Agent Orange/Dioxin and Other Toxic Exposures Committee
Please Like, Follow, Subscribe, and Share!
BY HERB WORTHINGTON, CHAIR
2013 was a record year for educating the public and veterans about Agent Orange, the other rainbow agents, burn pits, and depleted uranium use by the government both domestically and overseas.
More than twenty-one town hall meetings have been held, with attendance ranging from one hundred to almost five hundred people. At each meeting Agent Orange folders are distributed that contain information on how to run a town hall meeting, copies of individual stories (The Faces of Agent Orange), a copy of the Agent Orange Self-Help Guide, a report from our Communications Department, a report on the impact of Agent Orange on U.S. veterans after forty years, the Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee position paper on birth defects, a report on male mediated studies, a list of all ships recognized as exposed to Agent Orange, an information paper from the Department of Defense on herbicide tests and storage outside of Vietnam, and a report on proposed legislation for veterans'families for research and treatment.
The committee continues to work with the National Birth Defect Registry and has adopted two resolutions. The first deals with the C-123 Pilots and Aircrew Association and the second with the Blue Water Navy Association. We continue to advocate for Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in locations other than Vietnam—Thailand, Laos, Okinawa, the Philippines, Johnston Island, Korea, Cambodia, Guam, and many military installations within the United States. We have reached outside of the VVA and AVVA membership and have held town hall meetings in conjunction with other organizations. All have been very successful, and we have noticed an increase in local membership once a town hall meeting is completed.
Scheduling town hall meetings for 2014 has begun. May and much of June already are booked. States that have scheduled meetings so far this year: Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan, Nevada, Alabama, and Maine.
We are endorsing Sen. Richard Blumenthal's (D-Conn.) legislation, S.1602, which calls for all veterans exposed to toxic substances to be diagnosed and treated, along with their progeny. We will host a meeting on the Hill on April 10 with as many members of Congress as possible to introduce and urge passage of S.1602. Attending this briefing will be VVA Board members, state council presidents, AVVA members, and children of veterans who have been exposed to Agent Orange.
In 2013 we printed some thirty thousand self-help guides and distributed them nationwide for free. This year it is estimated that we will need forty-five thousand booklets due to the high demand from veterans and their families. Our Agent Orange webpage—along with our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and other social media—has grown greatly. We continue to fight for new conditions to be listed on the presumptive list recognizing the harm caused by our exposure to Agent Orange and the other rainbow agents. Recently the Institute of Medicine reported that there has been no difference in the reaction since 2010 for Agent Orange-related strokes. We will be pushing for this condition to be listed as a presumptive, along with skin cancer.
Agent Orange Legacy
Agent Orange Legacy is advocating for the services, support and rights for the children of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange and their families.
WHO WE ARE: Agent Orange Legacy was founded in 2007 by a widow of a Vietnam veteran, Sharon L. Perry and their daughter, Dee Reyes. Dee has been plagued and has suffered from unexplained illnesses most of her life. She continues to suffer from debilitating muscle spasms which have left her disabled and rated as a Helpless Child by the VA. She also suffers from 28 illnesses and was recently diagnosed with gastroparesis, hiatus hernia, Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction Disorder. Dee currently waits for genetic testing and is a viable candidate for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS).
C-123 Toxic Exposure
Nearly three dozen rugged C-123 transport planes formed the backbone of the U.S. military's campaign to spray Agent Orange over jungles hiding enemy soldiers during the Vietnam War. And many of the troops who served in the conflict have been compensated for diseases associated with their exposure to the toxic defoliant. But after the war, some of the planes were used on cargo missions in the United States. Now a bitter fight has sprung up over whether those in the military who worked, ate and slept in the planes after the war should also be compensated. Two U.S. senators are now questioning the Department of Veterans Affairs' assertions that any postwar contamination on the planes was not high enough to be linked to disease. Complicating the debate is that few of the planes remain to be tested. In 2010, the Air Force destroyed 18 of the Vietnam-era aircraft in part because of concerns about potential liability for Agent Orange, according to Air Force memos documenting the destruction.
Apple releases v.1.6 of our iPad C-123 Agent Orange booklet
Apple's iTunes has released an interim version 1.6 of our C-123 Agent Orange booklet, free to download (320MB). It is for iPad only! Their publication of the better-edited version 2.0 is still a couple weeks off, and will be smaller as some of the imbedded videos are removed in favor of hyperlinks.
North Dakota Launches Agent Orange Education Campaign
The above billboard is located on the west side of I29 Between 7th Avenue N. and 12th Avenue N. in Fargo, ND. A second billboard is located on the north side of Interstate 94 east of Steele facing west.
