Agent Orange & Infertility – Issues all too common for children of Vietnam Veterans
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!
All Legislation Endorsed and/or Opposed Has Been Approved and Reviewed by Kelly L. Derricks
It has never been easier to write your State Representative and share your position on current legislation.C.O.V.V.H.A. has been making it even easier for members, fans and followers!! The days of getting your pens and papers out to send your letters are over!!!
An “action page” link has been set up for the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act H.R.1699 & S.809 which takes you directly to the specific legislation as well as an area for your Name, Zip Code, and YOUR VOTE. That’s it!!! You hit enter and your information is sent directly to your State Representative in letter form which you will receive a copy of via email.
I personally casted both of my votes and included the following statement to the United States House and Senate: I support H.R. 1699 (“To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that genetically engineered food”) because… GMO foods are engineered with health threatening compounds and chemicals and then sprayed with half of the chemical compound used in the production of AGENT ORANGE. The U.S. Gov’t killed my Father at the age of 37 after serving in the Vietnam War. Agent Orange/DIOXIN was passed through his sperm mutating my DNA. I have to fight for my life every single day with more than 30 diagnosed illnesses at the age of 38 and so do tens of thousands of other Children of Vietnam Veterans who were exposed. Now the gov’t doesn’t care that we are being DOUBLE EXPOSED. That’s Capital Murder if you ask me. You’ll see me standing in a court room bringing charges of Murder against the United States Govt before you see me standing down on GMO.
Children of Vietnam Veterans: Their Voice Keeps Growing
Originally Published By Salem-News.com (Mar-27-2013 11:36)
(WASHINGTON DC) – Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, INC. (COVVHA), is an organization that was founded to address the specialized needs of the children and grand children of Vietnam Veterans who have been negatively affected by their parent’s exposure to the herbicide, Agent Orange, during the Vietnam war. We educate veterans, their families, the general public, and lawmakers about Agent Orange and it’s effect on our lives.
COVVHA was founded by two children of Vietnam Veterans. Heather A. Bowser and Kelly L. Derricks. Both of their lifes have been significantly affected by Agent Orange. Kelly lost her father at age seven due to Agent Orange illnesses. Kelly currently suffers from twenty eight, unexplained illnesses which forced her to retire from her career in the mental health field. Heather was born with several birth defects, including missing her right leg below the knee, several of her fingers and big to on her left foot. Heather was born two months premature and only weighed 3.4 ounces. Her father is also deceased. Heather’s father had five bypasses on his heart at age 38, subsequently he died at ace 50 from a massive heart attack. His death was service related due to his Agent Orange exposure.
Kelly and Heather founded this organization because there are so many needs that are not being met in their peer group. The most pressing one, is the government has not acknowledged the devastating birth defects and illnesses in the children of male Vietnam Veterans, like they have in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. Currently, the government acknowledges eighteen plus birth defects in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. They only acknowledge one birth defect in the children of Male Vietnam Veterans. Spina Bifida. This, Kelly and Heather both feel is discrimination. Especially because they have so many reports of similar birth defects and illness.
COVVHA has also built a private support community for only children of Vietnam Veterans. It has over six hundred members. They educate and support each other in this group. Kelly and Heather want their members to understand that they are not alone. Many of them have lost, or are in the process of losing their Vietnam Veteran, plus they are dealing with birth defects or unexplained illnesses.
They are also seeing an influx of children of Vietnam Veterans who start researching Agent Orange because their child, the grand child of the Vietnam Veteran has been born with an issue, or suddenly has a rare illness.
COVVHA deals with a lot of issues, like grief, illness, anger and the like. The group also enjoys each others company and find many similar anecdotes of what it was like growing up with a Vietnam Veteran.
COVVHA is also involved in supporting international efforts in cleaning up, and disclosing locations of buried herbicide. Heather has traveled three times to Vietnam. She has visited two of the most poisonous hot spots still contaminated with Agent Orange, Da Nang, and Bein Hoa. Heather has also worked with organizations in Vietnam who support the on going health care of the Vietnamese children who are still being born today with birth defects due to their parents or grand parents exposure and the continued environmental pollutants. Recently Heather traveled to Okinawa, Japan to educate those seeking answers about reports that Agent Orange herbicide was stored, used and buried on the island of Okinawa. Building community with those who may have suffered due to Agent Orange in Japan is very important to the organization.
