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Agent Orange article in NYT
Last Post 04/21/2021 08:41 PM by Bill H.. 20 Replies.
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Orange Crush

Posts:4047

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04/14/2021 03:27 PM
Don’t post about work too much but proud of Hatfield (the environment consultancy I work for) connecting all of the dots on the generational effects of dioxins forcing US to acknowledge the issue . Good enough for six mentions in this article. A good read on this lasting war legacy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/magazine/laos-agent-orange-vietnam-war.html
Dale

Posts:1638

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04/14/2021 07:20 PM
What a despicable legacy we (the US) have in our perpetual meddling.

Thanks for the link.
79pmooney

Posts:2952

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04/14/2021 08:31 PM
Thanks, OC. I knew when I was 17 that I could not be drafted and go to Vietnam. Doing so would be joining a foreign army to impose its will on the citizens of another country; exactly what we fought our Revolution to resist. I had serious doubts as to whether I could pull the trigger to kill a young man coming at me on his soil to defend his country. (But to defend this land, standing on this soil, I would fight to the death. I was quite aware that disqualified me from conscientious objector.) I also knew I had zero business being in a foxhole with a buddy with those doubts. (My granddad and high school teacher both spent time on the killing fields.)

When my number was being pulled, I knew it was something like 1 in 3 I might well be going to Federal prison and that as a skinny, un-athletic kid, it wouldn't be pretty. I did not know then either the horrors of prison life or what we did on so many fronts in Vietnam and its neighbors. I drew 264 and got off Scott free.

In the early '90s I worked with a fellow my age who served in VN. Real health issues. Alcohol (and probably more). Didn't have a license and rode 20+ miles each way to work. I didn't know him well (I don't think many did) but we did talk bikes. He was a regular reminder to me on what I passed on (and that I had the gift of far more choices than many). And the gift of 264 and being young enough for that to be good.
longslowdistance

Posts:2593

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04/14/2021 09:07 PM
JHFC I subscribe to NYT but they won't let me in, something to deal with tomorrow.
So forgive me if the article covers this:
Dioxin is a mysterious substance. Toxic as heck to some lab rodents, but barely affects others. This helped delay the admission of human toxicity beyond chloracne. It's an impurity of imperfect synthesis of one of the two defoliants in Agent Orange, this fact was completely understood decades ago. You can't make this stuff up.
Orange Crush

Posts:4047

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04/14/2021 09:21 PM
LSD - in a nutshell “ Of the 517 cases of disabilities and birth defects so far documented by the War Legacies Project in Laos, about three-fourths, like malformed limbs, are identifiable to the untrained eye as conditions of the sorts now linked to exposure to Agent Orange. “

This concerns grandchildren of those exposed to agent orange. The work was about establishing those heriditary linkages (exposure pathways) and then linking it to places were agent orange was used and stored in Laos (long denied). “ Hatfield Consultants completed its study of the impact of dioxin and showed U.S. officials incontrovertible evidence of how TCDD moved up the food chain, entered the human body and was transmitted to infants through breast milk.”

Incidentally Hatfield became dioxin experts through work in pulp and paper industry and environmental tracing in aquatic species.
zootracer

Posts:815

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04/15/2021 10:05 AM
I was in the USMC 1960-1964. I was discharged in August of '64. The first ground troops went into Vietnam in March of 1965. They were the 9th Marines "The Walking Dead". They had the highest casualty rate of any USMC infantry regiment in USMC history. I was in the 9th Marines 1963-64. We were loaded aboard ship and were going to be deployed into Vietnam Nov 1963, after the Vietnamese president and his brother were assassinated after a military que. President Kennedy was assassinated Nov 23rd and we were called back to Okinawa. This is a little known fact, you won't find it anywhere in the history books. I was there. I was very fortunate. The USA was gearing up for a war in the far east for a long time. One of my high school classmates ended up in Vietnam as a second lieutenant due to being in ROTC while attending San Jose State College. He was exposed to agent orange and died of cancer in 1994. My son enlisted,in the army in 1990 and ended up in the first gulf war in 1991. He received a series of vaccinations prior to being sent to the middle east. He has numerous medical conditions, physical and mental and has 100% medical disability benefits because of his illnesses. I'm proud of my military service for myself and my son. But Lord I am so thankful I missed Vietnam. My son is functioning, but I wish his life was better. War is hell.
eurochien

Posts:156

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04/15/2021 07:29 PM
Respect to both you and your son.
79pmooney

Posts:2952

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04/15/2021 08:02 PM
Zoot, my English teacher was a Marine at Okinawa, WW2. He was also the wrestling coach (and why he was hired; he taught us no English but passed on real life's lessons). He carried himself as an ex-Marine, kept himself hard as nails. Never spoke of his service. I learned after graduation from my friend, his wrestling captain, that he spent 5 days pinned in a one man foxhole with a dead buddy on the beach there. (If you pushed that body out, the Japanese knew someone was in that hole and a grenade would roll in that night.)