On Tuesday, August 6, The Vietnam Veterans of America North Dakota State Council launched a statewide Agent Orange Education Campaign with the unveiling the first of a series of billboards. Their goal is to reach fellow veterans and their dependents exposed to and suffering from the effects of Agent Orange/dioxin.
"Through advertisements such as our billboards and by convening town hall meetings, stand downs, and other outreach events throughout North Dakota, we hope to reach those suffering from the effects of Agent Orange to provide them with information and resources they need," said Dan Stenvold, President of the VVA North Dakota State Council.
"Along with the North Dakota Department of Veterans of Affairs, we will be working with many organizations to contact those who may have been exposed and their families. We are grateful to the North Dakota 63rd legislative assembly, which appropriated a $50,000 grant for 2013-2015, in support of our outreach efforts," said Stenvold.
VVA is committed to ensuring that all veterans exposed during their service receive the care and compensation they have earned by their service to our nation. This includes those who served in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, and Laos, as well as those who flew on C-123s, aboard Navy vessels, and on certain military installations and other facilities on and outside the continental U.S., including Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Johnson Island, Ft. Detrick, and elsewhere.
The Agent Orange Coverup: A Case of Flawed Science and Political Manipulation
Please Like, Follow, Subscribe, and Share!
More Ships Added to List
VA has updated the list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam, adding more vessels and expanding information for others.
A Lawn Care Pesticide Threatens Health and is Poised to Get Worse
A World War II-era weed killer, 2,4-D, is one of the top three largest selling pesticides in North America today, despite dozens of scientific studies that link this pesticide to lymphoma, cell damage, hormonal disruption, and reproductive problems. Once a chief ingredient in Agent Orange, 46 million pounds of 2,4-D are still used every year in the United States alone, applied to lawns, playgrounds, golf courses, and millions of acres of agricultural land. 2,4-D contaminates our air and water and finds its way into our homes, tracked in by shoes and pet paws. The application of toxic 2,4-D will dramatically increase if new genetically modified (GMO) corn and soybean crops are approved, putting thousands more Americans at risk. Vietnam Veterans of America opposes this action until such time as an environmental impact study is performed and believes that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should restrict use of 2,4-D and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should not allow new "2,4-D Ready" crops on the market until then. To see VVA's letter, click here.
Database of Studies Related to Agent Orange / Dioxin Exposures
Over the years one of VVA members and a former Chairman of the Agent Orange Committee put together a database of studies related to “Agent Orange/Dioxin” exposures and their impact. George Claxton wants to share this information with his fellow veterans. We are grateful for George’s hard work and dedication in working on these important issues.
In order to make this information available to veterans, the Agent Orange/Dioxin and Other Toxic Substances Committee has converted the information into a PDF file as well as an excel spreadsheet, and as a Microsoft works spread sheet.
The last column in all three of these documents lists the original database number and refers to the disease cover or the type of study as listed below.
The PDF file GCdatabasePdf82010 makes this information available to everyone who can get on the internet. If you don’t have the program to read the pdf file you can download a free reader at the below address:
The Excel file GCdatabaseExcel82010 is in a spreadsheet. To use this information you will need a program that can run Excel spreadsheets. Microsoft office or Open Office will work for this file. Open Office is a free software program that you can use to read the excel file. A link is provided below http://www.downloadtop.info/openoffice/
So more people can use the data in spreadsheet format, we converted the data to Microsoft Works spreadsheet format.
VVA and the AO/DOTS Committee hope this information will help veterans who are working on their claim or researching as advocates for other veterans. As we will be updating this information the number at the end of the file name is for the month and year of the file.
Click on the links below to read the stories of Faces of Agent Orange
Birth Defects Position Paper 1/14/2010
Children are our future. We have all heard that common saying. What is the future of the children of Vietnam veterans and other veterans with toxic, service-related exposures? There is a growing realization that both maternal and paternal toxic exposures play a role in the birth defects of the children and future generations of the exposed individuals. Research in the field of epigenetics also points toward toxic exposures turning on or off genes that, when passed on to the child, could lead to the onset of diseases later in life.
[ read the paper ]
FROM THE VVA
"The Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee shall accumulate and disseminate information regarding Agent Orange and Dioxin and actively pursue the recognition of presumptive disabilities from exposure to Agent Orange and Dioxin by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee shall provide assistance to State Councils, Chapters, and service programs in the handling of Agent Orange related problems. The Committee shall encourage and foster the sponsorship of legislation to help the victims of Agent Orange and Dioxin, and encourage scientific and medical research in the field of dioxin-related ailments."
DO YOU NEED ASSISTANCE FILING A CLAIM?