While the Vietnam War ended decades ago, its effects continue to linger on. Agent Orange haunts the lives of the people it has touched…..
While the Vietnam War ended decades ago, its effects continue to linger on. Agent Orange haunts the lives of the people it has touched…..
Agent Orange, Okinawa
November 12, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo
Agent 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/
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
11. Anger Problems
13. Apraxia of Limb
14. Apraxia of Speech
16. Asperger’s Syndrome
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
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
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
49. Deformed Baby Teeth
51. Developmental Delay
52. Dual AV Node In Heart
55. Edwards Syndrome
56. Ehler’s- Danlos Syndrome AKA Cutis Hyperelastica
57. Emotional Problems
59. Enlarged Adenoids
60. Enlarged Tonsils
61. Failure to Thrive (Difficulty Gaining Weight)
63. Fine Motor Aphasia
64. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
65. Gross Motor Aphasia
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)
78. Hydronephrosis AKA Enlarged Kidney
79. Hyperflexability in the Joints AKA Hypermobility in the Joints
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
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
95. Minimal Separation of Left Renal Collecting System
96. Missing Teeth
98. Neural Tube Defects
99. Night Terrors
100. Nosebleeds AKA Epistaxis
102. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
103. One Testicle That is Smaller Than the Other One
104. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
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
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
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
131. Sensitive Skin
132. Sensory Processing Disorder/ Dysfunction of Sensory Integration
133. Severe Colic
134. Sickle Cell Anemia
136. Skin Problems
137. Sleep Apnea
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
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
160. Weak Baby Teeth
161. Weak Enamel In/On Teeth
162. Weird Skin Rashes
© (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC
AGENT ORANGE SURVIVORS NEEDED!!! CONTACT US AT COVVHA@GMAIL.COM IF YOU ARE IN ONE OF THE CITIES LISTED BELOW!!!!!
COVVHA has partnered with March Against Monsanto (MAM) to be their Official Agent Orange Educators. On May 25th, COVVHA Co-Founder Kelly L. Derricks spoke about Agent Orange at the Philadelphia Event and COVVHA Co-Founder Heather A. Bowser Spoke at the Akron Ohio Event. MAM has a vast event base from all over the country and Several in other countries Including the U.K. and Australia.
If you have been personally effected by agent orange and would like to tell your story at the October 12, 2013 Event, please check the cities below that have not been filled for Agent Orange Speaker requests. You are all being given a chance to participate in something that has never before been given. If your city is listed below, and you would like to speak, please email us at COVVHA@GMAIL.COM with your city and you will be added to a private group where you will be provided with the resources and tools to prepare for your speech. You will also be certified as one of our COVVHA speakers which will allow us to request you in the future for other Agent Orange related events. YOU DO NOT NEED PRIOR PUBLIC SPEAKING EXPERIENCE. COVVHA WILL WILL PROVIDE YOU TRAINING.
Ann Arbor MI
Asheville NC ****EVENT IS ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 13****
Des Moines, IA
Laguna Beach, CA
Las Cruces, NM.
Los Angeles CA
Ormond Beach, Florida
Tucson Arizona * Pending
Please read this article to for a brief description about why we MUST March Against Monsanto!
If your city is not listed, Please feel free to find your local event to attend here:
*Please Note: If your event is not on this list it has either been booked with a COVVHA speaker or has not request one. We encourage you to attend your local events with Agent Orange Awareness flyers that can be printed from here:
CITIES BELOW HOSTING COVVHA AGENT ORANGE SPEAKERS ARE CONFIRMED
St Pete FL
San Diego, CA
St. Louis, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Charlotte, North Carolina
Coos Bay, Oregon
Salt Lake City, Utah
Agent Orange Video
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.
GMO Comprehensive Food & Ingredient Lists
Institute For Responsible Technology Granted Copyright Permission To COVVHA On August 2, 2013
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For More GMO Food Lists and Resources: http://covvha.net/category/gmo-food-list/#.UhZIQT8meM8
Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM) of food involves the laboratory process of artificially inserting genes into the DNA of food crops or animals. The result is called a genetically modified organism or GMO. GMOs can be engineered with genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans. Most Americans say they would not eat GMOs if labeled, but unlike most other industrialized countries, the U.S. does not require labeling.
This Non-GMO Shopping Guide is designed to help reclaim your right to know about the foods you are buying, and help you find and avoid GMO foods and ingredients.
Tips for avoiding GM crops
TIP #1: BUY ORGANIC: Certified organic products are not allowed to contain any GMOs. Therefore, when you purchase products labeled “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic ingredients,” all ingredients in these products are not allowed to be produced from GMOs. For example, products labeled as “made with organic ingredients” only require 70% of the ingredients to be organic, but 100% must be non-GMO.
TIP #2: LOOK FOR“NON-GMO” LABELS: Companies may voluntarily label products as “non-GMO.” Some labels state “non-GMO” while others spell out “Made Without Genetically Modified Ingredients.” Some products limit their claim to only one particular “At-Risk” ingredient such as soy lecithin, listing it as “non-GMO.”
TIP #3: AVOID AT-RISK INGREDIENTS: Avoid products made with any of the crops that are GM. Most GM ingredients are products made from the “Big Four:” corn, soybeans, canola, and cottonseed, used in processed foods. Some of the most common genetically engineered Big Four ingredients in processed foods are:
Corn flour, meal, oil, starch, gluten, and syrup
Sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose, and glucose
Modified food starch*
Soy flour, lecithin, protein, isolate, and isoflavone
Vegetable oil* and vegetable protein*
Canola oil (also called rapeseed oil)
Anything not listed as 100% cane sugar
*May be derived from other sources
In addition, GM sugar beet sugar recently entered the food supply. Look for organic and non-GMO sweeteners, candy and chocolate products made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar, to avoid GM beet sugar.
TIP #4: BUY PRODUCTS LISTED IN THIS SHOPPING GUIDE Keep this Guide with you whenever you shop. Store it inside your reusable shopping bag, put it into your coupon holder or check book, or leave it in your car.
FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Very few fresh fruits and vegetables for sale in the U.S. are genetically modified. Novel products such as seedless watermelons are NOT genetically modified. Small amounts of zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and sweet corn may be GM. The only commercialized GM fruit is papaya from Hawaii—about half of Hawaii’s papayas are GM.
MEAT, FISH & EGGS
No genetically modified fish, fowl, or livestock is yet approved for human consumption. However, plenty of non-organic foods are produced from animals raised on GM feed such as grains. Look for wild rather than farmed fish to avoid fish raised on genetically modified feed, and 100% grass-fed animals.
|Meat and Fish: Non-GMOVital Choice
Organic PrairieEggs: Non-GMOEgg Innovations Organic
Eggland’s Best Organic
Land O’Lakes Organic
Nest Fresh Organic
Pete and Jerry’s Organic Eggs
Wilcox Farms Organic
ALTERNATIVE MEAT PRODUCTS
Many alternative meat products are processed and include ingredients that can be genetically engineered, so give the ingredient lists close attention to avoid the Big Four at-risk ingredients, especially soy.
|Non-GMO365 Brand (Whole Foods)
The Simple Soyman
|May contain GMO ingredientsBoca, unless labeled organic (Kraft)
Morningstar Farms, Morningstar Farms Natural Touch, unless labeled organic (Kellogg)
BABY FOODS & INFANT FORMULA
Milk or soy protein is the basis of most infant formulas. The secret ingredients in these products are often soy or milk from cows injected with rbGH. Many brands also add GMO-derived corn syrup, corn syrup solids, or soy lecithin.
