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Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange: Legislative History, Litigation, and Current Issues – R43790

By Sidath Viranga Panangala, on December 1st, 2014

The U.S. Armed Forces used a variety of chemical defoliants to clear dense jungle land in Vietnam during the war. Agent Orange (named for the orange-colored identifying stripes on the barrels) was by far the most widely used herbicide during the Vietnam War. Many Vietnam-era veterans believe that their exposure to Agent Orange caused them to contract several diseases and caused certain disabilities, including birth defects in their children, and now their grandchildren.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

received the first claims asserting conditions related to Agent Orange in 1977. Since then, Vietnam-era veterans have sought relief from Congress and through the judicial system. Beginning in 1979, Congress enacted several laws to determine whether exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam was associated with possible long-term health effects and certain disabilities. The Veterans’ Health Care, Training and Small Business Loan Act (P.L. 97-72) elevated Vietnam veterans’ priority status for health care at VA facilities by recognizing a veteran’s own report of exposure as sufficient proof to receive medical care, absent evidence to the contrary. The Veterans’ Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-262) completely restructured the VA medical care eligibility requirements for all veterans. Under P.L. 104-262, a veteran does not have to demonstrate a link between a certain health condition and exposure to Agent Orange; instead, medical care is provided unless the VA determines that the condition did not result from exposure to Agent Orange. This authority was permanently authorized by the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-163).
Likewise, Congress passed several measures to address disability compensation issues affecting Vietnam veterans. The Veterans’ Dioxin and Radiation Exposure Compensation Standards Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-542) required the VA to develop regulations for disability compensation to Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange. In 1991, the Agent Orange Act (P.L. 102-4) established a presumption of service connection for diseases associated with herbicide exposure. P.L. 102-4 authorized the VA to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct scientific reviews of the evidence linking certain medical conditions to herbicide exposure. Under this law, the VA is required to review the reports of the IOM and issue regulations, establishing a presumption of service connection for any disease for which there is scientific evidence of a positive association with herbicide exposure. Based on these IOM reports, currently 15 health conditions are presumptively service-connected.

Under current regulations,

a service member must have actually set foot on Vietnamese soil or served on a craft in its rivers (also known as “brown water” veterans) to be entitled to the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange. Those who served aboard deep-water naval vessels (commonly referred to as “Blue Water Navy” veterans) do not qualify for presumption of service connections for herbicide-related conditions unless they can prove that the veteran’s service included duty or visitation within the country of Vietnam itself, or on its inland waterways.
Recently, Vietnam-era veterans have increasingly expressed concerns about all types of medical issues occurring in their children, regardless of age, and in successive generations. Furthermore, they have asserted that more research should be done on paternally mediated birth effects, so that compensation policies might be developed similar to those that address maternally mediated birth effects of Vietnam-era progeny.

Date of Report: November 18, 2014
Pages: 22
Order Number: R43790
Phone: 301-253-0881

More Info:

Agent Orange Legislative history

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Vietnam Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange Reach the End of the Line

September 9, 2014

Many Agent Orange exposed, Vietnam Veterans have heard a Veterans Service Officer say,  “Your illness is not on the presumptive illness list, therefore your claim will be denied. Your only hope is to apply, and maybe your illness will be added to the list in the future.”

Today these very veterans are closer to never being acknowledged. The Agent Orange community and Veteran Service Organizations are asleep at the wheel.

Twenty three years ago, Congress passed Public Law 102-4, the Agent Orange Act of 1991.

The Agent Orange Act of 1991, directed Veterans Affairs to engage the National Academy of Sciences to study scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to herbicides, including Agent Orange used in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

It also required the National Academy of Science to complete this review every two years, for ten years. When the ten year mark was closing in, the Veterans Education and Benefits act of 2001 was passed. The Veterans Education and benefits act of 2001, extended the period for these biennial reports to 2014.

Through the years, the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) have had a significant impact on Vietnam Veterans getting benefits for Agent Orange exposure. The list has grown to fourteen debilitating, often fatal illnesses; including Hodgkin’s Disease, Ischemic Heart disease, Type II diabetes, soft tissue sarcomas, Multiple Myeloma, among others.

For new illnesses to be added to the presumptive list, the IOM committee must show through their review of data, a correlation between herbicide exposure and the presenting illness. Once causation is shown, the IOM gives the data to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. If the Secretary concludes that a presumption of service connection is warranted, he or she must issue regulations within 60 days of the determination. This process is how illnesses are recognized and veterans are compensated.

If there are no more biennial scientific reviews, there will be no new illnesses added to the presumptive list. The Veterans Education and Benefits Act of 2001 expires in just a few weeks, in October. If something is not done to extend the legislation it is the proverbial, “end of the line,” for many ill, but still hopeful Vietnam Veterans, their families, and their Veterans Service Officers.

Mary Paxton, the study director at the Institute of Medicine, confirmed by telephone Tuesday, the mandate ends in October. She stated there will be one more, Veterans and Agent Orange Update. It will review research that has been completed between 2012 and 2014. As the law stands now, there is just one more opportunity for illnesses to be added to the presumptive list.

The research that will be considered has been completed, now the committee will start its review. Many people will be waiting on the final word from the IOM and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. What will be added if anything?

This is just another punch to the gut, for Vietnam Veterans who have endured so much uncertainty about their herbicide exposure. Too many unanswered questions remain regarding the long lasting effects of herbicide exposure to give up. The only hope for these Vietnam Veterans is if the studies are extended. It won’t be easy as a legal court challenge in 2007 that sought to extend the studies was defeated.

Veterans and their families need to contact their State Representatives and Veteran service organizations and implore them to fight against letting these studies go away. If this important mandate falls to the way side it will be yet another tragedy in the lives of Vietnam Veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure.

Heather Bowser, Co Founder and National Coordinator of Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance,, is the daughter of a deceased Vietnam Veteran who died young as a result of his Agent Orange exposure while serving in the Armed Services. Contact Heather at

Vietnam Veterans Betrayed

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Agent Orange Video

Agent Orange Kelly L. Derricks

Kelly L. Derricks
COVVHA Co-Founder

COVVHA Co-founder, Kelly L. Derricks (Truth Teller) speaks about Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance and Agent Orange.  September 10, 2013 at the Doylestown VFW.  Click HERE watch more of COVVHA’s Agent Orange videos on YouTube.

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Agent Orange Okinawa


‘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
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
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012
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Agent Orange Vietnam Veterans

Slipping Through The Cracks,  Injustice To Veterans Exposed To Agent Orange  Outside Of Vietnam

Joe Laufnick Korea-1970-1972

Joe Laufnick

I am the wife of a Vietnam Era Veteran. My husband, Joe, was exposed to Agent Orange while he was stationed in Korea from 1970-1971. The Department of Defense waited until 2008 to admit the use of Agent Orange outside of Vietnam. We found out quite by chance, when my husband now confined to a wheelchair, joined the Disabled American Veterans & began receiving their magazine. I wonder how many veterans don’t know that they were exposed? Inside the DAV magazine was an article stating that Agent Orange was used at the Korean DMZ.

They had listed the presumptive diseases associated with exposure. My husband has at this time, one of them, Ischemic Heart Disease. He’s had angina attacks, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath since 1974. We contacted a service officer at the DAV regarding this article. In October 2010 We traveled to their Newark, NJ offices & met with him. He asked several questions: What unit were you with? Where were you stationed? What was your MOS? and more. At first they could not find the 51st signal battalion, and told him that they were not there. Then they looked to see with whom they were attached, and found his unit. We were told that, yes, the 51st signal battalion was used as support troops (as if we didn’t know already) at the Korean DMZ, & he should file a claim. So we did. And so our journey begins.

Here is where being young and inexperienced comes to bite us in the a**. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, when you move, or change physicians TAKE A COPY OF YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS WITH YOU!!!, even if you are feeling healthy. When you are young, you don’t think that your country will betray you or be less than truthful. Think again. Politicians have their own interests in mind.

We need to prove he’s had this medical condition since 1974. The physician he was seeing after he received his Honorable Discharge, had retired in 1980, his records destroyed. The physician he was seeing in the 1980’s to 1990 prior to our moving only keeps records of former patients for 10 yrs., his records destroyed. I had only one record of a physician he was seeing after our move also prior to him going to the VA for all his medical care in the year 2001. This is not looking good. At the most, we have his medical records from when he started getting his care at the VA. At this point in time, he has many more health issues, Sleep apnea, C.O.P.D., G.E.R.D., Depression, & Coronary Artery Disease, to go along with the Ischemic Heart Disease.