COVVHA seeks unity in all those who have been affected by Agent Orange dioxin so that our community may build strength in numbers and that our voices would be heard by those who make decisions.
(C) (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC.
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.
A stalled veterans’ bill is now on track for Senate passage this week after a small change was made in a landmark program under which the Veterans Affairs Department would provide health care to people suffering from long-term effects of drinking contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Up to 750,000 people who lived or worked on the base from Jan. 1, 1957, through Dec. 31, 1987, would be eligible for care if they have a disability or disease linked to exposure to drinking water found to contain carcinogens.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., had used his Senate privileges to put a hold on the bill because it included no provision to allow VA to deny coverage even if an individual’s health problems clearly stemmed from some other cause.
DeMint and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairwoman, reached agreement Wednesday to add a section allowing VA to deny health care if “conclusive evidence” is available to show the individual’s disability or disease had a different cause than exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Lejeune.
This is similar to a provision that applies to other presumptive VA benefits, such as problems related to exposure to Agent Orange and Gulf War illness. Congressional aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity said these provisions are rarely invoked because the specific cause of many diseases is difficult to prove.
Diseases presumed to have a connection to the contaminated water are: Esophageal, lung, breast, bladder or kidney cancer; leukemia; multiple myeloma; myelodysplasic syndromes; renal toxicity; hepatic steatosis; female infertility; miscarriage; scleroderma; neuorobehavorial effects; and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said the senator’s “anti-fraud amendment is similar to provisions that are already part of current law with respect to other veterans’ benefits.”
Murray said that with the change, the veterans’ bill, which contains more than 50 provisions covering various health, benefits, housing, burial and insurance programs, could quickly pass the Senate. The House also would have to vote on the measure before it goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
The bill, the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, was approved June 21 by negotiators from the House and Senate veterans’ affairs committees, but DeMint had blocked Senate consideration of the measure because of his concerns about fraud and about the long-term cost of the Lejeune-related health care.
The DeMint-Murray compromise that allows the measure to move forward came just minutes before Murray was to give a speech on the Senate floor complaining about DeMint delaying a bill that would help veterans and their families. As she was waiting to give her prepared remarks, she noticed DeMint in the back of the chamber and the two began discussing the issue. Agreement was reached in about five minutes, according to aides.
DeMint’s concerns about the long-term costs of the Lejeune-related health care were not resolved by the agreement, but he has released his hold on the bill, Denton said.
Moms and food activists have been fighting genetically modified foods for years. Now, they have a new ally.
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) sent a letter to President Obama just before Memorial Day asking for his assistance in delaying approval of a new breed of corn that’s genetically modified to resist heavy applications of the herbicide 2,4-D, one of the two active ingredients in the infamous Vietnam-era defoliant Agent Orange.
The corn and 2,4-D are both being manufactured by Dow Agro Science, which has named its new corn “Enlist,” a name the veterans said in the letter was “a slap at all Vietnam veterans.” Multinational seed company Monsanto also manufactures 2,4-D.
Most of the health problems caused by Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have been attributed to unintended dioxin contamination of the two active ingredients, 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. Dioxin builds up in the fatty tissue of humans and animals and can cause damage for years after exposure. The government continues to add to the known health conditions related to Agent Orange’s dioxin poisoning, but currently they include diabetes, neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, liver dysfunction, numerous cancers, and birth defects in the children of exposed soldiers and Vietnam residents. Studies in recent years have found that 2,4-D is just as likely to be contaminated with dioxin when used alone as it was when used in combination with 2,4,5-T.
Adding to that danger, 2,4-D itself has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cell damage, hormonal disruption, and reproductive problems, according to the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this year in an effort to ban the substance permanently. The EPA denied the NRDC’s petition.
“Although there is a lot that science has learned about the effects of dioxin on the human organism, there is still a lot that science has yet to learn,” writes VVA. “Now, Dow and Monsanto wish to release genetically modified corn that has increased resistance to 2,4-D. What will this mean to Vietnam vets, who have already been exposed to this chemical through our military service? To our progeny?”