(certified organic products)
Mom Made Meals
|May contain GMO ingredientsBeech-Nut
DAIRY PRODUCTS & ALTERNATIVE DAIRY PRODUCTS
Some U.S. dairy farms inject the genetically engineered hormone rbGH, also called rbST, into their cows to boost milk production. Organic dairy products are rbGH-free and do use GM grains as feed. Products with a label that indicates cows free of rbGH or rbST may come from cows fed GM feed. Many alternative dairy products are made from soybeans and may
|Dairy Products: Non-GMOCertified Organic
Alta Dena Organics
Harmony prHills Dairy
Natural by Nature
Safeway Organic Brand
Seven Stars Farm
Straus Family Creamery
Nancy’s OrganicsProduced Without rbGHNational
Nancy’s Natural Dairy
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Brown Cow Farm
Crowley Cheese of Vermont
Franklin County Cheese
Grafton Village Cheese
Great Hill Dairy
Lifetime DairyWest Coast
Clover Stornetta Farms
Joseph Farms Cheese
Sunshine Dairy Foods
Wilcox Family FarmsMidwest and Gulf States
Chippewa Valley Cheese
Erivan Dairy Yogurt
Promised Land Dairy
Westby Cooperative CreameryEast Coast
Blythedale Farm Cheese
Derle Farms (milk with
“no rbST” label only)
Erivan Dairy Yogurt
Wilcox Dairy (rbST-free
dairy line only)Alternative Dairy Products: Non-GMOBelsoy
Imagine Foods/Soy Dream
Nancy’s Cultured Soy
Stonyfield Farm O’Soy
Yves The Good Slice
|May contain GMO ingredientsColombo (General Mills)
Kemps (aside from
Land O’ Lakes
Yoplait (General Mills)May contain GMO ingredients8th Continent
GRAINS, BEANS & PASTA
Other than corn, no GM grains are sold on the market. Look for 100-percent wheat pasta, couscous, rice, quinoa, oats, barley, sorghum, and dried beans (except soybeans).
|Prepared Meals: Non-GMOAnnie’s Natural Pasta
Bob’s Red Mill (organic line)
Eden certified organic grains
Lundberg Family Farms
Vita-Spelt pastaPackaged Meals: Non-GMO
Annie’s Homegrown certified
organic macaroni & cheese
Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods
Ian’s Natural Foods
Lundberg Farms Rice Sensations
Seeds of Change certified
organic boxed meals
|May Contain GMO ingredients
Betty Crocker meals (General Mills)
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
Lipton meal packets (Unilever)
Near East (Quaker)
Pasta Roni and Rice-a-Roni meals (Quaker)
CEREALS AND BREAKFAST BARS
Cereals and breakfast bars are very likely to include GMO ingredients, because they are often made with corn and soy products.
Barbara’s (organic line)
Health Valley (organic line)
Lundberg® Purely Organic
Omega Smart Bars
Peace Cereal Organic
|May Contain GMO IngredientsBetty Crocker meals
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese meals
Lipton meal packets (Unilever)
Near East (Quaker)
Pasta Roni and Rice-A-Roni
While baking ingredients such as wheat flour, rice, kamut, and oats are not genetically modified, many packaged breads and bakery items contain other GMO ingredients such as corn syrup.
|Non-GMO:Arrowhead Mills (organic line)
Bakery on Main
Bob’s Red Mill (organic line)
Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods
Dr Oetker Organics
Natural Ovens Bakery
Rudi’s Organic Bakery
Rumford Baking Powder
| May Contain GMO Ingredients Aunt Jemima (Pinnacle Foods)
Betty Crocker (General Mills)
Calumet Baking Powder (Kraft)
Duncan Hines (Pinnacle Foods)
Hungry Jack (Smucker’s)
Many frozen foods are highly processed. Keep an eye out for the Big Four at-risk ingredients and stay away from frozen foods that contain them, unless they are marked organic or non-GM.
Cascadian Farms Organic frozen
meals and vegetables
Ian’s Natural Foods
Linda McCartney frozen meals
Mom Made Meals
Plum Organics Kids
The Simple Soyma
|May Contain GMO IngredientsBoca, unless labeled organic
Celeste (Pinnacle Foods)
Eggo Waffles (Kellogg)
Green Giant frozen meals
Healthy Choice (ConAgra)
Kid’s Cuisine (ConAgra)
Lean Cuisine (Nestle)
Marie Callender’s (ConAgra)
Morningstar Farms, Morningstar
Farms Natural Touch, unless
labeled organic (Kellogg)
Rosetto Frozen Pasta (Nestle)
Voila! (Birds Eye/Unilever)
SOUPS, SAUCES & CANNED FOODS
Many soups and sauces are highly processed, so give the ingredient lists close attention to avoid the Big Four at-risk ingredients.
Walnut Acres certified organic Sauces/Salsas: Non-GMO Amy’s (organic line)
Emerald Valley Kitchen
Green Mountain Gringo &
Muir Glen Organic pasta sauce
Seeds of Change certi?ed-
organic pasta sauce
Walnut Acres certi?ed-organic
pasta sauce Canned Food: Non-GMO Amy’s
ShariAnn’s certified organic beans
Westbrae certified organic beans
Yves Veggie Cuisine (Hain Celestial)
| May Contain GMO Ingredients Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice
Campbell’s products (including
Healthy Request, Chunky,
Simply Home, and Pepperidge
(General Mills)Sauces/Salsas: May Contain GMO IngredientsBertolli (Unilever)
Healthy Choice (ConAgra)
Old El Paso (General Mills)
Ragu (Unilever) May Contain GMO Ingredients Chef Boyardee
Dinty Moore, Stagg, Hormel
CONDIMENTS, OILS, DRESSINGS & SPREADS
Unless labeled explicitly, corn, soybean, cottonseed, and canola oils probably contain genetically modified products. Choose pure olive, coconut, sesame, sunflower, safflower, almond, grapeseed, and peanut oils. Also choose preserves, jams, and jellies with cane sugar, not corn syrup.
| Non-GMO Annie’s
Bragg’s liquid amino
Carrington Farms Flax Seed
Drew’s salad dressing
Emerald Valley Kitchen
Follow Your Heart
Harvest Moon Mushrooms
Ian’s Natural Foods
I.M. Health SoyNut Butters
Maranatha Nut Butters
Muir Glen organic
Newmans Own Organic
Spectrum oils and dressings
SushiSonic Asian Condiments
The Simple Soyman
Vegan by Nature Buttery Spreads
| May Contain GMO Ingredients Crisco (Smucker’s)
Kraft condiments and dressings
Peter Pan (ConAgra)
Smucker’s (except their “Simply
100% Fruit” line of preserves)
Look for snacks made from wheat, rice, or oats, and ones that use sunflower or safflower oils. There is no GM popcorn on the market, nor is there blue or white GM corn.
| Snacks: Non-GMO Barbara’s (organic line)
Bearitos/Little Bear Organics
Garden of Eatin’
Hain Pure Snax/Hain Pure Foods
Ian’s Natural Foods
Late July Organic Snacks
Mary’s Gone Crackers
Nature’s Path Organic
Newman’s Own Organics
& Newman’s Own
(except salad dressing)
Sunridge Farms Energy Bars: Clif Bar
Optimum Energy Bar
Organic Food Bar
Weil by Nature’s Path Organic
| May Contain GMO Ingredients FritoLay (Lay’s, Ruffles, Doritos,
Kraft (Nabisco, Nilla Wafers,
Oreos, Ritz, Nutter Butter,
Honey Maid, SnackWells,
Teddy Grahams, Wheat
Pepperidge Farm (Campbell’s)
Quaker Oats Company May Contain GMO Ingredients Balance Bar
Nature Valley snack bars and
granola bars (General Mills)
Nabisco Bars (Kraft)
Quaker Granola Bars
CANDY, CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS, & SWEETENERS
Many sweeteners, and products like candy and chocolate that contain them, can come from GMO sources. Look for organic and non-GMO sweeteners, candy and chocolate products made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar to avoid GM beet sugar, and watch out for soy lecithin in chocolates and corn syrup in candies.