The first denial letter came a few months after he filed, December. The reason being, that the base camp was 21 miles south of the Korean DMZ. They are only recognizing a 5 mile swath from the DMZ as being in the spray zone. He files his first appeal. Then after several months of hearing nothing and many calls to the Service Officer, we were informed, that the VA had lost his file. Now, we ask our congressman for help. Two weeks later, his file is found. Fast forward to 2012. After four denials and appeals, he files with the help of his National Service Officer for a video conference hearing (he is now unable to walk on his own). He is informed that it will take at least a year to set it up. He is also informed that he needs Buddy Statements (personal verifications from those with whom he served) to prove that he was at the Korean DMZ. Now he has two more health issues, Type 2 Diabetes, and Peripheral Neuropathy. He’s also having digestive problems for which he has no diagnosis. I have been trying since 2010, now to gather all the information possible that may help prove his case. I must say, C.O.V.V.H.A. has been instrumental in providing sources of information, and many links to other sites that have helped us.

Joe has made a little progress in his efforts to get his case heard before the V.B.A. He received a letter in June 2013 stating that he is now on a list to get on the docket for a video hearing. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we still have been unable to locate his friends from the Army to prove his case. So it is now that I am turning to all of you reading this and pleading for your help. He needs to find his fellow “Wire Rats” who went to the Korean DMZ as support troops during 1970 to 1971.


VICTOR (CRIS) CRISCOULO & JAMES FOSTER were two of his best friends during his service in Korea in 1970-1971 from the wire platoon.


This is affecting all Vietnam Era Veterans exposed outside of Vietnam. The Department of Defense waited over 45 years to admit Agent Orange was used outside of Vietnam. They have placed a higher burden of proof on these Veterans. Our spouses are dying of the same diseases of those who were boots on the ground in Vietnam. Our children suffer the same birth defects. Yet these exposed, and ill Veterans, have to find their fellow unit friends after 45 years without any resources from the government to assist them in their search. How many will never be given their benefits because they no longer have contact with their former unit buddies or those unit members have since died?

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

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Dark Matters Season 3 Episode 1, Agent Orange – The Accidental Inventor
Synopsis: A chemical that speeds up the flowering process in soybeans turns into a weapon during Vietnam.
Original air date: November 22, 2012

Dark Matters: Twisted But True is a television series featured on the Science Channel. Hosted by actor John Noble of Fringe and Lord of the Rings, the show takes the viewer inside the laboratory to profile strange science and expose some of history’s most bizarre experiments. This show uses narration and reenactments to portray the stories in this show

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(Irvine California) There is a renewed push for the Institute of Medicine to take seriously the claims made by the Children of Vietnam Veterans and their families about the birth defects and illnesses they are suffering from. The adverse affects of the dioxin laden herbicide sprayed over the jungles of Vietnam, AKA Agent Orange, have been well known since the government first admitted in 1991 to cause illnesses in Vietnam Veterans. For years, the veterans and their families have been saying birth defects and rare illnesses have affected their children’s health. These anomalies and illnesses are not only happening in the children of Vietnam Veterans (2nd generation), but now are showing up in alarming numbers in the grandchildren (3rd Generation) of Vietnam Veterans as well.

On January 16, 2013, (COVVHA)  Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC.  participated, in the public hearings for the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee to Review on the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) in Irvine, California. Tanya Mack, COVVHA Core Chairperson, and California resident, gave testimony on behalf of COVVHA to the committee. Tanya Mack is the Daughter of a recently, deceased Vietnam Veteran who succumbed service connected Agent Orange illnesses. She was born with severe hip dysplasia and has developed several rare aggressive cancers in her thirties which she is currently still fighting.

“The Institute of Medicine is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public (From the IOM website).” They have been commissioned to review biannually, the most current data available about herbicides and the health effects on our Veterans. In the past, the IOM have been responsible for getting new illnesses added to the presumptive list for our ailing Vietnam Veterans. Like On October 13, 2009, when, the Veterans Affairs added three new medical conditions for Vietnam Veterans presumptively associated with exposure to herbicides; hairy cell and other B-cell leukemia’s, Parkinson’s disease, and ischemic heart disease, to the list of covered illnesses.

Included in COVVHA’s report to the committee, were the number and types of illnesses and congenital anomalies found in the second and third generation members of COVVHA. This includes the ailments that mirror the Vietnam Veterans and the congenital anomalies found on the list of birth defects covered in the children of women Vietnam Veterans. Tanya Mack, shared several studies from the early eighties including Ranch Hand studies and a current epigenetic study from Washington State that show a correlation to trans-generational exposures to dioxin, with the committee for them to consider. Several recommendations were made as to the next actions to help the children of Vietnam Veterans in the most practical ways.

Three of COVVHA recommendations included approving the currently covered eighteen plus, birth defects for children of female Vietnam Veterans for the children of male Vietnam Veterans. The second recommendation included the request for free DNA and Epigenetic testing for the biological children of Vietnam Veterans as needed, and an official Agent Orange Registry for Children of Vietnam Veterans. COVVHA made several other recommendations that were included in their submitted testimony.

Highlights of other participant’s testimony:
Ken Holybee, Director at Large, of Vietnam Veterans of America. Ken pointed out in the Veterans and Agent Orange 2008 Update, the IOM Committee concluded that it was plausible exposure to herbicides that could cause paternally mediated effects in offspring as a result of epigenetic changes, and that such changes would most likely be attributable to the TCDD contaminants in Agent Orange. He urged the committee to follow up on their 2008 recommendations. Due to the continued suffering the VVA sees in the families who attend their Agent Orange Town Hall Meetings.

Debra Kraus, widow of a Vietnam Veteran, Activist and Artist, shared a slideshow presentation of her art that is based on her experience through her husband’s dealings with the V.A. and health issues.

Elayne Mackey, National Health Committee co-chair for the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA). AVVA recommends the creation of Centers of Excellence to provide for research, treatment, and social services for the offspring of veterans of all eras who have been exposed to toxins while in service to our country.

Wesley T. Carter, Chair of the C-123 Veterans Association, asked for two possibilities, the Department of Defense designates the contaminated -123 aircraft, by specific tail number, as Agent Orange exposure sites. The other for the VA to accept claims from veterans able to provide evidence of service aboard the aircraft known to have been contaminated.

Andy Olshan, PhD, Chair of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina and Kim Boekelheide, MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Science, Brown University phoned into the meeting. The Doctors gave their opinion on the likelihood of Paternal Transmission of Dioxin through Sperm. The Doctors stated that paternal transmission is relatively small because the male system is made to minimize the transmission of issues and that there is not enough evidence to support the theory that Dioxin is transmitted through sperm.

COVVHA is committed to serving as a voice for the children of Vietnam Veterans including second and third generation victims of Agent Orange and Dioxin Exposures worldwide. We believe in empowering each other to hold the companies and governments responsible for causing so much devastation and suffering to our generations. We fight for justice globally. We hope the IOM will make the responsible recommendations to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Please, see the full testimony submitted to the Institute of Medicine attached which also includes Tanya Mack’s personal health struggle with Agent Orange related birth defects and cancers.

Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides Ninth Biennial Update... by Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance


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Heather A. Bowser, MsEd, LPCC
Kelly L. Derricks
© 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC
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Children of Vietnam Veterans: Their Voice Keeps Growing

Originally Published By (Mar-27-2013 11:36)

(WASHINGTON DC) – Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, INC. (COVVHA), is an organization that was founded to address the specialized needs of the children and grand children of Vietnam Veterans who have been negatively affected by their parent’s exposure to the herbicide, Agent Orange, during the Vietnam war. We educate veterans, their families, the general public, and lawmakers about Agent Orange and it’s effect on our lives.

COVVHA was founded by two children of Vietnam Veterans. Heather A. Bowser and Kelly L. Derricks. Both of their lifes have been significantly affected by Agent Orange. Kelly lost her father at age seven due to Agent Orange illnesses. Kelly currently suffers from twenty eight, unexplained illnesses which forced her to retire from her career in the mental health field. Heather was born with several birth defects, including missing her right leg below the knee, several of her fingers and big to on her left foot. Heather was born two months premature and only weighed 3.4 ounces. Her father is also deceased. Heather’s father had five bypasses on his heart at age 38, subsequently he died at ace 50 from a massive heart attack. His death was service related due to his Agent Orange exposure.

