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…..
This is the story of Agent Orange COVVHA Certified Speaker, Courtney Clausen. March Against Monsanto, Michigan.
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods are being produced in laboratories by the same chemical companies that mass produced Agent Orange. As contractors for the United States Government, Monsanto was the largest and most deadly producer of Agent Orange. Their chemical potency was one thousand (1,000) times greater in deadliness as compared to the other chemical companies producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War era.
Today, half of Agent Orange’s chemical compound, 2, 4,-D, and other pesticides like roundup, are the chemicals being sprayed on GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, resulting in triple the danger of food that is not organic. Imagine what happens to a body already exposed to Agent Orange, like the countless Vietnam Veterans and their children that we at COVVHA advocate for, when consuming these GMO pesticides and foods. In a nutshell, Agent Orange was, in essence, the chicken before the GMO egg.
March against Monsanto (MAM) was created by Tami Canal, a stay at home mom from a small town in Utah. She was prompted to take action after her family’s ever rising grocery bill to ensure she wasn’t poisoning her family. Instead of staying angry, she channeled her energy into creating a protest to spread awareness of the atrocities being committed by Monsanto and to encourage boycotts. Her main objective is to ensure the health, longevity and fertility of her daughters, things Monsanto and their GMO poison threaten.
(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. has teamed up with March Against Monsanto and built an Agent Orange Awareness program that will prove to be a long lasting and far reaching campaign within both organizations.
On October 12, 2013 COVVHA joined MAM for the second global March Against Monsanto. Several cities that participated in the day’s events hosted guest speakers from COVVHA’s own private membership base to rise up and publicly share their personal experiences about Agent Orange. Their videos are now being provided for the public to watch and will be released over the next few weeks.
© 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.
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.
Agent Orange & Sarin Gas: Chemical Hypocrisy Of The United States
I am writing in response to Mr. John Meinhold’s and Mr. Robert Wickham’s opinions which appeared in letters to the editor in The Boston Herald last week. These letters were regarding the situation in Syria. The letters discussed the similarities and differences of the chemical herbicide called Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War and the Sarin nerve agent used in Syria. My father is dead because of Agent Orange. I was born premature with multiple birth defects because of his exposure.
Mr. Meinhold stated, Agent Orange use amounted to “despicable, heinous crimes against humanity that the Pentagon carried out,” as Mr. Wickham argued, the illnesses and birth defects were “unintended consequences” of exposure to Agent Orange and certainly not the result of some deliberate attempt to injure or kill humans. Mr. Wickham is suggesting because Agent Orange did not kill everyone it touched instantly and because they did not initially deploy it to kill humans, but vegetation, it should have no bearing on the current debate in Syria.
I beg to differ, and so would thousands of children of Vietnam Veterans, who are sick and dying of cancers, auto immune disorders, and birth defects. The Pentagon may have not set out to slowly kill anyone who was exposed to the dioxin laden herbicide, but they knew around 1968 from chemical company’s reports Agent Orange was toxic (see the first class action lawsuit documents). It was further broadened in 1969, when the Congressional Record reflects the United States tabled the use of Chemical and Biological weapons. This in an effort to stop back door financing of the Chemical and Biological Weapons program. The Pentagon still did not stop its use in Vietnam until 1971. When the war ended in 1975, and veterans in droves were complaining about serious illnesses, their wives having multiple miscarriages (like my Mom), and their children were being born deformed, they were ignored.
Our Veterans became ill. They were called liars. It wasn’t until 1991 they began to compensate some Vietnam Veterans for their illnesses. A total of sixteen years after the War! My Father had five bypasses on his heart at age 38, at 40 he developed diabetes, at 48 he had a stroke and at age 50 he died of a massive heart attack. My father filed for ischemic heart disease in 1986. They added Ischemic Heart Disease to the presumptive list in 2010. Twelve years after his death and twenty four years after he filed his claim. The very claim he filed in 1986 for Ischemic heart disease is still in appeal. My mother still waits for the closure she deserves.
Unlike what Mr. Wickman suggests, this is not about comparing intentions of herbicide to nerve agent, this is about comparing hypocrisy and morality. We sprayed roughly 18 million gallons of dioxin laden chemicals on our allies land in Vietnam, not a drop of Agent Orange was sprayed on our enemy’s soil in North Vietnam. Today, Vietnam still has twenty seven hot spots for dioxin. One (the 28th spot) in Da Nang is in the middle of remediation (52 years after the beginning of spraying). The villages around these hot spot areas are full of sick and dying people, and newly born deformed children. This after at least 40 years of the United States knowing the dioxin they sprayed was hurting people and still did very little to rectify it with our veterans, and nothing to help Vietnam or Australians who were also exposed. The use of Agent Orange beginning in 1961 tipped the first domino that is continuing to fall piece by piece 52 years later.