The sweetener aspartame is derived from GM microorganisms. It is also referred to as NutraSweet® and Equal® and is found in over 6,000 products, including soft drinks, gum, candy, desserts, yogurt, tabletop sweeteners, and some pharmaceuticals such as vitamins and sugar-free cough drops.
| Chocolate: Non-GMO Chocolove
Endangered Species Chocolate
Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate
Nonuttin’ Candy: Non-GMO Jelly Belly
Pure Fun Confections
Reed’s Crystallized Ginger
candy (certified organic)St. Claire Organic
Sunridge Farms Sweeteners: Non-GMO Eden
| May Contain GMO Ingredients Hershey’s
Nestlé (Crunch, Kit Kat, Smarties)
Ghiradelli¹s Chocolate May Contain GMO Ingredients Hershey’s
SODAS, JUICES & OTHER BEVERAGES
Most juices are made from GMO-free fruit (avoid papaya though, as it could be GMO), but the prevalence of corn-based sweeteners—e.g. high-fructose corn syrup—in fruit juices is cause for concern. Many sodas are primarily comprised of water and corn syrup. Look for 100-percent juice blends.
| Non-GMO After the Fall organic juices
Big Island Organics
Mixerz All Natural Cocktail Mixers
R.W. Knudsen organic juices
and spritzers (Smucker’s)
Santa Cruz Organic (Smucker’s)
Sea20 Organic Energy Drink
Teeccino Herbal Caffe
Walnut Acres Organic Juices
| May Contain GMO Ingredients Coca-Cola (Fruitopia, Minute
Maid, Hi-C, NESTEA)
Hansen Beverage Company
(Procter and Gamble)
Kraft (Country Time, Kool-Aid,
Crystal Light, Capri Sun, Tang)
Pepsi (Tropicana, Frappuccino,
Gatorade, SoBe, Dole)
Sunny Delight (Procter and
Special Note: This guide was compiled based on company statements, not genetic testing. Any product labeled as Non-GMO indicates that its manufacturing process is designed to avoid GMOs, but consumers should be aware that GM contamination is possible due to natural pollen movement, weather events, seed contamination, or human error. Hence there is no guarantee such products are 100% free of GMOs.
Processed foods often have hidden GM sources (unless they are organic or declared non-GMO). The following are ingredients that may be made from GMOs.
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) although usually derived from corn, is probably not GM because it is not likely made in North America.
For More GMO Food Lists and Resources: http://covvha.net/category/gmo-food-list/#.UhZIQT8meM8
Learn More Via: http://responsibletechnology.org/buy-non-gmo/local-sources
Agent Orange Okinawa
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.
|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.
AGENT ORANGE OKINAWA
Julian Ryall in Tokyo
Authorities demand the US reveal what now-empty Dow Chemical barrels, discovered buried on former air force land, once contained.
Persistent suspicions that the United States stored the defoliant Agent Orange at its bases on Okinawa are back in the spotlight after the recent discovery of ageing chemical barrels buried on former US Air Force land.
Although the US military has consistently denied ever using Okinawa to store or transport the chemical – which has been linked to illnesses and birth defects – officials and environmental groups on Okinawa have expressed their anger over the find and are demanding information.
On June 13, 15 barrels were uncovered during work to lay a soccer field in Okinawa City. One bore the name of US firm Dow Chemical and, most worryingly, environmentalists say, the barrels were all empty.
Dow was one of the manufacturers of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war, when it was widely used to clear jungles and expose Vietcong fighters.
“They had been buried about one metre below the surface and were empty because the contents had leaked out into the surrounding area,” said Masami Kawamura, director of environmental policy at the Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity on Okinawa.
“This has caused a lot of concern among the people of Okinawa and we are calling on the city, the prefecture, the Okinawa Defence Bureau and the national government to carry out a thorough investigation – with transparency and accountability – into how these barrels were buried and what they originally contained,” she said. “But already the Japanese and US governments are trying to cover this up.”
Adding to Okinawans’ concerns is a report by the Okinawa Defence Bureau that has identified high levels of aircraft fuel and petrol on land that was previously part of the US military’s Camp Kuwae, also called Camp Lester.
US military veterans claim to have been involved in the unloading of drums of chemicals and spraying of herbicides around the perimeter fences of military facilities on Okinawa. Thirty years on, those former servicemen are suffering chronic illnesses that they blame on exposure to chemicals on Okinawa.
Rick Dewess, a former marine who was stationed on Okinawa in 1969 and 1970, suffers from a range of medical complaints, including diabetes, ischaemic heart disease and respiratory complaints. He blames dioxin contained in Agent Orange.
Dewess told The Japan Times that his wife had suffered a miscarriage, their first son had a kidney removed and required two further operations before the age of five, and that their second son had medical problems linked to his spine and thyroid.
The Pentagon denies Agent Orange was ever on Okinawa. “The United States takes allegations of Herbicide Orange exposure and related health problems very seriously,” US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel David Honchul said. “However, the US government and independent expert researchers under contract have searched and have not found any documentary evidence that Herbicide Orange was ever used in, stored on or shipped through Okinawa.
“The veterans who made claims about Herbicide Orange remembered actual events that happened. However, the source documents showed that while these events took place, either the material involved was not Herbicide Orange or the location was not Okinawa.”
Nevertheless, officials in the Okinawa government say local people are concerned.
“Cities, towns and villages throughout the prefecture are bringing their power together to try to get more information,” a spokesman for the prefecture said. “We want the governments of Japan and the US to take civilians’ worries seriously and to fully answer their questions.”
Kawamura said: “I believe the stories that the veterans have told us, but the US cannot admit that it used Agent Orange here in Okinawa because they would have to pay huge amounts of compensation to everyone affected.”
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Okinawa fears Agent Orange spill
PLEASE WATCH AND SHARE WIDELY! COVVHA HAS FILED FOR FAIR USE AFTER YOUTUBE BLOCKED ACCESS. AVAILABILITY MAY BE LIMITED!
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
Agent Orange – Turkish Protesters Hijack Agent Orange for Increased Media Coverage
Official COVVHA Report
Heather A. Bowser, LPCC
What is more frightening than the thought of being intentionally poisoned by someone in authority over you? Perhaps, offspring being born with devastating birth defects, learning disorders, or rare illnesses? Maybe dying of horrible cancers, heart conditions, or complications of Parkinson’s Disorder? These are not merely frightening thoughts to those exposed to Agent Orange; it is reality, life and death.
Over the weekend, there were wide reports coming from Turkey that police were using Agent Orange on protesters as a form of crowd control. Social media, especially Twitter became ablaze with re-tweets calling foul to this form of force by Turkish police on people who were trying to protest unrest within Turkey. Social media accounts of the violence fueled more protesters to join the throng. Rampant reports of police using tear gas and high force water cannons to dissipate the crowd were coupled with images.
Agent Orange advocates and founders of (COVVHA) Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. , Kelly L. Derricks & Heather A. Bowser, felt after researching media reports about the incident in Turkey, it was important keep the dialog about Agent Orange set in fact and not fiction. COVVHA is fighting for justice for all generational victims of Agent Orange. It is a difficult fight shrouded in denial, secrecy and lack of media support. It is coupled by the urgent needs of sick and dying offspring of those exposed.
Agent Orange has a notorious history in Vietnam from 1961-1971. The United States military used several chemical herbicides during the Vietnam War to “help” in the War effort. The military sited the thick jungle foliage of Vietnam, and the enemy’s access to food crops, as reason to spray an unfettered amount of chemicals onto South Vietnam, killing all the vegetation in its spray zone. The military deducted, if the enemy had no food and no place to hide, the U.S. and Allies would be victorious in Vietnam. In the end, they sprayed an estimated eighteen million gallons of Agent Orange, on a country the size of New Mexico.