Kelly and Heather founded this organization because there are so many needs that are not being met in their peer group. The most pressing one, is the government has not acknowledged the devastating birth defects and illnesses in the children of male Vietnam Veterans, like they have in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. Currently, the government acknowledges eighteen plus birth defects in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. They only acknowledge one birth defect in the children of Male Vietnam Veterans. Spina Bifida. This, Kelly and Heather both feel is discrimination. Especially because they have so many reports of similar birth defects and illness.

COVVHA has also built a private support community for only children of Vietnam Veterans. It has over six hundred members. They educate and support each other in this group. Kelly and Heather want their members to understand that they are not alone. Many of them have lost, or are in the process of losing their Vietnam Veteran, plus they are dealing with birth defects or unexplained illnesses.

They are also seeing an influx of children of Vietnam Veterans who start researching Agent Orange because their child, the grand child of the Vietnam Veteran has been born with an issue, or suddenly has a rare illness.

COVVHA deals with a lot of issues, like grief, illness, anger and the like. The group also enjoys each others company and find many similar anecdotes of what it was like growing up with a Vietnam Veteran.

COVVHA is also involved in supporting international efforts in cleaning up, and disclosing locations of buried herbicide. Heather has traveled three times to Vietnam. She has visited two of the most poisonous hot spots still contaminated with Agent Orange, Da Nang, and Bein Hoa. Heather has also worked with organizations in Vietnam who support the on going health care of the Vietnamese children who are still being born today with birth defects due to their parents or grand parents exposure and the continued environmental pollutants. Recently Heather traveled to Okinawa, Japan to educate those seeking answers about reports that Agent Orange herbicide was stored, used and buried on the island of Okinawa. Building community with those who may have suffered due to Agent Orange in Japan is very important to the organization.

COVVHA seeks unity in all those who have been affected by Agent Orange dioxin so that our community may build strength in numbers and that our voices would be heard by those who make decisions.

(C) (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC.

Children of Vietnam Veterans: Their Voice Keeps Growing

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Legacies of War – Agent Orange Vietnam by Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance

Report To The Secretary of The Department Of Veterans Affairs On The Association Between Adverse Health Eff… by Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance

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On October 16, 2011, Kelly L. Derricks (TRUTH TELLER) traveled to New York City where she gave a public speech about Agent Orange after being invited by Millions Against Monsanto to participate in the rally event for World Food Day.  Below is the video recording of that speech.

Kelly has battled severe health issues since she was born that continue today. Some of her illnesses, presumed to be associated with the inter-generational effects of Agent Orange, include but are not limited to the following:

• Chronic kidney disease
• Crohn’s disease
• Addison’s disease
• Congenital adrenal hyperplaysia
• Intersticial cystitis.

*Her complete list of illnesses staggers to 30 different things.

Kelly continues to fight for the Children of Vietnam Veterans as well as Vietnam Veterans and their families. In January of 2012 She Co-Founded The Non-Profit Organization (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC

Visit The Main Website At WWW.COVVHA.NET

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Published on Nov 4, 2012
This is the English-language version of Defoliated Island, a Japanese
award-winning documentary about the usage of Agent Orange on Okinawa
during the Vietnam War. Produced by Okinawa TV station, QAB, the show won national acclaim in Japan when it was first aired in May 2012.

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The Perfect stocking stuffer gift that will shine the whole year through!!!
Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance is proud to introduce our new Lapel Pins for purchase

Individual Pins Are Priced At $12.00

Email Us At PMASON@COVVHA.NET To Place Your Orders!!!!

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By; John J. Bury, USN, retired, Vietnam War Veteran
Author for ©COVVHA

It was back in the summer of 2012. Doug Ferguson, Director of Alumni Programs of Delaware County Community College called me. He inquired about a couple article I had written for our locale newspaper, the Delaware County Time, Media, Pa. We chatted about those articles, his thought was my writing was an inspiration to veterans who needed help. I told Doug there are several articles I had written, all of which had been published nationwide. I sent all of them to him. Told him my writings speak for themselves. My thinking was that he was curious about what I write and why.

As time passed on, nothing more from Doug. I had forgotten all about his inquiry. It was about the last week of October, I receive an e-mail from Doug to call him. In our phone conversation, he announced to me that I had been selected by the college, of which I am a graduate Class of ‘85, to be Veteran of the month November 2012, veterans month. I was very much surprised to be selected for this honor. My thought at the moment, who am I to be so honored? There are many veterans out there other then me. The college has well over 250 veterans attending the college. I felt surely there were some who had been wounded in battle and some who had been award various medals for their heroism. Their story would be more interesting then my own.

Doug’s comment to me was, the Vietnam war with all its criticism back in the day, there was a need for its recognition; plus the work I was doing in having Vietnam veterans recognize, especially those who fell sick to Agent Orange Dioxin poisoning. He sent me a format of five question. A BIO of my college days and what that education did for me. Sort of a life experience during and after college.

I gave much thought of what and how to write this BIO. I though something brief, to the point and factual, sort of in a way I normally write for the news media. Hence, below is what I came up with: Also The actual write up as published in the Alumni news bulletin, goto:
Alumni News and Updates Delaware County Community College.

1. What year did you graduate from Delaware County Community College and with what degree? 1985. Business Management. Did it the hard way. Worked all day, college at night.

2. Did you pursue further academic goals? No.

3. Where are you now? Living in Middletown Township, Delaware County, Media, Pa. Retired.

4. What is next for you professionally? After retiring from the US Navy with 22 years service in 1975, I took a job with Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades teaching disciplines of engineering in the Power Technology Department. After eight years, I moved on to become Director of Engineering and Plant Facilities at Westtown School. I retired from the work force in 1999. Some years later I become an Advocate for Vietnam War Veterans many of these veterans are infected with Agent Orange Dioxin who had served on land, in the air and at sea. Presently I am a writer/columnist, being published in news publications nationwide. I write about the effects of Agent Orange Dioxin and what it has/is doing to those who served in the Vietnam War. My goal is to have House Bill HR-3612 and Senate Bill S.1629, passed. These two Bills if passed will afford Vietnam veterans of all branches of service the VA benefits and compensation they deserve.

5. What advice would you give to current students and Alumni to capitalize on the education they receive from the College? Move forward at a pace you are comfortable with. Learn from other workers, those who know the job best, they are your asset to excel. As one of my DCCC professors would say, “Always remember there are two sides to a coin, understand both sides before coming to a conclusion.” Sounds like good advise to me.

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One veteran’s story about fighting Agent Orange
Ruben Rosario: Did this veteran’s service cost him his life?
Ken Blum: Focus on Agent Orange before victims are all gone
John Bury: Victims of Agent Orange must band together to push …
Despite knowing Agent Orange, Parkinson’s link some veterans still have …
France May Issue Call for Europe-Wide Ban on GM Corn
Red Fridays – Burn Pits, the new Agent Orange
Genetically Modified Organisms No Answer to Food Shortage
Treatment of veterans is totally disgusting
Federal Judge Dismisses Agent Orange Case in NY
Agent Orange in Okinawa: the Smoking Gun
Prop 37: 8 Reasons for Voting Yes for Labeling GMO Foods
New method of cleaning Passaic River fails test in Lyndhurst
Promise made, promise kept: Son takes father’s fight about Agent …
Agent Orange wrecks future generations’ too?
Corpus Christi Army Depot’s safety history sometimes spotty
Letters: A veteran’s take on his healthcare
After military service, veterans next battle V.A.
Vietnamese, Korean dioxin victims on epic bike trip
Homeland Security is Working for Monsanto
US says to help clear dioxin from Da Nang airport by 2016
War veterans’ children supported by scholarships
Over VND2.5 billion raised for disadvantaged children
Agent Orange consequences to be overcome by 2020
Vietnam Veteran Remembered As Kind, Proud American
US, Vietnam join hands to deal with AO consequences
Agent Orange chemical in GM war on resistant weeds
Agent Orange cleanup effort stirs questions about responsibility
Mag Links Romney To Monsanto
Remember Vietnam,Continuing Birth Defects Caused By Agent …
Massive Attack on GMO Labeling Proposal in California
Monsanto: One of Romney & Bain’s Earliest Clients
Andrew G. Reiter: Questions on efforts to clean up Agent Orange
Oregonians Fear Harmful Effects From Timberland Herbicides
AGENT ORANGE Rainbow Herbicides A Bioforming Pandemic Killing Some …
Feds May Acknowledge Ground Zero Cancer Link
FRA | Legislative Update: Agent Orange Reform
Debate over genetically modified food gets political with Prop. 37
Agent Orange’s shameful legacy
U.S. and Vietnam looking to improve trade relations
American student asks justice for AO victims
Birth defects caused by Agent Orange : WTF
Dow denies succour to Bhopal despite new-found enveronmentalism
Navy veteran says Agent Orange is still a concern
Dow Chemical still blamed for deaths and birth defects and under …
Laos still in the dark on Agent Orange impact
United States and Laos yet to deal with Agent Orange legacy
I look to the positives rather than the ifs or the buts’
United States Embarks On $43 Million Effort to – Birth Defect Lawyer …
Da Nang: 62 people infected with dioxin
VA Harnesses Big Data For Broader Impact
McNair researcher to use Vietnam’s toxic aftermath for realistic theatre
Craig Wehrle: War supporter Grothman should look at birth defects
The Terrible Legacy of Agent Orange
Vietnam forgotten, more than a ‘Lost Generation’
150, 000 Vietnamese children born with birth defects – Agent …
He’s telling the other side of war
Veterans For Peace: U.S. just beginning Agent Orange cleanup in …
Cleaning Agent Orange – Video Library – The New York Times
Behind the front line
The Toxic Effects of Agent Orange Persist 51 Years After the …
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We here at COVVHA, get this question a lot…