Life after life continues to be destroyed in the biggest slow burn genocide known to the human race. It crosses continents and generations with no signs of stopping until everyone directly exposed is dead and every genetic mutation passed on, twisting and distorting innocent being’s genetics who had no say in the political climate of the 1960′s. All the while, those responsible look away. The responsible party instead looks away to a foreign land where they believe they can swoop in and be the hero. They point their finger and say Syria has crossed a red line. What happened in Syria is wrong. The deaths from chemical warfare need to continue to be investigated. The responsible party should be punished by actions agreed to by the International community.
The United States also killed children in their Agent Orange massacre, like the Sarin gas killed innocents, but not just the innocent children in Vietnam. They destroyed their own patriot’s children. They killed and maimed their own. Those that did not die at birth have lead a long lonely road where they have been forgotten. There were 2.8 million U.S. men who served in the Vietnam War and only 8 thousand women. Currently, the government only recognizes 18+ birth defects in the children of female VN Veterans and one birth defect in the children of male Vietnam Veterans, Spina Bifida (not Occulta). These measures do not go far enough.
Our organization, Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, receives letters daily from kids of Vietnam Veterans who have the same birth defects on the women’s list. There have been recommendations from the Institute of Medicine for years recommending the government study the children of Male Vietnam Veterans, but year after year, after year it is ignored. Even in 1979, when the first Agent Orange Class action lawsuit was filed it initially included thousands of children of male Vietnam Vets. I believe it is simply too expensive to attempt to right the wrong of so many victims so they don’t. Kids of Vietnam Veterans were born with and have to live our lives with devastating birth defects, rare cancers, auto immune disorders, fertility issues, and many more debilitating disorders. So far we have been ignored. If things continue as they have for so many decades we will die young just like our fathers, never seeing justice.
The money for a limited military action in Syria could just as easily be used to cover the same 18+ birth defects and illnesses in the children of Male Vietnam Veterans they already cover in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. The money used for war could fund research for my peers who are sick and dying of rare illnesses, as the IOM suggests. It could help the grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans who are also being born in alarming numbers, with birth defects and rare illnesses, like their parents before them. There would probably be money left over to end the environmental disaster in Vietnam. Please stop our own homegrown chemical genocide before involving ourselves in another nation at war. Mr. Wickman, we may not agree on this issue, but at Children of Vietnam Veterans we respect our veterans. Welcome Home and thank you for your service.
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce
(C) Heather A. Bowser, LPCC
U.S. hands dirty, too
Secretary of State John Kerry recently gave an impassioned speech stating why our country must attack Syria because of alleged chemical weapons use by the Assad regime that killed some 1,400 people — many of them children (“Obama, Kerry say Syria atrocity can’t go unpunished,” Aug. 31). Kerry has called this chemical attack a “crime against humanity” and a “moral obscenity.”
Has Vietnam War veteran Kerry forgotten about the heinous crimes against humanity that the Pentagon carried out by using Agent Orange during the Vietnam War? The Vietnamese government says thousands died from Agent Orange, which was used on both jungle foliage and food crops. According to the Vietnam Red Cross, use of the herbicide resulted in at least 150,000 children born with severe birth defects since the war ended in 1975. Agent Orange contained dioxin, which causes birth defects, cancer and other illnesses that are still killing and maiming Vietnamese today. With this history, how can our leaders be now wagging a morality finger at another nation over chemical warfare use?
— John Meinhold, Portsmouth, N.H.
Reader Response –
September 07, 2013 2:00 AM
Sept. 3 — To the Editor:
I’m writing in reference to John Meinhold’s letter that appeared in the Sept. 3 edition of the Exeter News-Letter. I have to take issue with Meinhold’s equation of the U.S. military’s use of Agent Orange in Vietnam to the use (by one side or the other) of sarin nerve agent in Syria. The difference between the two is striking.
Agent Orange was employed in Vietnam as a chemical defoliant, the sole purpose of which was to destroy foliage that provided cover and concealment to enemy forces in predominantly jungle or heavily wooded areas. Unfortunately, Agent Orange has been found to cause adverse health effects to some who were exposed to the agent — American and Vietnamese alike. Most reasonable people would call these adverse health effects “unintended consequences” of exposure to Agent Orange and certainly not the result of some deliberate attempt to injure or kill humans.