Protesters in Turkey have stated the police were shooting orange liquid filled canisters at the crowd. Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War was colorless. It was called agent orange because of the orange stripe around the middle of the fifty five gallon barrel it was stored in. It was not orange. However, a Turkish protester seeing this substance being shot would think something is very wrong here. It is natural for them to question what police were shooting at them. If a protester was un-knowledgeable of the history of Monsanto, Dow, and the 5 other chemical company’s recipe for herbicide, it’s not a far leap for a protester to think the Turkish police, firing an orange substance at them could think they were using Agent Orange. At that point protesters believe it had gone well beyond crowd control. Instead the police were trying to kill protesters with chemical warfare.
Agent Orange wasn’t used as a crowd deterrent it was used to defoliate plant material. It was not sprayed directly on people as an act of chemical warfare. However, many were indirectly sprayed with Agent Orange during its use in Vietnam. Many U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers and Vietnamese civilians have recounted times when they were exposed by aerial spray. Others were exposed when handling the chemical with no protective gear, working or living in areas that had been defoliated, or drinking contaminated water or food. The U.S. Military has fought back against outrage that Agent Orange was used as chemical warfare. They state it was used strictly as vegetation control, an agricultural chemical. The problems with the herbicides used in Vietnam were they were toxic. They were contaminated with an industrial byproduct called dioxin. Dioxin is one of the deadliest known contaminants to man. Production of Agent Orange ended in the 1970’s.
The process of dying at the hands of Agent Orange is a long painful process, with the exception of Chloacne, which appears shortly after acute exposure; symptoms of exposure do not surface for years. Police are looking for quick responses in riot control situations.
A quick internet image search about the effects of Agent Orange on the children of Vietnam can leave a person horrified. Babies today are still being born in Vietnam with severe deformities, especially in areas where the deadly dioxin is still in high concentration in Vietnam’s soil. There are still twenty eight such places in South Vietnam today.
The plight of America’s Vietnam Veterans, Australian Veterans, and Vietnamese Veteran’s illnesses and battle to gain justice has been going on for over forty years. Children and grandchildren of all, who fought in the Vietnam War from around the globe, are currently pleading for those in power to recognize the birth defects and diseases they suffer from and believe are caused by their parent or grandparent’s exposure to Agent Orange. All of these groups cannot afford the reality of their life or death fight to be watered down or distracted from by Facebook and Twitter posts from Turkey.
So was this report from Turkey simply a misstep by a confused, uninformed protester, or was it something else? Could Turkish protesters have been trying to ride the impact of the fear associated with Agent Orange to gain more recognition for their county’s unrest? Or was it a simple mistake, which people perpetuated by not checking their facts? If the act by Turkish protesters was to gain international media exposure by claiming Agent Orange was used on them, it’s worked. The whole world did a double take when headlines read,” Turkish Riot Police, Starts Using Agent Orange,” all of the sudden the focus of the protest was lost.
There isn’t any evidence of Agent Orange being used in Turkey. Members of the media and activists must check the facts so disinformation is not spread. To be successful we must push ourselves to be knowledgeable before just clicking the share button.
The challenge is to stay focused to the matters at hand. Turkey is going through unrest. Agent Orange is continuing to kill people every day. Don’t confuse the two, and do not turn away, your attention matters.
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” ~ Mark Twain
© 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.
AGENT ORANGE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE OFFICIAL COVVHA TESTIMONY
(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.
Today my words are meant to help uplift, empower and heal you. I know the feelings written here personally and it has hurt me in the past. I would like to give you some helpful ideas on how you can help children. How you can have them be a part of your life. How you can help them to fulfill their dreams, goals and lives even if you cannot have your own.
Recently I lost another child and finally put into motion a means that I would not concieve again to avoid the pain. I wanted to have my husbands child so badly that I could almost see him already. I felt that he was almost here and I could reach out and touch him and change my life. It was a boy I know that and it tore me open. I cried for weeks about this and I just want you to know that I truly understand how hard it is. This was not my first loss of a child but this one hurt the most.
I have had my share of trouble conceiving a child and then when I could was not able to carry to term. I made some changes in my lifestyle without the intention of having a baby at that time. I got rid of all the chemicals and animal products and voila ..side effect I was pregnant. I was so excited and happy. Then I found out the truth about what was happening and in the end I kissed my child goodbye and told him through tears that I was so sorry that I couldn’t be the mother that he had chosen.
I dealt with that pain and came out the other end knowing that I am here for another reason. That as much as my whole life i heard things like *Oh my god you will make such a good mom* to *You are so maternal* Why can’t I help children or adopt them and give them a better life? Why can’t I be their teacher and inspiration? Why can’t I help other people who feel like i do? I thought about it for months and came to the conclusion that I could do all and any of these things that I wanted to. The only limitation in place is what you believe there is. You can accomplish so much more than you may even realize.
I think that it is very important to remember that you may not be able to have your own child. But there are millions upon millions that could benefit from the love you hold in your heart for the ones you cannot have. They are just there waiting for you to find them, to lift them up and out of their desperate circumstances. To show them a better world and a kinder heart than they may have seen. So long as your choice is kindness and love towards a lonely or hurt child it is a good one.
These links will be a road that you may choose to go down. Remember while you do that just as you may feel alone and without joy and love, there are many children that feel the same exact way that you do. You hold this amazing gift in your hands and it is called free will. You can choose to gift and uplift and show these young people that they may suffer and that life is difficult but it is also filled with surprising kindnesses and gentle loving people.
I try to think what the reasons could be as to why people cannot have children. There are so many it would take a very long time to cover even half of the reasons. But I think that while it is a heartbreaking thing to have to realize there is a reason I believe. We are here to help others. We are here to look at and find children that need us and just help them in any way we can. Mourn your losses and move on it is the best thing you can do for yourself. It may sound harsh but that is the truth. You are here for another potential purpose. Perhaps you are meant to be Father or Mother to the children of the world. Perhaps you were given a gift instead. One that could make a huge difference in the world. Have you considered that?
We are all here just floating around and sometimes we see something. We stop and look at it and examine it closely because it speaks to us. Loving other human being that may not be your blood is one of those things that passes by us. We should stop and examine it and see what we can do to help others and in doing so heal ourselves.
I have been amazed at how many things we can do to help children. We could just type in volunteer to help children and find out for yourselves what is out there. What we can do to make a difference in the lives of so many children that lack hope. Because they have been hurt so badly that they find trusting someone difficult. But if this is what you want to do then there is nothing stopping you from helping someone else. Imagine the power that you possess! You could change the life of another human being for the better!
You could volunteer at your local school. See if they need any help and do what you can. If you have medical problems and I know that many of you do then tell them your limitations. Many would be happy to have the help from anyone. If they cannot work with you then keep trying and see what you might be able to start in your community. There is always some way to help others.
I am including as many things that I can find that you could go out and do for yourself. Helping others can help to heal your own suffering. That is a proven fact in this world. If you reach out and help another human being you heal a hurt inside of you. These children that you help will not forget you or the things that you do to try and help them. I know you are hurting inside and I understand and this is a way to heal what is ailing you and your heart. Couples can benefit from this as well. Reach out and take a chance!Quiescent Aureate Serpent © 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.
Children of Vietnam Veterans: Their Voice Keeps Growing
Originally Published By Salem-News.com (Mar-27-2013 11:36)
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.
Understanding the Impact 40 Years Later U.S. Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange: National Organization on Disability With funding from the Ford Foundation Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin.
Foreword The following paper was commissioned by the Ford Foundation Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin and written by the National Organization on Disability (NOD). The paper benefits extensively from independent research conducted for NOD in 2008 by Mary Carstensen, U.S. Army, Colonel (retired) and from additional research and analysis in 2008 and 2009 by Mary E. Dolan-Hogrefe, Vice President and Senior Advisor, NOD.
Understanding the Impact 40 Years Later U.S. Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange:National Organization on Disability With funding from the Ford Foundation Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin By Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance
I Was Just There Last Night
© James J. Alonzo
“Jim, do you still think about Viet Nam?’ asked Dr. Tallutto, my shrink at Veterans Hospital.
