressional Record reflects the United States tabled the use of Chemical and Biological weapons. This in an effort to stop back door financing of the Chemical and Biological Weapons program. The Pentagon still did not stop its use in Vietnam until 1971. When the war ended in 1975, and veterans in droves were complaining about serious illnesses, their wives having multiple miscarriages (like my Mom), and their children were being born deformed, they were ignored.

Our Veterans became ill. They were called liars. It wasn’t until 1991 they began to compensate some Vietnam Veterans for their illnesses. A total of sixteen years after the War! My Father had five bypasses on his heart at age 38, at 40 he developed diabetes, at 48 he had a stroke and at age 50 he died of a massive heart attack. My father filed for ischemic heart disease in 1986. They added Ischemic Heart Disease to the presumptive list in 2010. Twelve years after his death and twenty four years after he filed his claim. The very claim he filed in 1986 for Ischemic heart disease is still in appeal. My mother still waits for the closure she deserves.

Unlike what Mr. Wickman suggests, this is not about comparing intentions of herbicide to nerve agent, this is about comparing hypocrisy and morality. We sprayed roughly 18 million gallons of dioxin laden chemicals on our allies land in Vietnam, not a drop of Agent Orange was sprayed on our enemy’s soil in North Vietnam. Today, Vietnam still has twenty seven hot spots for dioxin. One (the 28th spot) in Da Nang is in the middle of remediation (52 years after the beginning of spraying). The villages around these hot spot areas are full of sick and dying people, and newly born deformed children. This after at least 40 years of the United States knowing the dioxin they sprayed was hurting people and still did very little to rectify it with our veterans, and nothing to help Vietnam or Australians who were also exposed. The use of Agent Orange beginning in 1961 tipped the first domino that is continuing to fall piece by piece 52 years later.

Life after life continues to be destroyed in the biggest slow burn genocide known to the human race. It crosses continents and generations with no signs of stopping until everyone directly exposed is dead and every genetic mutation passed on, twisting and distorting innocent being’s genetics who had no say in the political climate of the 1960′s. All the while, those responsible look away. The responsible party instead looks away to a foreign land where they believe they can swoop in and be the hero. They point their finger and say Syria has crossed a red line. What happened in Syria is wrong. The deaths from chemical warfare need to continue to be investigated. The responsible party should be punished by actions agreed to by the International community.

The United States also killed children in their Agent Orange massacre, like the Sarin gas killed innocents, but not just the innocent children in Vietnam. They destroyed their own patriot’s children. They killed and maimed their own.  Those that did not die at birth have lead a long lonely road where they have been forgotten. There were 2.8 million U.S. men who served in the Vietnam War and only 8 thousand women. Currently, the government only recognizes 18+ birth defects in the children of female VN Veterans and one birth defect in the children of male Vietnam Veterans, Spina Bifida (not Occulta). These measures do not go far enough.

Our organization, Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, receives letters daily from kids of Vietnam Veterans who have the same birth defects on the women’s list. There have been recommendations from the Institute of Medicine for years recommending the government study the children of Male Vietnam Veterans, but year after year, after year it is ignored. Even in 1979, when the first Agent Orange Class action lawsuit was filed it initially included thousands of children of male Vietnam Vets. I believe it is simply too expensive to attempt to right the wrong of so many victims so they don’t. Kids of Vietnam Veterans were born with and have to live our lives with devastating birth defects, rare cancers, auto immune disorders, fertility issues, and many more debilitating disorders. So far we have been ignored.  If things continue as they have for so many decades we will die young just like our fathers, never seeing justice.