When I made my first trip to Vietnam, my biggest fear was that I would be considered a traitor, a war sympathizer, and God forbid, a Hanoi Jane (A.K.A. Hanoi Heather). Even after my first trip, I was a little hesitant to start speaking out. Then it happened. I just started sharing my experiences with others. To my surprise, as I started speaking out, many American Vietnam Veterans came to me asking questions. They would ask, “Did you go to XXX? I served there, what is it like now?” Others would speak of the topography, where they went on R&R, more than one told me of a lost love, asking if I met any Vietnamese American children. Some would tentatively ask how I was treated by the Vietnamese. When I would tell the stories of meeting aging Vietnamese veterans, who once fought for the North or South, and how they would listen to my family’s tragic Agent Orange story, and tear up, then tell me through the translator, how they are very sick from diabetes, cancers and heart conditions and how their children are very ill or dead. The American Veteran would listen, and then more often than not say, “I’m glad you went, I’m not sure if I would go back, but I’m glad you went. I know your Dad is very proud of you.” That was all the affirmation I needed. I was on the right path. It took the men who are living the long Shadow of the Vietnam War to give me the courage I needed.

A few times, and I say very few, because it’s only happened twice, I have been called a “War sympathizer,” I will tell you no Vietnam Veteran has ever called me such. Maybe they are too polite or too pissed to speak with me, I get that, but I’ve never had that experience. When it has happened, I have said, I am not a war sympathizer, I am a humanitarian, the war is over, and our countries are at peace with each other. The mental, and physical pain left from the war is not over, on either side, but the actual taking up arms and killing each other is.

The Vastness of the problem with Agent Orange in Vietnam took till my third trip to even grasp. Vietnam is roughly the same size in square miles as the state of New Mexico. Vietnam reports it has over three million Agent Orange victims. Now think about a county in your state. In one small province in Vietnam I visited, there were 14,000 Agent Orange Victims, 7,000 of them were second generation victims. Can you imagine? Remember the polio epidemic? If it were happening again, would you just sit by and watch? Now, not only throw in the polio epidemic, but also throw in extreme poverty, very poor health care and toxic local environments that are continuing to poison the food supply, creating more victims. This is the current state of things in Vietnam. Would you support those who were doing the work to stop it, and improve the conditions of innocent children? There are many trying to stop this epidemic in Vietnam.

How can helping those offspring affected by Agent Orange in Vietnam help the offspring of Vietnam Veterans in the US or Australia? Currently, there is more research going on in Vietnam on issues of Agent Orange than anywhere else in the world. In Vietnam, there are more supporters globally then there have ever been for the children of US or Australian Veterans. Ninety nine percent of these global supporters do not even know there are Agent Orange offspring Victims in the United States or Australia. If none of the children of American Vietnam Vets or Australian Vietnam Vets are speaking out and educating those in the global community that we are in fact here, how will they ever know? How will they ever know we need help with health care costs and the like?
Why is all this research happening and global supporters still do not know other victims exist? Number one, it is the multitudes of identifiable Agent Orange victims in Vietnam. Remember, three million victims in the area as large as the state of New Mexico. Secondly, it has to do with the fact that Vietnam acknowledges there is a problem, unlike the Australian and US Governments, and invites researchers in to try to help. I do have to have a side note to say, at least the Australian Government has been more open to appropriate research. Our governments and chemical companies have worked hard to dismiss the Vietnam Veteran’s story of suffering in their children and stifle any real research. Then they turn around and say, there are no reputable studies on the affects of Dioxin in the offspring of Vietnam Veterans
Wouldn’t it be helpful if this international support would come to the offspring of American and Australian Agent Orange victims as well? Especially after the last 40 years that our own governments have turned their back on our Fathers, and our families. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the same pressure that is happening in Vietnam to require the government to create social/medical change for the victims of Agent Orange could also happen in the US and Australia? Unless the children of American and Australian Vietnam Veterans engage with the rest of the world, it will pass us by while we wait for our governments to just do the right thing. How much longer should we be passive?

There is something to be said for the emotional healing that has happened for me as a result of my trips to Vietnam. I was once extremely bitter, especially after my own Father died as a result of his AO illnesses. It changed me to see other disabled children born after the war, who also like myself, had no say in the politics of the 60’s, interacting and caring for each other. Their simple acts of compassion for each other helped heal a very lonely place left in my heart from childhood. It’s also given me hope by watching Non Government Organizations, physically help those in most need in Vietnam. I see what could be. I see the future for projects that could meet the unique needs of American and Australian generational victims of Agent Orange. We have to be out there meeting each other, we have to understand the suffering we ALL are going through. One of our dreams is to facilitate a group of American/Australian victims of Agent Orange to go to Vietnam as a delegation to experience this for themselves. It’s only with doing, engaging and acting can real change happen.

It’s about public relations, building relationships, comparing research, and comparing experiences, that helps not only the greater good, but us in the long run. Some may never agree with me, and that is fine. I am a humanitarian, not a war sympathizer, I have my Father’s approval and that is all I need to continue this work. Caring about the Vietnamese Agent Orange victim really does matter.

© Heather A. Bowser
Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance

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For Immediate Release

Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance

Agent Orange In Ohio

Boardman, OH – October, 13 2012 – Two Generational Victims of Agent Orange who founded the Non-Profit Organization ‘Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance’ will host a meet & greet and educational seminar on October 13th starting at 6pm at Ohio Naturopathic Wellness Center, 755 Boardman-Canfield Rd., Suite D- (Southbridge West), Boardman, OH. Appetizers and beverages will be served, followed by the seminar at 7pm. Please make your reservations at for attendance since seating is limited. The event is free and open to the public and can also be joined through Facebook at

Heather A. Bowser (39), Daughter of Bill Morris, of Canfield Ohio and Kelly L. Derricks (37), Daughter of Harry C. Mackel Jr., of Bucks County Pennsylvania are both daughters of deceased Vietnam War Veterans. Each of their father’s were exposed to the deadly herbicide Agent Orange/Dioxin while serving with the United States Military resulting in their untimely deaths.  Heather and Kelly were both born with multiple birth defects and illnesses which they still suffer from Today. In early 2012, after many years of independent advocacy, they came together to form ‘Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance’ a Non-Profit organization seeking justice and providing assistance for the tens of thousands of sons and daughters also suffering from the generational effects of Agent Orange that occurs during the conception of a child.

Karen Y. Wengert (38), Daughter of surviving Vietnam Veteran George Ridgeway, of Newark Ohio, will also be attending the event.  Karen’s mother, Barbara Ridgeway (Dunn), who is now deceased, was a key proponent in starting the area’s local VVA chapter.  At the age of 8, Karen accompanied by her parents on November 11, 1982, stood in attendance at the official opening of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.  As a surviving Vietnam Veteran, Karen’s father now suffers the severe health effects that Agent Orange / Dioxin is known for leaving in its destructive wake.  Recently,  Heather and Kelly were very pleased when Karen graciously accepted the position of Secretary as an Official COVVHA board member.  Karen has worked tirelessly over the last several months, despite her suffering with numerous illnesses, to ensure COVVHA’s ability to reach the 2ND generation victims of Agent Orange.