“How do you stop thinking about it.” I Laughed, “everyday for the last 30 plus years, I wake up with it, go to bed with it. Yeah, I think about it, I can’t quit thinking about it. I never will, but most of the time I have learned to live with it. I’m mostly comfortable with the memories, the flashbacks, I’ve learn to stop trying to forget, and I am trying to learn to embrace it. It just doesn’t scare me anymore.”
“Jim, if you weren’t being affected by the experience of war, combat, and death, that would be abnormal.”
When he told me that , it was like he’d have just given me a pardon, Read Full Article →
The age range of children of Vietnam Veterans is roughly between the ages of 20-45. Many of us have Fathers with service connected Agent Orange Claims recognized by the Veterans Administration. Most of us have Dads who are dead or dying of Agent Orange presumptive illnesses that have been recognized by the VA. Our lives and the lives of our kids are the result of a giant science experiment between the United States Government and the chemical companies gone awry. New information known about human exposure to dioxin and trans-generational exposures, reinforces our belief of a strong plausibility of an epigenetic link to our illnesses and our Father’s or Mother’s service connection to the Vietnam War. We have been treated as collateral damage. The science is now quickly catching up with what we have known all along, we’ve been damaged by a war we did not fight.
COVVHA completes an informal survey when a new member joins our private support community. Through our 500 members (only COVVs) we have consistently been faced with like illnesses, and deformities. We want to bring this information to you, the IOM, urging this committee to finally investigate fully what has been done to us and our children. From our informal research we believe the children and grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans have a much higher instance of several types of disease. (In our submitted documents you will see the categories of illnesses and the number of times the illness has been reported). Represented in our membership also, are several suffering from the illnesses on the Veterans Presumptive lists, please keep in mind this is a group of people between ages 20-45. Diabetes Type II, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Ischemic Heart Disease, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Peripheral Neuropathy, Acute and Sub-acute Respiratory Cancers, Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Parkinson’s Disease.
Our membership of 500 COVVs have reported as many as 93 different congenital anomalies. Fourteen of them listed on the testimony we have submitted are some of same birth defects that are currently covered for the children of Women Vietnam Veterans. Considering there were 6-8 thousand women Vietnam Veterans and Approximately 2.8 million men who served, COVVHA believes this Study was used to keep the children of male Vietnam Veterans from making claims even though early studies showed dioxin caused birth defects in the children of Male Vietnam Veterans. Our fathers were told they were overreacting; there was no scientific link to their children being born with birth defects, rare illnesses and cancers. Air Force study of Ranch Hand personnel responsible for herbicide spraying reported statistically significant increase in reported birth defects in the Ranch Hand group (Albanese, 1988). Defects included: Skin defects, Neural tube defects, Heart defects, Oral clefts, and Kidney defects. Erickson, et al (1984) reported that risks for fathering an infant with spina bifida, cleft lip, and certain neoplasms” were higher for Vietnam veterans than controls. Increased evidence of birth defects were also reported in a population of Vietnam veterans living in Tasmania (Field and Kerr, 1988)., These were ignored, as were many other studies on the effects of dioxin on offspring from other countries, like in Vietnam where reports of birth defects, miscarriage and deformities were rampant.
In September of 2012, Washington State University released an epigenetic study looking at exposures of female mice to dioxin and the trans-generational effects dioxin had on the children and grandchildren of the mice. The Study showed there was a negative trans-generational effect. We need more of this type of research, Skinner, et al (2012). That study was funded partially by the Department of Defense. Why can’t they replicate the same study, but just expose male mice?
COVVHA would like to offer the following recommendations (See our submitted testimony for more):
A. The eighteen plus birth defects for children of female Vietnam Veterans should be approved for children of male Vietnam Veterans: This act alone would help some of the most disabled, and those in most desperate need of services, in the COVV community.
B. Free DNA and Epigenetic testing for the biological Children of Vietnam Veterans : (Our Data shows that biological children of Vietnam Veterans who have been required by their Doctors to have DNA Testing have proven to show genetic mutations. See submitted documents).
C. An official agent Orange Registry for Children of Vietnam Veterans (COVVHA proposes that an official Agent Orange registry be made available to the biological children of Vietnam Veterans.) COVVHA has submitted the types and numbers of each of the roughly 694 illness we have had reported over the past year.
We are willing to cooperate with the IOM in any way possible.
The following is a glimpse of how my Father’s exposure to Agent Orange has affected my life. I am 39 years old and am a 2nd generation Agent Orange Survivor. I was born with severe hip dysplasia and started having hip reconstruction surgery at just 4 months old. I learned to walk in a full body cast after my second reconstruction at 13 months old. After 15 hip reconstruction surgeries, at age 17, I had my first total hip replacement surgery. 22 years later, I’ve had 4 total hip replacements. Currently, I’m scheduled to have it replaced for the 5th time. At 32 years old I started to develop multiple basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. They were very aggressive and according to the pathology reports, were a different mutation than normal. I was sent to UCLA to have genetic testing. There, I was diagnosed with Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome (also known as Gorlin Syndrome) with a Mutation in my PTCH1 gene. A mutation in this gene is only caused one of two ways. It is either inherited from a parent or a new mutation occurs due to chemical or biological environmental exposures. Only 20% of all cases reported are new mutations. Both of my parents were tested, and neither one had the mutation which means that I am in the 20% of new mutations.
By the time I was 34 I had a total hysterectomy due to Squamous Cell Carcinoma in my Uterus and on my Ovaries. At 35 years old, I was diagnosed with Lupus and Raynaud’s Disease, again no family history. I was also informed the severe back pain that I was having was a curve in my spine. In 2010, I was diagnosed with Melanoma. I was fortunate that is was caught early and had not spread to my Lymph Nodes. It did however, spread far enough to have tissue and muscle removed, causing a golf ball size disfigurement in my shin. August, 2011, I was diagnosed with another rare form of Cancer called Bowen’s Disease. Now, my Oncologist was extremely worried because they almost never see this in someone as young as me. Bowen’s Disease is caused by extreme exposure to Arsenic and is considered Arsenic Poisoning. Since I have never worked or been exposed to herbicides or pesticides, I was told by my Oncologist that it was due to my Father’s exposure to Agent Orange. Over 50% of the Compound used in Agent Orange was Arsenic. In March 2012, my Oncologist found a large tumor on the neck of my gallbladder which required another surgery to have my entire gallbladder removed.
As of today, I have had 198 skin biopsies of which 181 were positive for Cancer. I am currently on a new Cancer drug in which I was involved in the Clinical Trial. This drug, however, will only slow down the progression of Basal Cells and still leaves me vulnerable for Squamous Cell and Melanoma. I’m in constant pain and my quality of life has decreased drastically over the last several years. My medical costs with insurance runs an average of $800-$1000 dollars a month. These costs consist of office visit copays ($45 per visit) and tier 6 drugs, these do not count toward my annual out of pocket maximum. Because of this, I struggle every month to make ends meet as my medical insurance and copayments/coinsurance have to be first priority. In March 2007, in an attempt to get help with my mounting medical costs, I applied to the Department of Veterans Affairs for benefits (38 U.S.C. 1815). I sent the V.A all of the required documents, and medical records. I felt confident I would get some help because after all, Hip Dysplasia is a covered birth defect. Four months later I received a letter from The Department of Veterans Affairs denying my claim (See Statement below).
“We denied entitlement to a monthly monetary allowance for your claimed birth defect(s) because the evidence
does not show that your biological Mother served in Vietnam to qualify for payment under 38 U.S.C. 1815. The
claimed disability is hip dysplasia which is considered a qualifying condition. However, regulation 38 C.F.R. 3.815
refers to benefits allowable for an individual with disability from covered birth defects whose biological mother is or was a Vietnam Veteran”
I remember thinking that my Father’s Service to his Country would end up killing me. In my opinion, this was blatant discrimination against men and their offspring. I became depressed and wanted to give up. I was undergoing systemic chemotherapy at the time of my denial letter, and did not know how I would be able to continue since I could not afford the coinsurance for each treatment. Without going into detail, I will say my family has had to give up a lot so I could stay alive. August 21, 2012, My father passed away from Lung and Colon Cancer. He was 64 years old. His Cancer had been attributed to his exposure to Agent Orange. At the time of his death, he was receiving benefits from the V.A. and was considered 100% disabled due to service connected Agent Orange Exposure…..But of course, according o the V.A., there was no possible way that his exposure could have any effect on me, Sad!