The money for a limited military action in Syria could just as easily be used to cover the same 18+ birth defects and illnesses in the children of Male Vietnam Veterans they already cover in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. The money used for war could fund research for my peers who are sick and dying of rare illnesses, as the IOM suggests. It could help the grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans who are also being born in alarming numbers, with birth defects and rare illnesses,  like their parents before them. There would probably be money left over to end the environmental disaster in Vietnam. Please stop our own homegrown chemical genocide before involving ourselves in another nation at war. Mr. Wickman, we may not agree on this issue, but at Children of Vietnam Veterans we  respect our veterans. Welcome Home and thank you for your service.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce
Thank you,
(C) Heather A. Bowser, LPCC

The Boston Herald
Boston, MA
September 7, 2013

U.S. hands dirty, too

Secretary of State John Kerry recently gave an impassioned speech stating why our country must attack Syria because of alleged chemical weapons use by the Assad regime that killed some 1,400 people — many of them children (“Obama, Kerry say Syria atrocity can’t go unpunished,” Aug. 31). Kerry has called this chemical attack a “crime against humanity” and a “moral obscenity.”

Has Vietnam War veteran Kerry forgotten about the heinous crimes against humanity that the Pentagon carried out by using Agent Orange during the Vietnam War? The Vietnamese government says thousands died from Agent Orange, which was used on both jungle foliage and food crops. According to the Vietnam Red Cross, use of the herbicide resulted in at least 150,000 children born with severe birth defects since the war ended in 1975. Agent Orange contained dioxin, which causes birth defects, cancer and other illnesses that are still killing and maiming Vietnamese today. With this history, how can our leaders be now wagging a morality finger at another nation over chemical warfare use?

— John Meinhold, 
Portsmouth, N.H.

Portsmouth
Reader Response –
September 07, 2013 2:00 AM

Sept. 3 — To the Editor:
I’m writing in reference to John Meinhold’s letter that appeared in the Sept. 3 edition of the Exeter News-Letter. I have to take issue with Meinhold’s equation of the U.S. military’s use of Agent Orange in Vietnam to the use (by one side or the other) of sarin nerve agent in Syria. The difference between the two is striking.
Agent Orange was employed in Vietnam as a chemical defoliant, the sole purpose of which was to destroy foliage that provided cover and concealment to enemy forces in predominantly jungle or heavily wooded areas. Unfortunately, Agent Orange has been found to cause adverse health effects to some who were exposed to the agent — American and Vietnamese alike. Most reasonable people would call these adverse health effects “unintended consequences” of exposure to Agent Orange and certainly not the result of some deliberate attempt to injure or kill humans.

Sarin nerve agent, on the other hand, has no useful purpose other than mass killing.

I’m a Vietnam-era U.S. Army veteran and I’m not particularly happy about the way some things were done during that war, including (by hindsight, like everyone else) the use of Agent Orange. However, I’m a long way from accepting Meinhold’s description of the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam as “despicable, heinous crimes against humanity that the Pentagon carried out.”
Robert T. Wickham
Stratham

Here are the links to the original letter to the editor by Mr. John Meinhold at Seacoastonline http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20130903-OPINION-309030360#.UiYJJ1MpX5E.wordpress and Mr. Robert Wickman’s rebuttal http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20130907-OPINION-309070312

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Vietnam

Geophysical Warfare — “Rainmakers.” During the Vietnam Conflict, our warfighters needed a way to interdict enemy traffic on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. “Project Popeye” helped answer the call. China Lake adapted its cloud seeding technologies to enhance rainfall thereby significantly deterring enemy activity on the trail. This highly successful China Lake technology was also used in hurricane abatement, fog control, and drought relief.
Source:  http://thelivingmoon.com/45jack_files/03files/Project_Popeye_001.html#Project_Popeye_.281966.29

YouTube Link
Click Here For more information on Operation Popeye
http://thelivingmoon.com/45jack_files/03files/Project_Popeye_001.html#Project_Popeye_.281966.29

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Agent orange lawsuits
 

image

AO victims will file fourth lawsuit on manufacturers
Last update: 10:18 | 13/08/2013
VietNamNet Bridge –

Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange will proceed with their fourth lawsuit against American chemical companies that produced the toxic defoliant sprayed by US forces during the American War.

Volunteers help an AO victim leave the stage after receiving a scholarship during a ceremony that marked the 52nd anniversary of the day that the US began spraying Agent Orange over large swathes of Viet Nam.