The group’s letter went on to state that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) conclusion that 2,4-D–resistant corn would have no “significant” impact on the environment was inaccurate and “raises more questions than it answers.” The vets are asking President Obama to push for more research by independent scientists, not those affiliated with Dow Agro Sciences.
“We are not calling for a complete ban of this new product at this time,” the group writes. “We are simply not willing to be lied to or withheld information from again. Vietnam veterans were lied to about our exposure to chemicals which claimed many lives long after our troops left Southeast Asia.”
The VVA isn’t alone in its attempts to get Obama’s attention. Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, another group made up of veterans’ children who were impacted by dioxin poisoning and Agent Orange, is endorsing the California ballot initiative that would require labeling of genetically modified ingredients. That initiative will be voted on in the November 2012 election.
The USDA has closed the public comment period on Dow’s 2,4-D–resistant corn, but the nonprofit Center for Food Safety continues to pressure the EPA to ban 2,4-D altogether. Take a minute to sign the center’s petition and to protect your family from the potential for more toxic pesticide exposure.
Organic Farmer Nervous About GMOsFrom NBC 5 Newshttp://www.kobi5.com/component/zoo/item/organic-farmer-nervous-about-gmos.html
As I sat and prepared this article for posting, I began thinking to myself, this is just another typical story in the “Food Fight Of Our Lives”. I hit the publish button, copied the link, and clicked on Facebook to share, but I stopped.
I realized that this article was not in fact just another typical story, but something much bigger. This article was originally published as a MAIN STREAM MEDIA NEWS STORY.
And that my friends just made a typical day into something EXTRAORDINARY.
Organic farmer Steven Gidley said he loves his job.
“It is one of the best lives you could have,” said Gidley.
However, he’s worried his organic crops could be contaminated and destroyed by pollen carried by air from genetically modified plants also known as GMOs.
“You absolutely couldn’t sell your seed as organic,” began Gidley.
“I would go from having the potential of a couple thousand dollars in seed to zero,” he continued.
He said he suspects his plants are contaminated because just last week a man with Syngenta — a GMO seed manufacturer approached him.
“If there was no chance of cross contamination I would see no reason why Syngenta would be coming to my place,” said Gidley.
He continued, “He was asking if I would sell it to him and I said I could, but ethically not in this lifetime”
NBC 5 contacted a spokesman from Syngenta, he said the company often checks areas around GMO farms to try and lessen the possibility of cross-contamination.
“If this farmer’s crop was say within the prescribed distance which I believe is four miles, then it’s customary [...] in some cases what we will do is offer to buy a crop from a farmer,” said Paul Minehart, Head of Corporate Communications in North America for Syngenta.
He said the company has been growing genetically modified plants in Jackson County since the 1970s.
“Our goal is to make sure our crops remain pure to also make sure anyone elses crop remains pure [...] so we’re happy to be there, we intende to be there for a long time,” said Minehart.
Meantime, organic farmer Gidley says he’ll continue to refuse any offers.
Gidley said he believes it’s Syngenta’s responsibility to move their crops.
Minehart from Syngenta said they’ve contacted the USDA to make sure all guidelines are being met.
Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance Hosting Reception and Film Screening
Living The Silent Spring
Generational Victims of Agent Orange from around the country will host a reception and film screening on April 14th starting at 6pm at Ohio Naturopathic Wellness Center, 755 Boardman-Canfield Rd., Suite D-3 (Southbridge West), Boardman, OH. Light appetizers will be served, followed by the documentary screening at 7pm. Please make your reservations at COVVHA@Gmail.com for film viewing since seating is limited. The reception itself is open to the public, no reservations necessary. This is a free community event. You can also join through Facebook –
Seven Agent Orange generational Victims from around the United States will be in Canfield, Ohio for three days to collaborate on a new organization created for the children of Vietnam Veterans by children of Vietnam Veterans. The new organization name is‘Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance’ (COVVHA). During this time, award winning photographer Goro Nakamura will be documenting this historic meeting. In addition Kyoren Takamasa, a Japanese reporter and staff writer forThe Chugoku Shimbun will be interviewing the Agent Orange generational victims and attending the reception. Both are flying in from Japan to record this unprecedented event. Never before have so many U.S. Agent Orange second generation victims come together to change the face of Agent Orange Activism. 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. They believe in empowering each other to hold the companies and governments responsible for causing so much devastation and suffering to their generations. Their mission includes fighting for justice globally.
