Letter to the editor: Agent Orange problem

The Vietnam War was the most shameful war in all of American history, a war lost by politics, not by those who fought it.  It is a war that will never be forgotten and will live on into infamy.  Why? It is because of the deadly herbicides used in that war, herbicides so deadly it is second only to radiation poisoning.   In science, it is known as  2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)  Better known by its code name Agent Orange.  It has almost the same ingredients as the herbicide Round-Up minus the Dioxin, but can be just as harmful especially to children and animals.

The Vietnam War will never be forgotten for generations to come.  Dioxin in the human body of Vietnam veterans who came in contact with that herbicide it resides in the humans fatty tissue and can and has been passed on to many of their children.  Half-life in the human body is approximately 9 to 12 years. Therefore tens of generations can continue to be infected (half life has yet to be scientifically determined).

With this known fact, the Vietnam War in the minds those who fought and the minds of their survivors for generations to come, the war will never end.

How did Agent Orange infect the Navy at sea! The herbicide was mixed with diesel fuel to stick to plant life.  Rain would wash it into streams and rivers that coursed into the South China Sea where our ships were.  Rough seas and storms would churn up the sea’s surface and the Dioxin would settle to the bottom.  The South China Sea is a shallow sea.  Our combat ships traveling at high speed would stir up the bottom bringing Dioxin to the surface.  Anchorage areas dropping anchor also stir the bottom.  Navy ships distill seawater into fresh water by evaporation, contaminated dioxin water would be sucked into the intake of the ships evaporation system.  The heating and pressurizing process intensified the Dioxin by tenfold as proven by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).  This is how Navy sailors at sea never having boots on ground Vietnam became sick with their fresh drinking water.

The VA and Congress criticizes this scientific fact and have denied benefits to Navy sailors at sea.   Legislative bills are introduced, but seem to fail with the next seating of Congress.

Presently there are two bills – House Bill HR-969 and Senate Bill S.681 if passed, they will afford benefits to those sailors who served at sea.  Tell your members of Congress and Senate to pass these bills.