Nicknamed COVVHA, Kelly and Heather stress four simple words that have reached millions, not just in the American community, but also the international community of those exposed including Vietnam, Australia, Korea, Japan, Guam, and Canada; “You Are NOT Alone.” COVVHA has vowed that no Vietnam Veteran, Child, Grandchild, or those who were exposed to Agent Orange by other circumstances, will ever feel like they are waging the fight for their lives alone. The event which is being hosted by Kelly and Heather on October 13th starting at 6pm at Ohio Naturopathic Wellness Center, 755 Boardman-Canfield Rd., Suite D-(Southbridge West), Boardman, Ohio, Is intended to educate the general public and those exposed about the generational health and medical effects of Agent Orange. They also hope to meet other Sons and Daughters of Vietnam Veterans who may have interest in volunteering any extra time to COVVHA.

Before his Death at the age of 37, Kelly’s father stated, “I know I have a bomb ticking inside of me, I know that bomb is Agent Orange.” Before his death at the age of 50, Heather’s father stated, “If I only knew I was taking my children to war, I would have dodged the draft.”  Please join Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance on Saturday evening, October 13, 2012 to help COVVHA raise awareness.  R.S.V.P. by email at COVVHA@GMAIL.COM  At the conclusion of the evening’s events, A brief memorial tribute will be held in honor of Kelly’s father marking the 30 year anniversary of his death on October 14, 1982.  Kelly was only 7 years old when her father died.  Agent Orange was not just a Vietnam War Era tragedy. In fact, Agent Orange was used globally long before the war began. To people like Kelly and Heather and the millions they fight for, the Vietnam War never ended. The battle ground and weaponry have simply changed.

Visit Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance at their main website 
Support COVVHA’S Facebook Page by clicking the “LIKE” button at
Contact Heather and Kelly by email at COVVHA@GMAIL.COM
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DANANG, Vietnam — The United States began a landmark project Thursday to clean up a dangerous chemical left from the defoliant Agent Orange — 50 years after American planes first sprayed it on Vietnam’s jungles to destroy enemy cover.

Dioxin, which has been linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities, will be removed from the site of a former U.S. air base in Danang in central Vietnam. The effort is seen as a long-overdue step toward removing a thorn in relations between the former foes nearly four decades after the Vietnam War ended.

“We are both moving earth and taking the first steps to bury the legacies of our past,” U.S. Ambassador David Shear said during the groundbreaking ceremony near where a rusty barbed wire fence marks the site’s boundary. “I look forward to even more success to follow.”

The $43 million joint project with Vietnam is expected to be completed in four years on the 19-hectare (47-acre) contaminated site, now an active Vietnamese military base near Danang’s commercial airport.

Washington has been quibbling for years over the need for more scientific research to show that the herbicide caused health problems among Vietnamese. It has given about $60 million for environmental restoration and social services in Vietnam since 2007, but this is its first direct involvement in cleaning up dioxin, which has seeped into Vietnam’s soil and watersheds for generations.

Shear added the U.S. is planning to evaluate what’s needed for remediation at the former Bien Hoa air base in southern Vietnam, another Agent Orange hotspot.

The work begins as Vietnam and the U.S. forge closer ties to boost trade and counter China’s rising influence in the disputed South China Sea that’s believed rich in oil and natural resources. The U.S. says protecting peace and freedom of navigation in the sea is in its national interest.

The Danang site is closed to the public. Part of it consists of a dry field where U.S. troops once stored and mixed the defoliant before it was loaded onto planes. The area is ringed by tall grass, and a faint chemical scent could be smelled Thursday.

The contaminated area also includes lakes and wetlands dotted with pink lotus flowers where dioxin has seeped into soil and sediment over decades. A high concrete wall separates it from nearby communities and serves as a barrier to fishing there.

The U.S. military dumped some 20 million gallons (75 million liters) of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971, decimating about 5 million acres (2 million hectares) of forest — roughly the size of Massachusetts. Continue Reading….

Vietnam: US starts its first Agent Orange clean-up by euronews-en

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The possibility of long-term health effects includingadverse reproductive health outcomes resulting frommilitary service in Vietnam has been a subject of researchinterest in the United States over the past two decades [CDCVietnam Experience Study, 1988; Stellman et al., 1988].The U.S. Congress, responding to concerns of many womenVietnam veterans, legislatively mandated a comprehensive health study of women Vietnam veterans.

This mandate ledto three separate but related epidemiologic studies of women Vietnam era veterans: (1) post-Vietnam servicemortality follow-up; (2) assessment of psychologic healthoutcomes; and (3) reproductive health outcomes. Resultsof the ®rst two studies were published or submitted to Congress previously [Thomas et al., 1991; Dalager andKang, 1996]. The present report deals with the thirdstudy.

The studies of reproductive outcomes among maleveterans have been mostly negative in that service inVietnam was not associated with the risk of fathering a childwith birth defects, spontaneous abortion, stillbirth orneonatal death [Erickson et al., 1984; Donovan et al.,1984; Aschengrau and Monson, 1989, 1990]. However, inthe recent “Ranch Hand study”, neural tube defects (spinabi®da, anencephaly) were reported in four children of U.S.Air Force personnel who sprayed Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam, while none was observed among children of control veterans [Wolfe et al., 1995].

Further-more, when the CDC birth defects study was reanalyzedusing the exposure opportunity index based upon interview data, the risk of spina bi®da was signi®cantly associatedwith the highest estimated level of Agent Orange exposure[Erickson et al., 1984]. Based on these data and others, anInstitute of Medicine panel suggested an associationbetween herbicide exposure in Vietnam and an increased risk of spina bi®da in children [IOM, 1996]

Agent Orange Pregnancy Outcomes Among Us Women Vietnam Veterans1097-0274(200010)38!4!447–AID-AJIM11-3.0

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We have compiled a list of 63o reported illnesses that the biological 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. Other reports indicate that there are up to 30 years of illnesses and conditions being collected that we suffer from as the second generation. While many of us are born with these problems, our members that participated in this list are generally between the ages of 20-45 both male and female, often with no prior family history. If you are suffering from any illness not listed, please email us at COVVHA@GMAIL.COM or fill out the comment section on our “Contact Us” page. This list has been updated as of July 24, 2012

Abnormal Cervical Bleeding
Abnormal growth between the ovaries
Abnormal Pap Smears
Abnormal Periods
Abnormal Rectal Bleeding
Achy Body
Acid Reflux
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Addiction (cigarettes)
Addiction(other than cigs/alcohol, non drug)
Addison’s Disease
Adult Acne
Alopecia Areata
Anal Squamous Cell Carcinoma-Basiloid Type
Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
Anemia SC (as a small child when I had pneumonia)
Anger Issues
Ankylosing spondylitis
Annual decrease in (night) vision
Aortic Pulmonary Regurgitation
Arachnoid Cyst in Brain Space
Arnold Chiari Malformation
Arterial Vienous Malformation (AVM)
Arthritis: Inflammatory, of the SI Joint, Rhumatoid, Juvenile
Asperger’s Syndrome
Atrial Fibrillation
Autoimmune Disease (Unknown Etiology)
Autonomic Neuropathy
Bacterial Infections
Back Pain
Balance Problems
Bell’s Palsy (now-resolved)
Berger’s Disease (Kidney Disease)
Benign Cyst (armpit)
Benign Multinodular Goiter
Benign Oral Cysts
Benign tumor on thryoid/ near total thyroidectomy surgery
Bicorneate Uterus
Bicuspid Aorta Heart Valve
Bicuspid Valve Prolapse
Bilateral Baker’s Cyst
Bilateral Uterus
Bipartide Patellas
Bipolar Disorder
Bladder infections/ UTI’s
Bladder Lift
Bleeding Issues
Blood in Urine (undefined)
Blood Vessel Issues
Bone Cancer
Bones Spurs/Problems (Undefined)
Bones Missing at Birth
Borderline High Blood Pressure
Borderline Diabetic
Borderline Schizophrenia
Born Blind
Born Deaf
Bowel Deformity/Issues
Brain Issues (Water on the brain, etc)
Brain (calcification & an enlarged Penvascular space)
Brain Lesions, Aneurisms, Tumors, Surgery
Brain Stem Abnormalities(Too small)
Brain Tumors
Breathing Problems (undefined)
Bronchitis/Bronchial Spasms
Calcium Deficiency
Calluses on vocal Chords-Faulty “flap” stomach acid caused
Cardiac Arrhythmia
Cardiac Deformity
Cardio Sarcoma
Carpel Tunnel
Caudal Regression
Cava Perthes
Celiac Disease
Cellulitis Infections
Central Nervous System Disorder
Cerebellum Issues (Undefined)
Cerebra Aneurysm
Cerebral Palsy
Cervical Cancer
Cervical Dysplasia/Incompetency
Cervical Infections
Chiari Malformation (Assoc. with Spina Bifida)
Chemical Sensitivity
Chest Wall Pain/ Breast Pain
Childhood bedwetting
Childhood Extreme Shyness
Choristoma ( tumor in the ear)
Chromosome Abnormalities
Chronic (Asthmatic) Bronchitis
Chronic Candida and Other Female Reproductive Organ Infections
Chronic Childhood Ear Infections
Chronic Cold/Flu
Chronic Constipation
Chronic Costochondritits
Chronic ENT issues resulting in adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy and ear tubes
Chronic Fatigue And Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFAIDS)
Chonic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
Chronic Insomnia
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Knee Dysplasia
Chronic Migraines
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Pneumonia (Childhood/Recurring)
Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic Urinary tract infections
Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), Severe
Cleft Palate, Lips
Clotting Disorders
Club Foot (Talipes equinovarus )
Cold Hands and Feet
Collapsed Vertebrae
Colon Issues
Complete Hysterectomy: Age 25, Age 31, Age 37,Age 36
Complete Pelvic Floor Collapse
Compromised Immune System
Compulsive Skin Picking
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Congenital Anosenia (Born without the ability to smile)
Congenital Heart Blockage
Congenital Hips
Congenital Hypertension
Congenital Scoliosis
Cognitive Issues
Connective Tissue Disorder
Conversion Disorder
Cranial Synthesis
Crohn’s Disease
Crossed Eyes (Newborn)
Cushing’s Syndrome
Cystic Acne
Cystic Fibrosis
Cysts: Arm, Brain, Hand, Leg, Shoulder Blade, Thyroid, Arm, Ovaries & Wrists.
Daily Headaches
Debilitating Muscle Spasms
Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)
Deformed Extermities/Digits
Deformed Sinuses
Deformity Chest/Brest
Deformity Shoulder/Muscles
Degenerative Disc/Bone Disease
Degenerative Ligament Tissue
Degenerative Joint Disease
Dental Problems
Depression (Major, Clinical, Severe)
Developmental Delay
Deviated Septum
Diagonal earlobe Crease
Digestive Issues
Disc Desiccation
Dissociative Disorder
Dizzy Spells
Double Cervix
Double Hernia at Birth
Double Ureter
Double Uterus/Cervix
Double Uvula
Droop Eye (Ptosis)
Drug Abuse
Duane Syndrome
Ear Infections, Problems, Surgeries, Tubes
Ectopic Pregnancy
Electrolyte Abnormalities
Elevated Heart Rate
Emotional Problems
Endocrine Disorders
Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial Hyperplasia
Enlarged Liver (Cause Unknown)
Excessive Sweating
Extra body parts (Organs)
Eye Problems (Undefined)
Facet Joint Syndrome
Facial Aplasia
Factor Z Leiden
Familial Tremor
Fatty Deposits on Liver
Felty’s Syndrome
Fever (Undefined)
Fever Seizures
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Fibroid Cysts in Breast
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)
Food Allergies
Follicular Lymphoma/Large B Cell Lymphoma
Foot Deformity, Issues, Burning
Fragile X Syndrome
Fused Digits
Fused Vertebrae in Neck
Gall Bladder Disease
Ganglion Cyst
Gastrointestinal Problems
Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gene Mutation
Gluten Intolerance
Goldenhar Syndrome
Grand Mal Seizures
Grave’s Disease
Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD)
Growths/Lumps on Skull
HAE – Hereditary Angioedema (still being tested for verification)
HAE – Hereditary Angioedema Type 3
Hair Loss
Hairy Cell Leukemia
Hashimoto’s auto-immune thyroid disease
Head Sores
Heat Intolerance
Hearing Loss/Deafness
Heart Attack
Heart Disease
Heart Failure
Heart Problems/Surgery (Undefined)
Heart Murmur (as a child) Heart Palpatations
Heel Spur
Hereditary (atypical) heochromatosis
Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT)
Herniated Discs
High Blood Pressure
High Cholesterol
High Pulse Rate
Hip Deformity, Pain, Surgery (Undefined)
Hip Dysplasia
Hip Pain (Undefined)
Hip Replacement
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Hormone Issues/Replacement
Hidradenitis suppurativa
Hydrococle Hernia
Hylan Membrane
Hyman Issues (Partially Intact)
Hypermobility Issues/ Surgeries
Hypoplastic Heart
Hyoplasia –Entire Right Side
Hypothyroidism (HASHIMOTOS)
Idiopathic Gastroparesis
Idiopathic Intercranial Hypertension (IIH)
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Platelet Disorder
Immune System Issues (Undefined & IVIG Infusions)
Incompetent Cervix
Infertility (SECONDARY)
Insulin Resistance
Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
Intracranial Cyst
Intracranial Hypertension
Involuntary Muscle Spasm (Face) (EYE, LEGSSTOACH,ABDOMEN)
Iron Deficiency
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Ischemic Heart Disease
Jaw Deformity/Surgery
Joint & Muscle Problems/Pain
Joint Hypermobility Syndrome
Keratosis pilaris
Kidney Disease/Surgery
Kidney Stones, Infection, Cysts
Kienbock’s Disease
Knee Problems/Dysplasia ,Pain, Surgery
Knee Replacement
Lateral Microtia
Lazy Eye (x2)
Learning Disabilities
Legally blind
Leukocytosis with neutrophilia
Lhermitte’s Sign
Lichen Planus
Liponas-(non-cancerous tumors throughout the body)
Liver Disease (Fatty/Undefined)
Liver Inflammation/Other
Liver Lesions
Long QT Syndrome (LQTS)
Loss of Skin Pigment
Loss of Strength in Limbs
Low Blood Count (Red)
Low Blood Pressure
Low Estrogen
Low Potassium
Low Testosterone
Low vitamin D levels…even with sun and supplements
Lumbarization (Extra Vertabrae)
Lung Deformity (3rd Lung)
Lung Disease, Nodules, Tumors, Clots
Lupus of the Skin
Lymphatic Tumors/ Lymphangioma
Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Lymphocytic Thyroditis
Malabsorption of food/drink
Marfan Syndrome
Melanoma (spreading)
Memory Loss
Memory Retention Problems
Meniere’s Disease
Menopause Issues (Early)
Menstrual Cycle Issues
Mental Health Issues
Mental Retardation
Metabolic Syndromes
Methicillin Staphylococcus Resistant Aureus (MSRA)
Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR)
Migraine headaches ( Cluster, Basilar, and Hemiplegic Migraines)
Mild Displasia
Missing a whole layer of dermis (skin)
Missing Big Toe
Missing Fingers
Missing Limb (Right Leg, Below the Knee)
Mitral valve prolapsed
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)
Mood Swings
Motor Development (Slow @ Childhood)
Mullerian Aplasia
Multiple Cardiac Arrests
Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Reoccuring Undiagnosed Oozing Sores
Muscle Spasms, Pain, Numbness, (Undefined)
Musco-Skeletal Problems
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis
Mycobacterium gordonae
Nasal Cancer
Nasal Polyps
Nausea/Vomiting for no apparent reason.
Neck Pain/ Problems
Nerve Damage
Neuralgia: Face, Feet, Hands, Legs
Neurological Problems (Undefined)
Nevus Sebaceous
Night Blindness
Night Terrors
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Numbness (Hands, Feet, Body, Limbs)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Orthostatic Hypotension
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian Cysts
Overactive Bladder
Pain (Undefined)
Pain in chest, radiating up right side of neck
Palate Problems
Panic Attacks
Para-Thyroid Gland Disfunction
Pars Plantis
Patellar Subluxation (Left Knee)
Pectus Excavatum
Peeling As If Sunburned (Face and body)
Pelvic Bones Not Fused
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (before hysterectomy)
Pelvic Reconstruction/Issues
Peptic Ulcers
Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral Nervous System Disorder
Periventricular Leukomalacia
Personality Disorder
Phantom pains in random places in my body with no apparent cause
Pierre Robin Sequence
Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
Pituitary Issues/Tumors
Planar Spaciatis
Poland Syndrome
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Poly Cystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
Polycythemia Vera Without Genetic Factor
Poor Egg Quality
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
Potassium Issues
Pregnancy Complications (Undefined)
Pregnancy, Partial Molar
Premature Babies
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Primitive Neuro-Ectodermal Tumor (PNET)
Prolapsed Cervix
Prostate Problems/Enlarged
Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pseudo tumor Cerebri
Pseudo Obstruction (Intestinal, Neurological)
PTSD (Primary)
PTSD (Secondary)
Pulmonary Edema
Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary Fibrosis/Other (Undefined)
Pulmonary Restriction
Pyloric Stenosis
Rapid Absorption
Rash (Skin, Newborn, Undefined)
Raynaud’s Syndrome
Rectal Prolapse
Rectal Seal Prolapse
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
Renal Cysts/Calcifications
Renal Failure
Reproductive Problems (Female)
Respiratory Infections/Distress
Restless Leg Syndrome
Retroverted Uterus
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
Sacral Agenesis
Sacral Luburalization
Salpingitis Isthmica Nodosa (SIN)
Sebaceous Cysts (Lumps on the head)
Seizures, Stress
Seizures, Petite Mal
Sensitive Skin
Sensitive to Medication
Sensitive Teeth
Septate Uterus
Severe Chronic Neutropenia
Severe Light Sensitivity
Shingles: Ears, Mouth, Opthamalic, Throat
Short term memory problems
Sinus Tachycardia
Sinus Infections/ Problems
Skin Cancer
Skin Problems/ Deformity
Skin Rashes
Sleep Apnea
Slight Deviated Jaw
Social Problems
Spastic Colon
Speech Problems
Spina Bifida
Spina Bifida Occulta
Spinal Cord Disease/ Tumors
Spinal Deformities
Spinal Deterioration
Spinal Meningitis
Spinal Surgeries/ Pain (Undefined)
Sphincter of Oddi Disorder-
Splentic Cysts
Squamous Papilloma (Benign Polyp in Mouth)
Stenosis of the Spine
Stomach Pains/Problems
Strange Growths
Sturge Weber Syndrome
Subglottal Stenosis
Suicidal Tendencies
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
Swelling (Undefined)
Swollen Glands
Tachycardia (Unknown, Due to WPW Syndrome)
Temporal Arteritis
Testicle Deformity
Thinning of the hair, top front
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Throat Tumors
Thyroid Cancer (Hoshimotos)
Thyroid Issues & Cysts (Hyperthyroidism)
Tilted Uterus
Tinnitus (Lifelong)
Tooth Decay (Abnormal)
Tooth Formation Absence (Adult Teeth Never Came In)
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula
Tremors/ Ticks
Triple Ureter
Triple X Syndrome
Truncus Arteriosis
Tuberculosis (TB)
Tumor on the parathyroid
Tumors on Liver
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Ulcers, Stomach, Mouth, Nose
Ulcerated Colitis
Undiagnosed Rash (One Side of Body)
Unexplained Numbness
Unexplained Tingling (Right Side Of Body)
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)/ Issues
Uterine Cancer
Uterine Leiomyosarcoma
Unspecified Immunodeficiency
Uterine Fibroids
Uterine Polyps
Vacterl syndrome
Vaginal Bleeding
Vascular Headaches
Varicose Veins
Vertibrae, Extra/ Missing
Vision Problems
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Vulvodynia (Pain In The Vulva)
Weak Muscles (Left Leg)
Webbed Toes
Weight Loss
Whole Thyroidectomy Surgery
Wolff- Parkinson- White Syndrome
VA has recognized that certain birth defects among Veterans’ children are associated with Veterans’ qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea. Spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta), a defect in the developing fetus that results in incomplete closing of the spine, is associated with Veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea. Birth defects in children of women Veterans is associated with their military service in Vietnam, but are not related to herbicide exposure. The affected child must have been conceived after the Veteran entered Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone during the qualifying service period. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Many Children of Vietnam Veterans (COVVs) and family members of COVVs, contact us with questions about COVV’s health concerns. At this point in time, the government does not recognize that Agent Orange causes birth defects or illnesses in the children (or grandchildren) of male Vietnam Veterans, unless the COVV has Spina Bifida (Only for Children of Vietnam Vets not Grandchildren). This is a tragic denial of the many unexplained medical illnesses and birth defects many Children of Male Vietnam Veterans face. Please, if you or a loved one is suffering from an unexplained birth defect, or illness, you think may be caused by Agent Orange read the information below.
Please file a claim with the Department Of Veterans Affairs as soon as possible. This claim will be denied, but we have to start identifying ourselves with the VA.
You can find all mentioned forms on
Please follow the instructions below:
You will need to provide years your Father was in Vietnam and his Social Security number.
If your father has passed away, and his death was linked to Agent Orange exposure, state that.
1. Application for benefits (be sure to keep copies for your records)
A. Complete claim form no. 21-03042
B. Complete Statement of support form no. 21-4138 used to add additional information. Add anything you feel is necessary in understanding your claim.
Send these forms in as soon as possible!
Please be advised your claim will be denied. It will state, “There is no record of your mother serving in Vietnam or Korea. There is no proof of spina bifida.” This is their standard answer to all of the children of male Vietnam Veterans (unless you have Spina Bifida, then you are eligible for benefits).
3. Filing an appeal
A. Your next step is to file an appeal
1. Complete: Appeal Form VA9
2. Complete: Release of Medical Information Form 21-4142
a. The VA most likely will not attempt to acquire your records
4. Prepare for the hearing
A. Wait for your hearing Date
B. Gather all your medical records that support your claim
5. The Hearing
A. Take any witnesses that can support your claim
B. Contact your Senator or Congressman and senator, asking them to attend the hearing or to send a representative.