Attendance at the reception and screening include:
Heather A. Bowser, OH, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, COVVHA Founder, Director of International Affairs & Mental Health Services. Born with multiple birth defects.
Kelly L. Derricks, PA, Retired Mental Health Therapist, COVVHA Founder, Director of Legislation & Operations, and Agent Orange Victim suffering over 25 unexplained illnesses.
Laura Hammons, TX, Founder of Daughters of Vietnam Veterans (DOVV) and sibling of an affected Agent Orange victim.
Jennifer Loney, PA, born without her arm, and 1982 subject of Japanese Photographer, Goro Nakamaura’s Photographs chronicling Agent Orange devastation in the USA and in Vietnam. Her photograph is on permanent display in Ho Chi Minh City, VN at the War Remnant Museum. It also has been exhibited in NYC.
Tanya Mack, CA, Daughter of a Vietnam Veteran who served in one of the most densely sprayed areas in Vietnam. Tanya was born with birth defects and is currently fighting rare cancers.
Jenna Mack, CA, Tanya’s oldest daughter, Miss Teen California, Murrieta, who educates others how agent Orange has affected her life for her pageant platform.
Ben Quick, AZ, Author of ”The Boneyard”, Adjunct Professor of English and Creative Writing at The University of Arizona, born with Agent Orange related Birth defects.
All will be available to talk and answer questions regarding Agent Orange/Dioxin exposures and the effects taken on their lives as a result.
The film screening will be of ”Living The Silent Spring“, by Japanese Filmmaker, Masako Sakata, a widow of an American Vietnam Veteran. The film features Canfield, Ohio resident and Agent Orange Activist, Heather A. Bowser, a thirty nine year old female born with birth defects associated with her father’s exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
The event will be hosted by Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance (COVVHA), a newly founded organization fighting to give the children and grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans a voice. Many Children and Grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans are suffering from birth defects and unexplained illnesses which have no prior family history. Like their Fathers, many have become seriously ill in the prime of their lives. At this time, the United States Government refuses recognition for the birth defects and illnesses in the children of male Vietnam Veterans accept for certain types of Spina Bifida.
More about the documentary:
Living the Silent Spring: Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson‘s landmark book “Silent Spring” warned of the danger of widespread use of pesticides and herbicides, helping to launch the environmental movement in the U.S. Around this same time, the U.S. military began to spray defoliants in Vietnam, so as to deny cover to guerrilla forces entrenched in dense jungles and swampland. The defoliants, including Agent Orange, were potent mixes of chemicals used in agriculture, which were contaminated with the deadly toxin, Dioxin during manufacturing. Over a decade of U.S. spraying, some 4 million Vietnamese were directly exposed to the defoliants, and the health effects continue today. American soldiers serving in Vietnam, and other locations, were also exposed. Many veterans suffer a range of diseases as a consequence. In both countries, the effects have now carried over to the children and even grandchildren of those exposed including Heather A. Bowser, the daughter of an American Vietnam Veteran, who was born missing a leg and many of her fingers. In the film Heather visits Vietnam, her father’s battleground, and discovers the importance of building links between victims of Agent Orange in the U.S. and Vietnam. Living the Silent Spring depicts the struggles and courage of American and Vietnamese children who bear the imprint of Agent Orange, and asks us to once again heed the prophetic warnings of Rachel Carson.
About Agent Orange:
Agent Orange the chemical defoliant sprayed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, has been linked to many illnesses in our country’s Vietnam Veterans. Many people do not know the long term, unrecognized, damage the chemical has done to the Children of Vietnam Veterans from around the world not just the U.S. but also, in the adults and children of Vietnam. Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance is working diligently to bring awareness and justice for all generational victims of Agent Orange wherever in the world they may be.