Major General Tran Ngoc Tho, head of the Association for Victims of Agent Orange in HCM City, made the announcement last Saturday at a ceremony marking the 52nd anniversary of the day (August 10, 1961) US troops began to spray large parts of Viet Nam with Agent Orange.

Speaking at the ceremony that was telecast live, Tho told the audience of AO victims and officials that the three earlier lawsuits had been rejected with the explanation that there was not enough evidence.

The major general called on AO victims to be patient and wait for victory.A week before the official ceremony, more than 10,000 people held a rally along with city officials and representatives of many international organizations to encourage people of all strata, as well as domestic and foreign social organisations to continue “sharing the pain” that they suffer.

Tho said that in order to help AO victims, the city plans to open a centre in Xuan Thoi Thuong Commune, Hoc Mon District, that will provide care, treatment, vocational training and rehabilitation services for Agent Orange victims.

Construction of the centre is expected to be completed by the end of this year.More than 20,000 AO victims from various parts of Viet Nam live in HCM City.Tho pointed out that over a period of ten years, 86 million litres of Agent Orange and other herbicides were sprayed on Viet Nam. Their impact has been estimated as equivalent to the dropping of 51 atomic bombs akin to those dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The toxic defoliant has affected 4.8 million people and resulted in tens of thousands of children being born with deformities, cerebral palsy and various forms of mental illnesses.In recent years, US has funded a landmark project to clean up a dioxin hotspot – the site of a former U.S. air base in Da Nang in central Viet Nam where the toxic chemical was stored.

Source: VNSTừ khóa:AO victims,American chemical companies,toxic defoliant,American War,US forces 

AO victims refuse to surrender to fate  

http://m.english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/society/81585/ao-victims-will-file-fourth-lawsuit-on-manufacturers.html

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Agent Orange Okinawa

AGENT ORANGE DIOXIN BETRAYEL WWW.COVVHA.NETTHE ZEIT GIST

‘Were we marines used as guinea pigs on Okinawa?’
Growing evidence suggests that the U.S. military tested biochemical agents on its own forces on the island in the 1960s
By JON MITCHELL
Special to The Japan Times

Newly discovered documents reveal that 50 years ago this week, the Pentagon dispatched a chemical weapons platoon to Okinawa under the auspices of its infamous Project 112. Described by the U.S. Department of Defense as “biological and chemical warfare vulnerability tests,” the highly classified program subjected thousands of unwitting American service members around the globe to substances including sarin and VX nerve gases between 1962 and 1974.

According to papers obtained from the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the 267th Chemical Platoon was activated on Okinawa on Dec. 1, 1962, with “the mission of operation of Site 2, DOD (Department of Defense) Project 112.” Before coming to Okinawa, the 36-member platoon had received training at Denver’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal, one of the key U.S. chemical and biological weapons (CBW) facilities. Upon its arrival on the island, the platoon was billeted just north of Okinawa City at Chibana — the site of a poison gas leak seven years later. Between December 1962 and August 1965, the 267th platoon received three classified shipments — codenamed YBA, YBB and YBF — believed to include sarin and mustard gas.

For decades, the Pentagon denied the existence of Project 112. Only in 2000 did the department finally admit to having exposed its own service members to CBW tests, which it claimed were designed to enable the U.S. to better plan for potential attacks on its troops. In response to mounting evidence of serious health problems among a number of veterans subjected to these experiments, Congress forced the Pentagon in 2003 to create a list of service members exposed during Project 112. While the Department of Defense acknowledges it conducted the tests in Hawaii, Panama and aboard ships in the Pacific Ocean, this is the first time that Okinawa — then under U.S. jurisdiction — has been implicated in the project.

Corroborating suspicions that Project 112 tests were conducted on Okinawa is the inclusion on the Pentagon’s list of at least one U.S. veteran exposed on the island. “Sprayed from numbered containers” reads the Project 112 file on former marine Don Heathcote. Heathcote, a private first class stationed on Okinawa’s Camp Hansen in 1962, clearly remembers the circumstances in which he was exposed.