Sarin nerve agent, on the other hand, has no useful purpose other than mass killing.
I’m a Vietnam-era U.S. Army veteran and I’m not particularly happy about the way some things were done during that war, including (by hindsight, like everyone else) the use of Agent Orange. However, I’m a long way from accepting Meinhold’s description of the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam as “despicable, heinous crimes against humanity that the Pentagon carried out.”
Robert T. Wickham
Here are the links to the original letter to the editor by Mr. John Meinhold at Seacoastonline http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20130903-OPINION-309030360#.UiYJJ1MpX5E.wordpress and Mr. Robert Wickman’s rebuttal http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20130907-OPINION-309070312
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.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a particularly painful disorder that is best seen as a problem owned by someone who has witnessed, experienced, or heard about a trauma. The concept of death is intrinsically involved in PTSD. In order to qualify for this diagnosis the person needed to have feared for her life or believed his life or the life of another was being threatened.
There is considerable information out there on PTSD and this is a good thing. It is my belief that PTSD is much more common than previously thought. We know about combat PTSD and other types of PTSD created by rape, sexual abuse of children and survivors of genocide or other human-made atrocities. Nature can create a situation where death is central to the equation through hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, earthquakes, wild fires and blizzards. When traumas originate from human beings it is a different scenario for many reasons.
When human beings harm human beings it sets into motion a problem with human relationships that will last a lifetime for the person who was harmed. Of course, it depends on the severity of the trauma, the age of the person who was harmed, and the re-occurence of trauma afterwards. It also depends on whether help was available and utilized by the person who experienced the trauma.
We want to talk here about the phenomenon of trauma occurring over and over again. This is known as repetition compulsion or returning to the scene of the crime. I believe all traumas are crime scenes. Crime scenes are terrible places that involved terrible events.
Sigmund Freud was the first person to describe what would come to be known as repetition compulsion. He noticed that some people seemed to place themselves in positions of potential harm. These people had a history of surviving trauma and then seemed to thrust themselves into harms way time and again. He referred to this tendency as the “death wish or death instinct.”
If trauma is not resolved our unconscious minds will place us at the crime scene or one that closely resembles it. This is not because people are masochistic and want to be harmed again. It is because the person who was harmed is looking for a different outcome than the one that happened in the first place. Sometimes people feel, if given another chance, it will turn out differently.
It seldom turns out differently until the person who experienced the trauma has come to terms with the trauma and the numerous ways the trauma infiltrates every aspect of their life. This takes time, this takes counseling, and this takes trying to create a consciously working awareness of what is safe and what is unsafe. It is the Safe versus UnSafe part that became altered or damaged when the trauma took place initially. Things became confused.
People who have PTSD often have difficulty discerning between safe and unsafe. They return to old crime scenes looking for a different outcome. The same outcome is typically waiting.
How do you change repetition compulsion as it applies to PTSD and trauma?
Identify your trauma. What, when, who and how are all very important.
Detail The Crime Scene and Perpetrator: Make a list of what, when, who, and how in as much detail as possible. Include: Time of day, season of the year, do a physical description of the person including facial and physical features and any identifying marks. Imagine you are working for CSI: Your Town and do a forensic evaluation of the crime scene.
List of Triggers: from your crime scene list as many triggers as you can. Remember that a trigger is something that activates a memory and emotional response; a trigger is not the cause of the emotional response. It is simply a trigger to old memories. Triggers can be a tone of voice, a mannerism, certain words, or anything that starts a landslide to a feeling of being powerless or trapped.
Memory Game: When you have an emotional flashback or feel compulsively inclined to act in a way that would potentially place you in danger STOP. You have to do the memory game first.
The memory game involves matching what you are about to do, triggers and the past trauma. An example would be: You had an argument with a friend. You want to go drink. You know your wife doesn’t want you to drink. You decide to make up an excuse about needing to go somewhere. You are planning to go buy alcohol to numb your feelings. You also want to confront your friend. You know that Carl works at the liquor store and he reminds you of Joe who sexually abused you when you were 12. Wow, this is going to end up with a repetition compulsion or putting yourself in a situation to be harmed somehow again.
This is just a short list of things to keep in mind when looking at PTSD and repetition compulsion. Read More…
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 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.
(C) James J. Alonzo
With all the illnesses, malformed babies, and suffering from Agent Orange, one could wonder who the person that ordered it to be used was. It was Elmo Zumwalt Jr., who as commander of U.S. Naval forces in Southeast Asia that ordered the chemical defoliant sprayed over the South Vietnamese countryside to deprive communist troops of cover.
Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr. (November 29, 1920 – January 2, 2000) was an American Naval officer and the youngest man to serve as Chief of Naval Operations. As an admiral and later the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, Zumwalt played a major role in U.S. military history, especially during the Viet Nam War.
After his selection for the rank of Rear Admiral, Zumwalt assumed command in July 1965 of Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Seven. In September 1968, he became Commander Naval Forces, Viet Nam, and Chief of the Naval Advisory Group, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
Zumwalt’s command was not a blue water unit, like the Seventh Fleet; it was a brown water unit: he commanded the flotilla of Swift boats that patrolled the coasts, harbors, and rivers of Vietnam. Among the swift-boat commanders were his son, Elmo Russell Zumwalt III, and later future Senator John Kerry. During this time, the elder Zumwalt had an opportunity to safeguard the men who served under his command from the Viet Cong who hid in the jungle and ambushed American and ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) patrols at will.
A new group of herbicides, Agent Orange, White, and other assorted color names, could be sprayed on the foliage to remove the cover that the Viet Cong used so effectively. It was claimed at that time that the side effects on humans of long-term exposure to Agent Orange were not yet known, and the manufacturers, Dow and Monsanto, were eager to reassure potential users about its safety.
Admiral Zumwalt acted to protect not only his own son, but also his many comrades from a “clear and present danger,” but in so doing, he exposed them to chemicals now known to cause cancer. As all commanders must do, Admiral Zumwalt acted quickly and decisively on the available information; in this case, he relied on sources that were biased and unreliable, as later developments made clear.
In the end, he paid personally for his decision. Zumwalt’s son, Elmo Zumwalt III, died in 1988, aged 42;
Zumwalt’s grandson (born 1977) suffers from a congenital dysfunction that confuses his physical senses. Zumwalt’s son, prior to his own death, said in 1986 that
“‘I am a lawyer and I don’t think I could prove in court, by the weight of the existing scientific evidence, that Agent Orange is the cause of all the medical problems – nervous disorders, cancer and skin problems – reported by Vietnam veterans, or of their children’s severe birth defects. But I am convinced that it is.” He also said he never blamed his father for his disease.
Admiral Zumwalt said he felt his son’s cancer was most definitely due to Agent Orange. He also mentioned that his grandson Russell suffered from very severe learning disabilities that could possibly be traced to it as well. However, Zumwalt said he did not regret ordering the use of Agent Orange, because it reduced casualties by making it difficult for the enemy to hide and find food.
Admiral Zumwalt, along with his son, authored a book called My Father, My Son, published by MacMillan in September 1986, where they discussed the family tragedy of his son’s battle with cancer.
After treatment in a number of hospitals, Elmo Zumwalt III went to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center inSeattle, where he received a bone marrow from his sister Mouzetta, whose tissues fortunately matched his well enough for this treatment to be feasible. Results were promising but in the end, he died in 1988.
Sadly the Zumwalt family also suffered from Agent Orange. Was it all a case of “What goes around, comes around” or for those of the eastern thought, Karma”?
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.
Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act
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.
Your VOICE does count, PLEASE, use it!!!
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)
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.
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
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!
Applebees Free Meal
Applebees is offering a free signature entree on Sunday November 11th, 2012 at participating locations. Must present valid Veteran’s form of identification.
Arby’s Free Roast Beef Sandwich
Arby’s largest franchisee is offering a free roast beef sandwich at their 280 Arby’s restaurants on Monday, November 12, 2012. This offer is valid only at all participating Arby’s locations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Colorado (Colorado Springs and Pueblo).
Bar Louie Free Lunch or Dinner
Bar Louie is saluting veterans and active-duty on Sunday and Monday (November 11-12) this year with a free lunch or dinner, up to an $11 value.
California Pizza Kitchen
California Pizza Kitchen is honoring Veterans and Military personnel by inviting them in to dine for free on November 11 (Veterans Day) and November 12. Enjoy an pizza and a non-alcoholic beverage for free. Dine-in only. Please come in uniform or bring your military ID or other proof of service.
Carrows Free Slice of Pie
Sunday, November 11 get a free slice of pie with any purchase. Present military ID.
Champps Free Cheeseburger and Fries
On Monday, November 12 veterans and active-duty can get a free cheeseburger and fries all day.
Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse Eat Free
Monday, November 12, 2012 Veterans and active-duty military eat free with a coupon. Valid ID required or in uniform or photo in uniform.
Cheeseburger In Paradise Free Meal
Monday, November 12, 2012 veterans are saluted with a free meal.
Chili’s Free Meal
Sunday, November 11, 2012 from 11 am to 5 pm Veterans and active-duty military get a choice of 7 free meals. Must show proof of military service.
Coco’s Free Slice of Pie
Sunday, November 11 get a free slice of pie with any purchase. Present military ID.
Denny’s All You Can Eat Pancakes
Get all you can eat pancakes for all active duty military and veterans with a valid ID on Monday, November 12, 2012.
Einstein Bagels Free Bagel
Receive a classic or signature bagel on Sunday November 11, 2012.
Famous Dave’s Free or Discounted Meal
On November 11th, 2012 Famous Dave’s is providing a variety of free meals and discounts at participating locations to former and current military personnel. Offers vary by location.
Great American Cookies Free Cookie
Sunday, November 11, 2012 all those who served get a free cookie with valid military id.
Friendly’s Free Breakfast and Coffee
Monday, November 12 until 11:00 am get a free Big Two Do Breakfast and coffee.
Golden Corral Free Meal
Get a Veterans Day free meal to any veteran who has served in the United States military or is a current active duty service member. All Golden Corral locations will be participating On Monday, November 12, 2012 from 4 PM to 9 PM. No identification is required to get your free Veterans day meal.
Hooters 10 Free Boneless Wings
On Sunday November 11th, 2012 receive 10 free boneless wings with the purchase of a drink for all veterans and active duty military. Military ID or proof of service required.
Hy-Vee Free Breakfast
Monday, November 12, 2012 Hy-Vee is providing free breakfast during regular breakfast hours.
Krispy Kreme Free Donut & Coffee
On Sunday, November 11 is offering a free donut to all those served or currently are serving. Proof of military service required or those in uniform.
Little Caesars Free Crazy Bread
Receive free Crazy Bread with valid ID Sunday, November 11, 2012.
Longhorn Steakhouse Free App & Drink
On Monday, November 12 get a free appetizer and drink.
Max & Erma’s Free Cheeseburger Combo Meal with Dessert
On Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2012, participating Max & Erma’s locations are celebrating veterans and active military personnel with a free cup of Tortilla Soup or side Caesar Salad, a Cheeseburger, seasoned fries and a chocolate chip cookie.
McCormick and Schmick’s Free Entree
Enjoy a complimentary entree Sunday, Nov. 11. All veterans must show official verification. Veterans Day entrees must be enjoyed at the restaurant. No to-go orders permitted.
Mimi’s Cafre Free Meal with a Purchase
Free lunch or dinner entree with the purchase of a meal plus two beverages. Valid November 9th to the 11th, must bring coupon.
O’Charley’s 20% Off Your Order
On Veterans Day vets and active duty receive 20% off your order. Bring coupon.
Olive Garden Free Meal
On Sunday, November 11, 2012 all veterans and military active duty will receive a choice of 1 of 5 entrees plus unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks.
On The Border Free Entree
On 11/11/12 15% of purchases will be donated to Carry The Load plus veterans and active-duty will receive a free entrée certificate, valid up to $10 and good through 11/30/2012.
Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion® and Coca-Cola®
On November 11th and 12th, 2012 military personnel and veterans get FREE Bloomin’ Onion® and Coca-Cola®. Must have valid identification. Also, receive 10% off the entire guest check (excluding alcohol, taxes and gratuity) from November 13- December 31, 2012.
Sunday, November 11, 2012 a free appetizer to all veterans and active-duty personnel.
Sizzler Free Lunch
Monday, November 12, 2012 through 4 PM Veterans and active duty military will receive a free lunch from a select menu. Valid ID required or in uniform or photo in uniform.
Soup Plantation Free Meal with Purchase
Past and present military can receive a free meal this Sunday and Monday, November 11 and 12th with the purchase of another regular priced meal. Just show proof of military service or be in uniform.
Spaghetti Warehouse Buy 1 Get 1 Free Meal
Friday thru Monday (November 9-12) buy 1 meal and get 1 Original Recipe Spaghetti Entrée for your veteran.
Sweet Tomatoes Free Meal Free Meal with Purchase
Past and present military can receive a free meal this Sunday and Monday, November 11 and 12th with the purchase of another regular priced meal. Just show proof of military service or be in uniform.