Please See Below COVVHA’s Full IOM Testimony Packet
© (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC
Agent Orange 731 Illnesses Reported By Children Of Vietnam Veterans – COVVHA Database Update 2013
We have compiled a list of 731 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. This list has been updated as of January 9, 2013. Please click on the page “JOIN OUR SITE” 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.
© (COVVHA) CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS HEALTH ALLIANCE INC
Agent Orange Food Disorder, AOFD, is an ongoing mutation of cells from …. suffering birth defects as terrible as those found in the Agent Orange contaminated …
Coeur d’Alene Press Dewey Parker worked on a flight line inspecting airplanes that sprayed the Agent Orange herbicide during the Vietnam War. Today, the Air Force veteran who …
The MDS Beacon I often see Vietnam-era military veterans in my clinic who have been diagnosed with MDS, and they always ask me, “Could Agent Orange exposure have …
OpEdNews … PCB’s & Agent Orange), Dow (Agent Orange and Agent Blue – Arsenic), Bayer (CCD – Colony Collapse Disorder of Bees), BASF (GMO Potatoes), DuPont
Salem-News.Com … of Agent Orange, was asked by the Viet Nam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) to present the gifts in person. The gifts comprised a selection of beautiful hand-embroidered linen and colourful hand-painted pictures made by….
Meridian Magazine In the past, Monsanto also assured us of the public safety of DDT and Agent Orange as household items, both of which were produced by Monsanto with devastating results. 7. GMO labeling has nothing to do with excessive government intervention and …
Asahi Shimbun Highly toxic dioxin, the main ingredient in Agent Orange, continues to be detected … is a Vietnam War veteran, and her mother was born with birth defects.
Salt Lake Tribune Their answer to a failing Roundup system is now “Agent Orange Corn.” The corporate sales pitch is that GMOs increase crop yields and so are needed to feed …
A daughter faces demons of father’s war
“Yeah, because they’ve seen bad things,” Caitlin said. Christal had spoken with other grown children of Vietnam veterans. But this was the first time she saw herself in a child. Christal contained herself in front of Caitlin. But when she and her mom …
Tribute to Vietnam fallen helps keep Dad in her life
Rihn, a respiratory therapist, and about 70 other children of veterans went to Vietnam in 2003 to retrace the footsteps of their fathers. She and her husband, John, and their daughters, Megan, 20, and Alyssa, 17, make several trips a year to Washington …
Fifty years later, US, Vietnam deal with Agent Orange
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently ruled that numerous ailments are presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange among the Vietnam veterans who have them. The ruling meant these veterans would qualify for certain benefits that had been …
Living With MDS: Why Did I Get Cancer?
The MDS Beacon
Dr. Steensma’s recent column about Agent Orange reminded me of the many months (or was it years?) I spent kicking myself over every poor decision I had ever made about my health. It also caused me to re-visit having lived near a dioxin superfund …
Agent Orange leaves lingering, costly aftermath
Some were casualties of Agent Orange. “A lot of them that were there had limbs … Tumors, rashes, miscarriages and birth defects were reported in the years …
Deadly rainbow: Veterans suffer from Agent Orange exposure
The main dioxin in Agent Orange, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-d
Air Force Vietnam veteran wants other vets to learn about Agent Orange Registry
ABC Action News
It did, it floored me,” recalled Bob Wood. When Wood suffered a heart attack two years ago, doctors at the Haley VA Hospital told him his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam contributed to his heart disease. “This is unbelievable,” Wood thought at the…
A Battle Unending: The Vietnam War and Agent Orange
By Simon Roughneen While the Vietnam War ended decades ago, its effects continue to linger on.Agent Orange haunts the lives of the people it has touched.
Monsanto and Genetically Engineered Food: Playing Roulette With …
Is Monsanto the most pernicious global corporation when it comes to GMOs, … They lied to us about the safety of PCB’s, DDT and Agent Orange, …
Sister of Agent Orange victim says battle for recognition far from over
Bertrand was one of about 30 people who got compensation from the federal government after it overturned a decision to deny claims for people diagnosed with Agent Orange-related illnesses past a June 30, 2011 deadline. Timeline: The fight for Agent …
WMU professor’s book analyzes effects of Agent Orange
Ed Martini, Associate Professor of History and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, recently published Agent Orange: History, Science, and the Politics of Uncertainty, a book that better explains the chemical used during the Vietnam War.
Dioxin, TCE Drums, U-235 and El Toro’s Panhandle
We do know that one El Toro Marine who never served in Vietnam died from Agent Orange exposure, Dr. Chuck Bennett over 12 years ago cited two Orange County experts who examined soil samples from the panhandle and found weapons grade U-235 …
Vietnam Veterans Memorial 30 years later | Invisible Children Blog
Three decades ago, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC was officially dedicated on Nov. 13th 1982. Consisting of two reflective walls that span …
Veterans Corner: Vietnam service ‘presumptive’ disability benefits
Certain conditions are also recognized for the children of Vietnam veterans. Covered birth defects include a wide range conditions. Eighteen defects are specifically included and others not specifically excluded are covered. Vietnam veterans who served…
****COVVHA HAS RESPONDED TO THE ABOVE ARTICLE****
THE INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THE ARTICLE IS MISLEADING AND INCORRECT
“VA does this because of the unique circumstances of their military service. If one of these conditions is diagnosed in a veteran, VA presumes that the circumstances of his/her service caused the condition and disability compensation can be awarded.”
Let’s start with using the term, Agent Orange Dioxin. This is the “unique circumstance” our military members were exposed to, by their own government.
I think it’s totally disrespectful to not mention what the disability compensation is connected to.
The government used a chemical herbicide nicknamed Agent Orange (due to the orange stripe on the barrel). They used 22 million gallons on Southeast Asia to kill the vegetation, and deny the enemy cover. This chemical was also used along the Korean DMZ. Our government told our military was safe. What our troops were unaware of is that it contained Dioxin the most poisonous chemical known to man. Well, they found out, alright. Years later, our Vietnam Veterans began becoming seriously ill. Many died young, many young men acquired “old man” diseases with no prior family history all while our government denied their poison had any role in harming them.
The government waited till 1991 to help our veterans, prior to that they were called crazy or faking. The process has been so slow to help our Vietnam Veterans that even after they started to “Presume” a few illnesses, many Vets succumb to their illnesses leaving their families with only more questions and no support. There are claims dating back to the early 1980’s for Ischemic Heart disease (Added only to the presumptive list in 2010) still in appeal. This is not an easy process no matter what you may be led to believe. It is a tragedy.
Secondly, this article is disseminating incorrect information about the Children of Vietnam Veterans. After coming home from war, Veterans tried to move on with their lives and start their families. They soon discovered their children were being born with horrifying deformities, cleft Palate, Club foot, hip dysplasia, rare disorders, and strange illnesses. Our Government again turned it’s back.
“Certain conditions are also recognized for the children of Vietnam veterans. Covered birth defects include a wide range conditions. Eighteen defects are specifically included and others not specifically excluded are covered”
“Vietnam veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, and later contracted any of these conditions, or have children with birth defects, should apply for disability compensation benefits.”
This is very frustrating especially if this is supposed to be by someone knowledgeable in this field. There are not 18+ birth defects covered in the children of Male Vietnam Veterans. There is only one Spina Bifida. From the VA website:
Children who have spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta) and meet the following requirements may be eligible for VA compensation, health care, and vocational training:
There is no help for the thousands and thousands of children of male Vietnam Veterans that are suffering from congenital deformities, Cancers, Autoimmune Diseases, Reproductive Problems and other rare illnesses. There were 2.8 million people that served in Vietnam. Six to eight thousand of them were women.