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A stalled veterans’ bill is now on track for Senate passage this week after a small change was made in a landmark program under which the Veterans Affairs Department would provide health care to people suffering from long-term effects of drinking contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Up to 750,000 people who lived or worked on the base from Jan. 1, 1957, through Dec. 31, 1987, would be eligible for care if they have a disability or disease linked to exposure to drinking water found to contain carcinogens.

Related reading

Vets bill held up by Lejeune toxic water issue (July 16)

VA care extended to Camp Lejeune water victims (June 22)


Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., had used his Senate privileges to put a hold on the bill because it included no provision to allow VA to deny coverage even if an individual’s health problems clearly stemmed from some other cause.

DeMint and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairwoman, reached agreement Wednesday to add a section allowing VA to deny health care if “conclusive evidence” is available to show the individual’s disability or disease had a different cause than exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Lejeune.

This is similar to a provision that applies to other presumptive VA benefits, such as problems related to exposure to Agent Orange and Gulf War illness. Congressional aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity said these provisions are rarely invoked because the specific cause of many diseases is difficult to prove.

Diseases presumed to have a connection to the contaminated water are: Esophageal, lung, breast, bladder or kidney cancer; leukemia; multiple myeloma; myelodysplasic syndromes; renal toxicity; hepatic steatosis; female infertility; miscarriage; scleroderma; neuorobehavorial effects; and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said the senator’s “anti-fraud amendment is similar to provisions that are already part of current law with respect to other veterans’ benefits.”

Murray said that with the change, the veterans’ bill, which contains more than 50 provisions covering various health, benefits, housing, burial and insurance programs, could quickly pass the Senate. The House also would have to vote on the measure before it goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

The bill, the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, was approved June 21 by negotiators from the House and Senate veterans’ affairs committees, but DeMint had blocked Senate consideration of the measure because of his concerns about fraud and about the long-term cost of the Lejeune-related health care.

The DeMint-Murray compromise that allows the measure to move forward came just minutes before Murray was to give a speech on the Senate floor complaining about DeMint delaying a bill that would help veterans and their families. As she was waiting to give her prepared remarks, she noticed DeMint in the back of the chamber and the two began discussing the issue. Agreement was reached in about five minutes, according to aides.

DeMint’s concerns about the long-term costs of the Lejeune-related health care were not resolved by the agreement, but he has released his hold on the bill, Denton said.

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An estimated 13 to 20 percent of United States service members who have fought in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brought on by a specific traumatic event, including combat. As the U.S. reduces its military involvement in the Middle East, the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) anticipate that increasing numbers of returning veterans will need PTSD services. As a result, Congress asked the DoD, in consultation with the VA, to sponsor an IOM study to assess both departments’ PTSD treatment programs and services. This first of two mandated reports examines the some of the available prevention, screening, diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation programs and encourages further research that can help to improve PTSD care.  View Full Report Below

Iom Assessment Ptsd

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WASHINGTON, Jun 19, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that nearly 230,000 claims have already been processed for the three newest Agent-Orange related conditions through June 2012, including over 150,000 claims required to be adjudicated under the order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The near completion of these complex Nehmer claims enables VA to redirect 1,200 employees who were dedicated to reviewing the Agent Orange cases toward addressing the current backlog of disability claims.

