Death by Chemical Saturation


Agent Orange and "Super Orange" were the nicknames given to the herbicides and defoliant used by the United States Armed Forces in its Herbicidal Warfare program during the Vietnam War.(so states Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in its article titled, "Agent Orange"

But, what if the Agent Orange program in Vietnam(1961 to 1971)was more than just a program to make winning the war in the south that much easier? I'm a sixty-one year old Vietnam Vet who served in the Mekong delta of Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. I'm a prime candidate for having been saturated with the chemical dioxin which is not only an impurity in several defolients, not all, mind you, but a number of defolients, but, just by happenstance, the most lethal chemical in the history of the modern world. Could it be that opportunity knocked and the Pentagon opened the door? Lest we forget, in the 1950s thousands of United States soldiers stood in the direct path of more than a dozen nuclear blasts in Nevada and--they were told that the physical effect on them was nill. Personally, I don't see the leopard changing his spots. To the contrary, a 'new' war brings new hope for the Dr. Strangeloves of the Washington Beltway. I propose that the Pentagon knew that there would eventually be a leak and the dioxin poisoning issue would surface. So why not take advantage of it? As the Brits say, 'in for a penny, in for a pound.'

On October 10, of 2007, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The Department of Veterans Affairs, in it's infinite wisdom, publishes a booklet titled,'Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents'. Chapter 2 of the book is titled,'Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities.' There is a subheading in this chapter titled, 'Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange and Other Herbicides.' Under this subheading is listed the current eleven 'diseases' PRESUMED by the VA to be those diseases 'caused by exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in support of military operations'. Over the last six years I've collected four editions of this one-hundred and fifty page booklet. Granted, the boilerplate is same, same--but one important feature of all four editions is troublesome. Nowhere within the body of the books can you find the word dioxin.

As a historical follow-up; I've had my prostate removed nine days ago. In preparation for the surgery, I spoke with doctors in residence at USVA Togus Hospital in Augusta, Maine. NONE would even say the word dioxin and all but one deliberately side-stepped my request for a description of the physical effects of dioxin poisoning. I lay awake nights wondering. If I had been just ten years older would I have stood in a green poncho and steel pot and faced the flash and mushroom clowds in Nevada?

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