The eighteen, plus birth defects you talk about in this article are only covered in the children of WOMEN Vietnam Veterans NOT in the children of Male Vietnam Veterans even though the children of Male veterans suffer greatly with the same illnesses!
Anyone else who have the birth defects listed whose mother was not a Vietnam Veteran WILL BE DENIED.
Covered birth defects include, but are not limited to, the following conditions: NOT COVERED IN THE CHILDREN OF MALE VIETNAM VETERANS!!!!!!!!!!
If you are confused over what is or isn’t covered for the Children of Vietnam Veterans feel free to email us at COVVHA@gmail.com
© Heather A. Bowser – (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC
Medical History Should Include Military History, Doctor Says
New York Times (blog)
So he was surprised to learn not long ago — from reading a newspaper article — that at least one of those ailments, ischemic heart disease, has been linked to exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange, which was used widely in Vietnam. It dawned on him …
Over 200000 veterans exposed to Dioxin
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam currently has more than 200000 veterans exposed to Agent Orange/Dioxin and infected with some diseases identified by the US …
Agent Orange remains big health concern
Herald Palladium (subscription)
JOSEPH – A vestige of the Vietnam War is present front and center at the Berrien County Veterans Service Office. Dozens of veterans of the war, which ended in 1975, call or visit to get help in filing claims for illnesses and conditions attributed to …
Monsanto On Verge of $40 Million GMO Bailout in Europe: Report
Monsanto GMO Bailout in Europe A Sign of Things to Come? … a company that moved from producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War to using their …
Conditions recognized as related to exposure to Agent Orange
The following presumptive conditions are recognized by the Veterans Affairs as related to Agent Orange exposure for veterans who served in county in Vietnam during Jan. 9, 1962, through May 7, 1975. • AL Amyloidosis — A rare disease caused when an …
Vietnamese still fighting for recognition of Agent Orange impact
They are, she believes, victims of the Agent Orange dumped on Vietnam’s … found “compelling evidence” linking a rise in birth defects and miscarriages in …
Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance | AGENT ORANGE
Memories of the Vietnam War are dimming, but veterans and Vietnamese nationals who were exposed to Agent Orange and other dioxin-laced defoliants are …
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
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.
I just got done watching an episode of Bones called “The Patriot in Purgatory”, starring David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel. It is a show on the FOX network and it was originally aired on November 12th, 2012. This is a clip from that show, http://youtu.be/ooRloIi1Yq4. It was about a homeless man that they were trying to identify, he had been found in a parking garage, believed to have been murdered. It turns out that he was a veteran from Afghanistan that had PTSD and he was at the Pentagon on September 11th. The injuries that he sustained were believed to be from being beaten to death but were in fact from saving 3 people from the rubble of the Pentagon after the plane hit. He had been there every day, yelling out the names of the soldiers that were with him in battle and were killed in an ammo dump. He thought it was the only way to get these guys the silver star, he had petitioned the Pentagon 56 times to no avail. He bled out after 10 days from a punctured lung. Once he was identified, he was given a full military funeral.
The reason I am writing this article is that I am extremely humbled in knowing that there are thousands of homeless veterans in this country and they seem to be invisible. They went to war, be it in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan, they fought for us, they lost men that they loved as brothers in doing so and we can’t be bothered to help these men. I think back to my own family. My dad was in Vietnam in 1965, he was one of the lucky ones, he got to come home. My brother was in Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991. He also came home but at what price? Dad was exposed to Agent Orange/Dioxin and has health problems because of it. His best friend didn’t come home. He was killed in an accident due to carelessness. My brother has issues due to his service over there. How much is a human life worth? You can’t turn on the TV these days without hearing about the suicides of the vets coming back from Iraq/Afghanistan. Has this county gotten so jaded that these men mean nothing, that their service to this country was just for fun? We have forgotten our heros! We have forgotten that without them, we would be living a much different life. This is unfair and it is unacceptable!
We have all lost something due to war. These men and women have lost so much, their health, their lives, their sanity, their hope! This country was changed on September 11, 2001. Some lost parents, husbands, wives, their humanity, their faith in GOD, what have you. That should have been a wake up call for us, for us to take care of our own and make sure that they know how much we appreciate them and how important they are to us. Instead, we focus on our own trivial lives and continue on like these men are just window dressing. PLEASE, take some time out to thank a veteran today and to welcome him or her home. There was a number and a website at the end of the show for the Veterans Crisis Line, www.veteranscrisisline.net, the phone number is 1-800-273-8255.The VA has a program to help homeless vets, that address is www.va.gov/Homeless,www.voa.org/ If you know of a veteran that is need of help, reach out, give them a hand up. Go to the VA and see if you can volunteer, if you know of a veteran that is homeless, give him or her a blanket and steer them to where they can get help. Write or call your Senators and Congressmen and women to tell that they need to support the legislation concerning veterans and their welfare. The reason that the man in the show was homeless is because he was the only one of his unit that survived an attack on the ammo dump they were in. He couldn’t handle being indoors and his wife would find him sleeping in a park somewhere. These men and women aren’t lazy or pathetic, who among us knows what they went through and why they are homeless? There is no purple heart for PTSD and no recognition for what they have given up or lost to fight for us.
We as the children of Vietnam Veterans know better than anyone what life is like for our vets. We need to help them through whatever hardship they may be facing, they fought and died for us, what more can they do? Be thankful, so many of us have lost them for different reasons, most of which are due to Agent Orange/ Dioxin exposure. We have each other to lean on for support and for comfort, these men have fallen through the cracks and don’t have anyone. We can’t give up on them. We can’t forget what they have sacrificed for us and what they stand for. We aren’t alone, don’t let them be, you can make a difference in someone’s life today. It is time that we showed them just how much they are not forgotten. They didn’t forget us when they laid their lives on the line for all of us, not just their own families but for all of us as a nation. Don’t let their sacrifices mean nothing!
In closing, I would like to say Thank You and Welcome Home to any and all veterans that are reading this article and I would just ask that you not forget out heros! We can make a difference if we all just stick together and do something. Thank you for reading this and know that none of us are alone. We just have to take the time to see what has been invisible for too long. It is up to us as a nation to uphold all veterans, whether they are Vietnam Vets or Iraq/ Afghanistan vets. Without them, where would we be now?
Karen Y. Wengert
© Children of Vietnam Veteran Health Alliance
This video explores the perspectives of three generations of Agent Orange survivors offering a rare insight into non-Vietnamese survivors highlighting the global scale of this issue. Additionally, Jon Mitchell, a Welsh born journalist now residing in Yokohama explains his groundbreaking work in helping to uncover the use, storage and burial of Agent Orange on the Japanese islands of Okinawa. Through the video, viewers can see how these inspiring individuals used their time aboard Peace Boat to spread the messages of this issue as well as their time on land in Da Nang, Vietnam; where they were able to visit a support center for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.
Special thanks to
Heather Bowser (Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance), Kenneth H. Young, Jenna Mack, Jon Mitchell
Da Nang Center for Agent Orange and Disadvantaged Children
There is a season coming upon us soon and it is up to you what you let happen and how you react to it. During this season there is quite a bit of pressure. It builds up and I think that most of us do not even notice it until it becomes this great big mountain of expectation. So many things to do and people to see and cards to send out. Not to mention the fact that most of us have a family or friends that seem to have additional expectations of us. I do not personally think that they have our personal perspectives enough to understand just how stressful it is.
They do not realize when you snap that it is not at them personally. It is most likely that last straw that you just could not take anymore and you explode. You do this to people that you love and consider friends. So you loose your cool and well in the fallout there are hurt feelings and people not understanding. You are left wondering why you did it and how to fix it. Yet more stress yippee.. We have all been there and that time is again come upon us. Sometimes it would be nice to be a child again. Where all you have to do is get up open presents and be happy. Oh to have things be so simple again. Without knowing the reality behind that beautiful tree or those relatives lurking about the house that you REALLY do not know how to talk to. Or that wonderful dinner or that lovely card you just received in the mail. But reality is here and well there are things to do.