Texas Corral Free Entree
A free entrée on Veterans Day to vets and active duty. Unofficially we believe it’s Sunday but their website just says Veterans Day. Call ahead to confirm.
Texas Roadhouse Free Lunch
Monday, November 12, 2012 select from a special veterans lunch menu.
Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop Free Donut
Sunday, November 11, 2012 Veterans active duty-duty military will receive a free donut. No purchase required. Valid ID required or show up in uniform.
TGI Fridays Free Lunch
On Monday, November 12 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm get a free Veterans Day lunch.
Travel Centers of America Free Meal
All CDL drivers who are Military Veterans eat free on November 11th, 2012. Up to $15 on a complimentary meal of your choice Must present valid ID or photograph in uniform.
Twin Peaks Free Meal
Twins Peaks provides vague information and it doesn’t look like it includes Veterans. Here are their event details. “For Serving Us, We’re Serving You! Service men and women eat free on Veteran’s Day.” Starts on Thursday, November 8 through Sunday, November 11. We are working on clarifying this information.
Uno’s free entrée or pizza with a purchase
On both Sunday and Monday, November 11- 12 get a free entrée or individual pizza with an entrée or pizza purchase or equal or greater value and with a military or veterans ID.
Check out some of our photos for our different brand lines like :
COVVHA SPORT FOR WOMEN
COVVHA GEAR FOR MEN
COVVHA COMFORT SLEEP LINE
COVVHA VETERANS & MILITARY
COVVHA LAPEL PINS
R2M CUSTOMFor Ordering and product Information Please Contact PMASON@COVVHA.NET
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
We here at COVVHA, get this question a lot…
When I made my first trip to Vietnam, my biggest fear was that I would be considered a traitor, a war sympathizer, and God forbid, a Hanoi Jane (A.K.A. Hanoi Heather). Even after my first trip, I was a little hesitant to start speaking out. Then it happened. I just started sharing my experiences with others. To my surprise, as I started speaking out, many American Vietnam Veterans came to me asking questions. They would ask, “Did you go to XXX? I served there, what is it like now?” Others would speak of the topography, where they went on R&R, more than one told me of a lost love, asking if I met any Vietnamese American children. Some would tentatively ask how I was treated by the Vietnamese. When I would tell the stories of meeting aging Vietnamese veterans, who once fought for the North or South, and how they would listen to my family’s tragic Agent Orange story, and tear up, then tell me through the translator, how they are very sick from diabetes, cancers and heart conditions and how their children are very ill or dead. The American Veteran would listen, and then more often than not say, “I’m glad you went, I’m not sure if I would go back, but I’m glad you went. I know your Dad is very proud of you.” That was all the affirmation I needed. I was on the right path. It took the men who are living the long Shadow of the Vietnam War to give me the courage I needed.
A few times, and I say very few, because it’s only happened twice, I have been called a “War sympathizer,” I will tell you no Vietnam Veteran has ever called me such. Maybe they are too polite or too pissed to speak with me, I get that, but I’ve never had that experience. When it has happened, I have said, I am not a war sympathizer, I am a humanitarian, the war is over, and our countries are at peace with each other. The mental, and physical pain left from the war is not over, on either side, but the actual taking up arms and killing each other is.
The Vastness of the problem with Agent Orange in Vietnam took till my third trip to even grasp. Vietnam is roughly the same size in square miles as the state of New Mexico. Vietnam reports it has over three million Agent Orange victims. Now think about a county in your state. In one small province in Vietnam I visited, there were 14,000 Agent Orange Victims, 7,000 of them were second generation victims. Can you imagine? Remember the polio epidemic? If it were happening again, would you just sit by and watch? Now, not only throw in the polio epidemic, but also throw in extreme poverty, very poor health care and toxic local environments that are continuing to poison the food supply, creating more victims. This is the current state of things in Vietnam. Would you support those who were doing the work to stop it, and improve the conditions of innocent children? There are many trying to stop this epidemic in Vietnam.
How can helping those offspring affected by Agent Orange in Vietnam help the offspring of Vietnam Veterans in the US or Australia? Currently, there is more research going on in Vietnam on issues of Agent Orange than anywhere else in the world. In Vietnam, there are more supporters globally then there have ever been for the children of US or Australian Veterans. Ninety nine percent of these global supporters do not even know there are Agent Orange offspring Victims in the United States or Australia. If none of the children of American Vietnam Vets or Australian Vietnam Vets are speaking out and educating those in the global community that we are in fact here, how will they ever know? How will they ever know we need help with health care costs and the like?
Why is all this research happening and global supporters still do not know other victims exist? Number one, it is the multitudes of identifiable Agent Orange victims in Vietnam. Remember, three million victims in the area as large as the state of New Mexico. Secondly, it has to do with the fact that Vietnam acknowledges there is a problem, unlike the Australian and US Governments, and invites researchers in to try to help. I do have to have a side note to say, at least the Australian Government has been more open to appropriate research. Our governments and chemical companies have worked hard to dismiss the Vietnam Veteran’s story of suffering in their children and stifle any real research. Then they turn around and say, there are no reputable studies on the affects of Dioxin in the offspring of Vietnam Veterans
Wouldn’t it be helpful if this international support would come to the offspring of American and Australian Agent Orange victims as well? Especially after the last 40 years that our own governments have turned their back on our Fathers, and our families. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the same pressure that is happening in Vietnam to require the government to create social/medical change for the victims of Agent Orange could also happen in the US and Australia? Unless the children of American and Australian Vietnam Veterans engage with the rest of the world, it will pass us by while we wait for our governments to just do the right thing. How much longer should we be passive?
There is something to be said for the emotional healing that has happened for me as a result of my trips to Vietnam. I was once extremely bitter, especially after my own Father died as a result of his AO illnesses. It changed me to see other disabled children born after the war, who also like myself, had no say in the politics of the 60’s, interacting and caring for each other. Their simple acts of compassion for each other helped heal a very lonely place left in my heart from childhood. It’s also given me hope by watching Non Government Organizations, physically help those in most need in Vietnam. I see what could be. I see the future for projects that could meet the unique needs of American and Australian generational victims of Agent Orange. We have to be out there meeting each other, we have to understand the suffering we ALL are going through. One of our dreams is to facilitate a group of American/Australian victims of Agent Orange to go to Vietnam as a delegation to experience this for themselves. It’s only with doing, engaging and acting can real change happen.
It’s about public relations, building relationships, comparing research, and comparing experiences, that helps not only the greater good, but us in the long run. Some may never agree with me, and that is fine. I am a humanitarian, not a war sympathizer, I have my Father’s approval and that is all I need to continue this work. Caring about the Vietnamese Agent Orange victim really does matter.© Heather A. Bowser Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance
“Dioxin (TCDD) Induces Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Adult Onset Disease and Sperm Epimutations,”
Dioxin causes disease, reproductive problems across generations
By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer
PULLMAN, Wash. – Since the 1960s, when the defoliant Agent Orange was widely used in Vietnam, military, industry and environmental groups have debated the toxicity of its main ingredient, the chemical dioxin, and how it should be regulated.
For Immediate Release
Agent Orange In Ohio
Boardman, OH – October, 13 2012 – Two Generational Victims of Agent Orange who founded the Non-Profit Organization ‘Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance’ will host a meet & greet and educational seminar on October 13th starting at 6pm at Ohio Naturopathic Wellness Center, 755 Boardman-Canfield Rd., Suite D- (Southbridge West), Boardman, OH. Appetizers and beverages will be served, followed by the seminar at 7pm. Please make your reservations at COVVHA@Gmail.com for attendance since seating is limited. The event is free and open to the public and can also be joined through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/
Heather A. Bowser (39), Daughter of Bill Morris, of Canfield Ohio and Kelly L. Derricks (37), Daughter of Harry C. Mackel Jr., of Bucks County Pennsylvania are both daughters of deceased Vietnam War Veterans. Each of their father’s were exposed to the deadly herbicide Agent Orange/Dioxin while serving with the United States Military resulting in their untimely deaths. Heather and Kelly were both born with multiple birth defects and illnesses which they still suffer from Today. In early 2012, after many years of independent advocacy, they came together to form ‘Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance’ a Non-Profit organization seeking justice and providing assistance for the tens of thousands of sons and daughters also suffering from the generational effects of Agent Orange that occurs during the conception of a child.
Karen Y. Wengert (38), Daughter of surviving Vietnam Veteran George Ridgeway, of Newark Ohio, will also be attending the event. Karen’s mother, Barbara Ridgeway (Dunn), who is now deceased, was a key proponent in starting the area’s local VVA chapter. At the age of 8, Karen accompanied by her parents on November 11, 1982, stood in attendance at the official opening of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. As a surviving Vietnam Veteran, Karen’s father now suffers the severe health effects that Agent Orange / Dioxin is known for leaving in its destructive wake. Recently, Heather and Kelly were very pleased when Karen graciously accepted the position of Secretary as an Official COVVHA board member. Karen has worked tirelessly over the last several months, despite her suffering with numerous illnesses, to ensure COVVHA’s ability to reach the 2ND generation victims of Agent Orange.
Nicknamed COVVHA, Kelly and Heather stress four simple words that have reached millions, not just in the American community, but also the international community of those exposed including Vietnam, Australia, Korea, Japan, Guam, and Canada; “You Are NOT Alone.” COVVHA has vowed that no Vietnam Veteran, Child, Grandchild, or those who were exposed to Agent Orange by other circumstances, will ever feel like they are waging the fight for their lives alone. The event which is being hosted by Kelly and Heather on October 13th starting at 6pm at Ohio Naturopathic Wellness Center, 755 Boardman-Canfield Rd., Suite D-(Southbridge West), Boardman, Ohio, Is intended to educate the general public and those exposed about the generational health and medical effects of Agent Orange. They also hope to meet other Sons and Daughters of Vietnam Veterans who may have interest in volunteering any extra time to COVVHA.
Before his Death at the age of 37, Kelly’s father stated, “I know I have a bomb ticking inside of me, I know that bomb is Agent Orange.” Before his death at the age of 50, Heather’s father stated, “If I only knew I was taking my children to war, I would have dodged the draft.” Please join Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance on Saturday evening, October 13, 2012 to help COVVHA raise awareness. R.S.V.P. by email at COVVHA@GMAIL.COM At the conclusion of the evening’s events, A brief memorial tribute will be held in honor of Kelly’s father marking the 30 year anniversary of his death on October 14, 1982. Kelly was only 7 years old when her father died. Agent Orange was not just a Vietnam War Era tragedy. In fact, Agent Orange was used globally long before the war began. To people like Kelly and Heather and the millions they fight for, the Vietnam War never ended. The battle ground and weaponry have simply changed.
As the voice and face of Agent Orange in Canada, Kenneth Young of Emo has travelled the globe bringing awareness to the effects caused by the harmful herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War from 1961-71.
But the 64-year-old is especially excited to continue his Agent Orange awareness campaign aboard the “Peace Boat,” a Japan-based, international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development, and respect for the environment.
Peace Boat’s 77th Global Voyage for Peace departs next Friday (Aug. 24) from Yokohama, Japan and will travel to Da Nang, Vietnam.
There, Young will meet with Vietnamese survivors of Agent Orange as well as the U.S. ambassador in Vietnam.
“His role is that he is going to be teaching about what happened in Canada at CFB Gagetown,” noted Young’s son, Daniel, who also lives in Emo, adding his father will give a 75-minute lecture to university students aboard the Peace Boat.
“They called him in as an expert on the subject because he’s been an advocate for so many years, researching and getting all the facts on the matter,” Daniel Young said.
“And he’s been disseminating that through the Internet and other means.
“He’s been published probably hundreds of times now. He’s been really focused on this mission to get the information out there.
“He’s excited but a little nervous, too,” admitted Daniel Young, referring to his father’s upcoming presentation.
A Canadian veteran and first generation Agent Orange survivor, Kenneth Young also will be travelling alongside Heather Bowser, a second-generation American Agent Orange survivor, and Jenna Mack, an 18-year-old third-generation American survivor.
Bowser was born with multiple birth defects as a result of her father’s exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin during the Vietnam War while Mack’s mother was born with severe hip dysplasia, suffers from lupus, and also developed an extremely rare form of cancer five years ago.
This is the first documented case of three generations of survivors from the U.S. and Canada travelling to Vietnam to build ties with Vietnamese survivors and to raise awareness of the global scale of the Agent Orange legacy.
Young indicated in an previous interview that Vietnam has suffered the most from the side effects Agent Orange caused, including “birth defects, 15 different types of cancers, diabetes, and destroying the immune system.”
There are an estimated 300,000-500,000 third-generation casualties, some of which Young noticed while in Vietnam last year, where he was a speaker at the Second International Conference of Agent Orange/Dioxin
Continue Reading…. http://fftimes.com/node/253791
“Fifty years later, the U.S. begins landmark project in Vietnam to clean up dioxin, a toxic chemical left from the defoliant Agent Orange.”
Watch today’s archive video episode of Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance on Huffington Post Live. Guests included Co-Founder of COVVHA Kelly L. Derricks, Susan Hammond Founder of War Legacies Project, Tran Thi Hoan Vietnamese Advocate, and Jonathan Moore. Board Member, Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign.
Follow this link and press play on the video http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/5023fa5b02a76063fd000008