Throughout the late 20th century, rumors of Project 112 were widespread among U.S. veterans, but they were quickly dismissed by an American public unwilling to believe its government would test such substances on its own troops. However, following a series of TV news reports by CBS, the Pentagon admitted to the existence of Project 112 and promised to come clean on the issue.In 1961, as the Cold War deepened, the U.S. initiated a comprehensive overhaul of its defensive capabilities in more than 100 different categories; No. 112 on this list was the study of CBW. Envisaged by President John F. Kennedy’s secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, as “an alternative to nuclear weapons,” Project 112 proposed experiments in “tropical climates” and, to evade laws regulating human testing in the U.S., it suggested the use of overseas “satellite sites.” Fulfilling both prerequisites, Okinawa must have seemed a perfect choice.

That disclosure began in 2000, when the Pentagon claimed that there had been 134 planned tests, of which 84 had been canceled. The experiments it admitted carrying out included the spraying of troops in Hawaii with E. coli, subjecting sailors to swarms of specially bred mosquitoes, and exposing troops in Alaska to VX gas. The Pentagon stated that no participants had been harmed in these tests.

Throughout the Cold War until 1969, Washington adhered to a strict policy of neither confirming nor denying the presence of CBW on Okinawa. In all likelihood, it would have continued to do so, were it not for the events of July 8 of that year. On that day, American service members were conducting maintenance on munition shells at the Chibana depot when one of the missiles sprung a leak. Twenty-three troops and one civilian fell sick from exposure to the missile’s contents — likely VX gas — and were hospitalized for up to a week.

Considering the toxicity of such weapons, those exposed escaped lightly. Nevertheless, when the accident was reported, its ramifications were far-reaching: The Pentagon was forced to acknowledge its chemical arsenal on Okinawa — infuriating local residents — and promised to remove the entire stockpile before the island’s reversion to Japanese control in 1972.

News photo
Proof of Project 112 on Okinawa?: An excerpt from the history of the 267th Chemical Platoon.

Operation Red Hat, the mission to transport the weapons off the island, was organized by the same man who had brought them to Okinawa two decades previously: John. J. Hayes (by then a general). It also involved the 267th Chemical Platoon, which had been renamed the 267th Chemical Company. During two separate phases in 1971, the military shipped thousands of truckloads of sarin, mustard gas, VX and skin-blistering agents from Okinawa to U.S.-administered Johnston Island in the middle of the Pacific. The consignments totaled 12,000 tons — a terrifying amount considering that many of these substances’ fatal dosage is measured in milligrams. After the final shipment had left the island, Hayes assured journalists, “Every round of toxic chemical munitions stored on Okinawa has now been removed.”

This year marks 60 years since the first delivery of chemical weapons to Okinawa; this week is the 50th anniversary of the launch of Project 112 on the island. However, the continuing illnesses suffered by U.S. veterans including Heathcote and Mohler suggest this problem is far from a purely historical matter — and only now are potential correlations between toxic munitions and illnesses among Okinawan residents coming to light.

In the near future, Washington plans to return a number of U.S. installations on Okinawa to civilian usage. However, just as former U.S. CBW storage sites elsewhere — such as the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and Johnston Island — remain dangerously contaminated, Okinawan land is likely to be handed back in a similarly toxic state.

Under the current U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement, the host government is solely responsible for the cleanup of former bases — a task that’s expected to set Japanese taxpayers back hundreds of millions of dollars. With the true cost in terms of health and capital yet to be determined, there is a real risk that these weapons of mass destruction will poison not only the soil but also American-Japanese-Okinawan relations for decades to come.

In November, Japan’s Association of Commercial Broadcasters awarded the TV documentary “Defoliated Island” a commendation for excellence. The program was based on Jon Mitchell’s articles for The Japan Times investigating the U.S. military’s usage of Agent Orange on Okinawa during the Vietnam War. Send comments on this issue and story ideas to community@japantimes.co.jp.
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012
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© 2014 ‎(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC