Tonight we visited Rawlings Library where we heard stories from our vets who served in the Vietnam war. Many have been diagnosed with diseases directly caused by the affects of agent orange.
HO (Herbicide Orange) was a herbicide manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto & Dow Chemical in the USA & Canada. It was given its name from the color of the orange striped barrels in which it was shipped. It was used as part of its herbicidal warfare program “Operation Ranch Hand” during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. In mid 1961, President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam asked the US to conduct aerial herbicide spraying in his country to eliminate enemy food sources and cover. In Aug. of ’61 the South Vietnam Air Force initiated herbicide operations with American help. In Nov. 1961 President John F. Kennedy authorized the start of “Operation Ranch Hand”.
Sadly many of our vets and many, many civilians were affected by this poison being continuously spray on the ground and today many are plagued with diseases as a result. So too, are the offspring and grandchildren of these vets. Now these vets are fighting back and want American’s to know about this atrocity and the fact that the government is not taking a more helping hand in remedying the problems these families face as a result. Too many medical claims are being denied or taking unreasonable time and bureaucracy.
It was nice to see City Council members Ed Brown and Ami Nawrocki at this meeting showing support for our veterans. The stories shared were sad and heartfelt as many are facing a long battle of illness and imminent death because of their exposure to this horrible chemical.