One of those things is to slow down once in a while. For you and your loved ones and friends. You really must regard yourself more. You must remember to focus on yourself and your frame of mind. That is an absolute imperative in my mind. If you are not ok no matter how much you try and hide it it will come out. It cannot be held back forever nor should it be. Whether it is anger, frustrations, stress, fear, worry or depression from feeling alone. You cannot ignore it forever and if you try you will regret it later.So following this will be a list of ideas that I can think of that will help you to relax and this time of year can come and go a little easier.
1. This is oversimplification but honestly who cares. You should just tell people how you are feeling. If you are stressed out tell them and why. Do not let them overwhelm you with their demands. Talk to people in your life and tell them what is going on. Sometimes they can surprise you by listening. I know it can sometimes be a long shot depending on who you talk to but it is worth a try. Give people a chance to surprise you.
2. There will be some things that you cannot get done. The sooner you recognize that and accept it the better. You are not superman or superwoman or anything in between. Period. Got that? You have limitations like everyone else. Do not overdo it. People in the end need you more than things even if they cannot see that themselves at first. You are a precious being and you cannot do it all. Even if you have a cape and tights..
3. Unplug. I cannot stress this enough. Kind of a funny play on words but it is true. Calm down and put your cell phone off and away from you for an hour. Do not tell me that you cannot..do it. This is your health and well being. Turn off the phone and turn off the computer damnit. *grumbles* It messes with you and you need a break from it. You do not have to know what is going on every minute of every day. Relax and turn it off. Don’t argue with me. I know how tempting it is to check that phone and look at facebook and give in to look. Don’t.
4. Sleeping cannot be the only time that you relax. Get real and stop doing so much. That is the main problem that I see. People running around buying things that in the end they probably do not need as badly as they think they do. Think to yourself please.. What Really Matters? Look at it honestly. Do you need all that Christmas stuff? Really? Do you really HAVE to go shopping? Do you absolutely have to have things to be happy and to consider it a successful holiday time? If you do then I cannot help you.
5. Oh and finally expect to miss out on some things. But missing out on them is the wrong way to look at it. You may not be able to go to an office party..and? So you cannot go do a get together with every member of your family. But let me guess they expect you to somehow and if you don’t then here comes the guilt trip. Well ignore them. I am dead serious. If they are making you feel guilty and you look at yourself and you really are trying then you are already stressed. Stop and breathe. They do not understand the purpose of this time of year.This time of year means many things to many people. Yet it can become this ugly thing if you let it. DON’T.
The chance to show your extended family can happen any time of the year. The chance to host a party can happen whenever you are ready for it. Most people still have some weekends off. Do it then. Breathe and please dear god relax and hug people. I am going to let you in on a secret. There is a chemical called Oxytocin. Ever heard of it? Well your body produces it naturally. I could give you all sorts of scientific information but it is referred to sometimes by the scientific community as *the love hormone* There are ways to get a bit more..here is how. Basically it is the brains love chemical. You must give love to get it in return. If you give freely of love and loving actions you will generate Oxytocin as a kind of reward.
• Give someone a hug
• Introduce yourself to someone new
• Make someone smile by being silly
• Share a meal
• Make music with someone
• Join a choir
• Give someone a massage
• Go to the movies
• Ride a roller coaster
• Soak in a hot tub with a friend
• Surprise someone with a gift
• Pet a dog
• Use social media to connect to others
• Take a hike with a friend
• Write a note of thanks to a teacher or mentor
• Forgive someone who has wronged you
• Meditate or pray for 10 minutes focusing on compassion
Be kind to others, love others and do for others and your stress will lessen in time. So there you go. I hope this helps.
© Q.A.S. – Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance
On Monday November 12, 2012, Kelly L. Derricks and Karen Y. Wengert were please to return to the Organic View Radio Show, hosted by June Stoyer, for a special Veterans Day feature about Agent Orange and the children of Vietnam Veterans.
Click the player below to hear the show!
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During the Vietnam War, 25,000 barrels of Agent Orange were stored on Okinawa, according to a recently uncovered U.S. army report.1 The barrels, containing over 1.4 million gallons (5.2 million liters) of the toxic defoliant, had been brought to Okinawa from Vietnam before being taken to Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean where the US military incinerated its stocks of Agent Orange in 1977.
The army report is the first time the U.S. military has acknowledged the presence of these poisons on Okinawa – and it contradicts repeated denials from the Pentagon that Agent Orange was ever on the island. At the same time that the document was revealed, a series of photographs was also uncovered apparently showing the 25,000 barrels in storage on Okinawa’s Camp Kinser near Naha City.
The army report, published in 2003, is titled “An Ecological Assessment of Johnston Atoll”. Outlining the military’s efforts to clean up the tiny island that the U.S. used throughout the Cold War to store and dispose of its stockpiles of biochemical weapons, the report states, “In 1972, the U.S. Air Force brought about 25,000 55-gallon (208 liter) drums of the chemical Herbicide Orange (HO) to Johnston Island that originated from Vietnam and was stored on Okinawa.”Read Full Article – http://www.japanfocus.org/-Jon-Mitchell/3838 This is a revised and expanded version of an article that appeared in The Japan Times on August 7, 2012. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20120807a2.html Jon Mitchell teaches at Tokyo Institute of Technology and is an Asia-Pacific Journal associate. In September 2012, “Defoliated Island”, a TV documentary based upon his research, was awarded a commendation for excellence by Japan’s National Association of Commercial Broadcasters. An English version of the program is currently in production in order to assist U.S. veterans exposed to military defoliants on Okinawa. Updates on the issue can be found here – http://www.jonmitchellinjapan.com/agent-orange-on-okinawa.html 1. The full document, “An Ecological Assessment of Johnston Atoll”, can be accessed from the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity homepage here http://www.cma.army.mil/publications.aspx?criteria=site&value=JACADS 2. For a concise overview of the campaign to ban Agent Orange see Philip Jones Griffiths, “Agent Orange – ‘Collateral Damage in Viet Nam”, Trolley Ltd., London, 2003 http://www.amazon.com/Agent-Orange-Collateral-Damage-Vietnam/dp/1904563058 3. For a more detailed explanation of Operation Red Hat, see: Jon Mitchell, “Military defoliants on Okinawa: Agent Orange”, The Asia-Pacific Journal, September 12, 2011 http://www.japanfocus.org/-Jon-Mitchell/3601 4. The full text of the V.A. ruling is available here http://www.va.gov/vetapp09/files5/0941781.txt 5. From interviews with author conducted Summer 2012 see also http://www.guamagentorange.info/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Johnston_Atoll_History261114404.225173000.pdf 6. For an account of Okinawan NGO Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity’s June 2012 meeting with Okinawa Prefecture see here http://okinawaoutreach.blogspot.jp/2012/06/okinawa-ngo-discusses-with-okinawa.html 7. See for example Fred Wilcox, Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam, Seven Stories Press, New York, 2011. http://www.fredawilcox.com/scorched_earth__legacies_of_chemical_warfare_in_vietnam_99600.htm 8. See Jon Mitchell. “U.S. Veteran Exposes Pentagon’s Denials of Agent Orange Use on Okinawa,” The Asia- Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 17, No. 2. http://www.japanfocus.org/-Jon-Mitchell/3740 9. See for example: Jon Mitchell, ‘Agent Orange on Okinawa – New Evidence,’ The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 48 No http://www.japanfocus.org/-Jon-Mitchell/3652 10. See Okinawa NGO discusses with Okinawa Prefecture over Agent Orange: http://okinawaoutreach.blogspot.jp/2012/06/okinawa-ngo-discusses-with-okinawa.html