“I am proud of our VA employees who worked hard to complete these Agent Orange claims, putting over $3.6 billion into the hands of our Vietnam Veterans and their survivors,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We completed all of the Agent Orange Nehmer claims for living Veterans, and are now focusing on the fewer than 500 remaining that will benefit survivors.”

The Agent Orange claims stemmed from VA’s 2010 amendment of its regulations to add ischemic heart disease, hairy cell and other chronic B-cell leukemias, and Parkinson’s disease to the list of diseases presumed to be related to exposure to the herbicide used in Southeast Asia.

“While we work to transform how we do business through new processes and technology, at the end of the day it’s about taking care of our Veterans and their loved ones on the issues affecting their lives,” said Secretary Shinseki.

Given the complexity of the historical casework, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) allocated its most experienced decision makers, about 37 percent of its rating staff, to processing Agent Orange claims. VBA’s 13 resource centers were exclusively dedicated to re-adjudicating these claims.

Even with this allocation of 37 percent of the rating staff dedicated to Agent Orange claims, VA processed over 1 million disability claims in each of the last 2 years, an unprecedented number. “Incoming claims over the last ten years have nearly doubled,” said VA Under Secretary for Benefits, Allison A. Hickey. “Being able to refocus these skilled raters on the backlog is vitally important.”

In addition to redirecting its rating staff, VA has developed a comprehensive transformation plan to achieve in 2015 Secretary Shinseki’s goal of completing claims within 125 days at 98 percent accuracy. The plan is built on more than 40 designed, tested, and measured people, processing, and technology initiatives. VA is now beginning the nationwide rollout of its new operating model and electronic processing system, known as the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS). All regional offices will be operating under the new model and using the new processing system by the end of 2013.

VA has established a website, , to assist Veterans in filing claims for the three new conditions related to the effects of Agent Orange exposure. It guides Veterans through automated, program-assisted menus to capture the information and medical evidence needed for faster claims decision. Potentially eligible Veterans include those who were exposed based on duty or visitation in Vietnam or on its inland waterways between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975; exposed along the demilitarized zone in Korea between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971; or exposed due to herbicide tests and storage at military bases within and outside of the United States.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Public Affairs
Media Relations

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Harry C. Mackel Jr. September 4, 1945 – October 14, 1982
In Memory Day 2012

Today is a day I would have rather just kept to myself. As a matter of fact, for the last 2 weeks less than 5 people knew that exactly 30 years and 8 months to the date of my father’s death, his name would be included at a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall known as “In Memory Day”.

I’m not there.  It was quite a difficult decision for me to make.  A decision that made me feel forced to attend a funeral of sorts.  I buried my father 30 years ago when I was 7 years old.  There’s not anything about the day that I don’t remember.  When I was told that his memory was to be included in today’s events I felt very sad.  I expressed to the people that did tell that I thought most would expect me to be happy about it.  But I wasn’t.  Not in any way.

Let’s face it.  People don’t visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall to be happy.  It is in essence a collective grave stone with more than 58,000 names on it.  30 years later our government has decided to acknowledge my father’s service in Vietnam and his death thereafter as something special?  30 years later?

To be clear, I did not submit the application, a relative did.  One that I have spoken to less than 10 times over the last 20 years.  When and if I ever go back to The Wall, it will be on my own terms and my own time.  It will certainly not be yet another day in history that the United States Government dictates to me how I am to feel about my father’s death and the Agent Orange that killed him.

So on a day that I wanted to keep to myself, I feel yet again forced to deal with the issue since going through my emails today; I was faced with an article written about the ceremony events.  An article that shared the story of another PA Vietnam Veteran who lost his life to Agent Orange & Dioxin exposure and was also being honored today.  The article failed to include the names of the other 9 PA Vietnam Veterans who are also being remembered today.  I felt that I should at least include my own father’s name, however in doing so I thought it necessary to share the story with all of you.

If anything positive has come out of today, I can say that it was one simple thing that I have been waiting for over the last 37 years of my life…..  To see my Father, Harry C. Mackel Jr., an active member of The United States Air Force for nearly 10 years, who voluntarily served 2 “Boots On The Ground” tours in Vietnam, in his USAF Military Uniform.  Yes, that is correct, for my entire life I have never seen a photo of my Father in his uniform, until now.  Included in the ceremony events are the names and photos of all of the Vietnam Veterans being honored today.  I received a photocopy of the picture being used in the booklet early last week.  It took me several days to convince myself that it was even my father.  My husband insisted that it was.  In the picture, he was probably just 17 years old, making it the youngest photo I have ever seen of my father.  For days, I traced the harsh lines of a photo that came out of a copy machine and then tri-folded for mailing.  For days, I had no idea who this man was in the photo, thinking it had to have been a mistake. For days, as I have done many times over the years, I questioned my own Identity.  Until I finally stared at his eyes.  They are unmistakable, they are mine.

Yet, as I write this story, I am filled with A Heart Of Rage.  The kind of rage that only a daughter of a Vietnam Veteran who has long been dead would know.  The rage of her Father being taken away.  You see, there is even more to this story then one could possibly imagine.   I found out about “In Memory Day” on a week night at 8:00 p.m.  Only 6 short hours before that, I received a different phone call.  One informing me of a situation which I knew in my heart would come one day, a situation I have been running from since I was a teenager.


Who you ask?  The only other man that I have ever called my father.  A man that is now suffering the effects of Agent Orange and Dioxin.

My adopted Father.

 © Kelly L. Derricks
Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance

 Below I have included the booklet that was at the Ceremony.  I have also included the link to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for anyone interested in applying for the program.  In addition, you will find the original article written about the PA Vietnam Veteran also being honored.

In Memory Day Ceremony Book

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Listen To the Archived Broadcast Now

The Children of Vietnam Veterans and Those Exposed To Agent Orange & Dioxin is an organization founded by children of Vietnam Veterans dedicated to finding justice, finding answers and offering support for the generational victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin. This is the first group of its kind because it was founded by children of Vietnam Veterans who desperately want our peers to no longer feel alone. They acknowledge the vast amount of people around the globe who have come into contact with Agent Orange such as Americans, Australians, Vietnamese, Koreans, Canadians, Japanese, People of Guam and many more.  Because the generational victims are rarely recognized, COVVHA seeks to collectively bring about change and make the voices of those affected heard.

Kelly L. Derricks is the daughter of deceased Vietnam Veteran Harry C. Mackel, Jr.  Harry died in 1982 at the age of 37 after being exposed to Agent Orange while serving two tours in Vietnam in addition to a tour on Johnston Island. After serving with the United States Air Force, Harry went on to serve the City of Philadelphia as a highly regarded and awarded officer of the Stakeout Unit with the police department. Kelly was only seven years old when her father died.

Kelly has been working as an independent Agent Orange/Dioxin advocate since early 2007.  She has expanded her work under the name “Truth Teller” to legislative areas, environment and agriculture, public speaking, blog authoring, and medical awareness, while tying everything back to encompass her main platform of seeking justice for those exposed.

Kelly’s COVVHA partner Heather A. Bowser,  is also an Agent Orange activist.  Heather was born with multiple birth defects due to her father’s exposure, as a US solider during the Vietnam War, to the chemical defoliant, Agent Orange. Heather was born in 1972, two months premature; she weighed three pounds, four ounces. Heather is missing her right leg below the knee, several of her fingers, her big toe on her left foot, her remaining toes were webbed.

Heather started her activism early in her life along side her parents in the late 1970’s. As a young child, she had a passion to explain what the chemical Agent Orange had done to her family. Like how Mother Sharon, suffered three unexplained miscarriages and her Father had five bypasses at the age of thirty eight and died of a massive heart attack at age fifty.

As former high school teacher, and current mental health licensed professional, Heather uses her skills to reach out and educate others on the devastation that is Agent Orange. Heather has a strong belief in empowering all second and third generations of Agent Orange survivors, to use their voice when possible to speak out and tell others about Agent Orange. Heather’s wish is all Agent Orange survivors will find justice.

In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show on Thursday May 24,2012 at 4p.m. EST, host, June Stoyer talks to Kelly L. Derricks and her COVVHA partner Heather A. Bowser.  Join in and Stay tuned at the link below!

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© 2014 ‎(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC

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