He had us read Norman Mailer's first novel, "The Naked and the Dead" about a pointless reconnaissance mission in the Pacific and Malcolm X's Autobiography. We kept asking him about his opinions on VN while reading "Naked". Wouldn't answer. Just told ups to read that book carefully. I fully believe he wanted us completely aware of what war really was. (And I'll be forever grateful for him having us reading Malcolm X. Who'd athunk an ex-Marine would do that?)

Edit: My uncle was a Navy pilot. Flew jets right around when you served. Was one of the very early pilots to land jets on carriers. Went to sign up for another round and was told he'd be a blimp pilot! No thanks! So he went on to do his other love, that also required very high skill level and precision. Symphony orchestra cello. Moved to Quebec City to live his new life and thrived there.
longslowdistance

Posts:2593

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04/15/2021 09:05 PM
Zoot,

Wow
zootracer

Posts:815

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04/15/2021 09:12 PM
I read Naked And The Dead. It was made into a movie in 1958. I saw the movie and two years later I was at MCRD San Diego. If you have watched the movie Full Metal Jacket with R. Lee Ermey as the Drill Instructor, it was dead on about Marine Corps boot camp. Ermey was a D.I. in real life. I laugh like hell at the opening scene, but I sure was not laughing when I was in boot camp.

My dad was a physician in WW2 stationed in North Africa and also in OCS. Never talked about the war. Not a word.

I'm lucky to have avoided Vietnam. I met my wife in 1965, and we were married in 1966. The military service for me was the best of times and the worst of times.

79pmooney

Posts:2952

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04/15/2021 11:36 PM
My granddad never spoke to anyone about his time as a corporal in some of the heaviest fighting the US saw. Went over in a company of corporals as replacements. All knew they weren't coming home. My granddad and one other got to be wrong. When I, his oldest grandkid, was 7 he decided what he saw shouldn't go to the grave with him. Would sit me on his knee and tell me stories of what he saw. Didn't give me the grit and gore but told me enough. Later my cousin found the famous coffee table picture book of that war. I spent hours looking at it, knowing my granddad had been there.

Junior year in high school was when I started thinking about what was to come. Started growing my hair out and never had more than a cleanup trim until just before college graduation. I stayed my granddad's favorite grandson despite he being a banker/stockbroker/Republican. We never talked about Viet Nam but I have always believed he knew I heard him those many years before. And again, without a word being said, the support of that ex-Marine. (We were the problem class for that old, very prestigious, very full of itself prep school. Longest hair - by far, most drug use, issues with drugs, AIDS and suicide after graduation. We dedicated our yearbook to him. I pulled the yearbook out a couple of years ago. Looked at his photo. OMG! He looks like a white, far shorter but equally slim Malcolm X! Same eyes. Same glasses. Same very distinctive facial shape. Same look you don't mess with.

I never thanked those two men for what they showed me. One of my deepest regrets. They gave me the strength to step up and do what was right if that number had been low. They'd been through hell. I could too if I had to. (Thank you Lord that I didn't.)
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3978

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04/16/2021 12:00 PM
One of the longest employees at our company recently passed away from prostate cancer. He served in Vietnam and literally sprayed Agent Orange as part of his duties.

My dad served in Vietnam in the Navy and was also exposed to Agent Orange. He too had prostate cancer (but luckily was found early).

I am sick and tired of our worship of the military while fooking over our vets. Go look at at vet homelessness, suicide rates, mental health, etc. Sure, we'll give everyone a cheery "Thank you for your service" and cheer when planes fly overhead at football games.....but god forbid we actually respect those who served by providing them with the healthcare (physical and mental) that they desperately need.



Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:2952

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04/16/2021 12:17 PM
I'll second that, CK. The war I didn't fight in; those vets didn't even get the "thank you".
Orange Crush

Posts:4047

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04/16/2021 01:21 PM
It sounds that there is actually some movement on subject of vets exposed to agent orange specifically with burden of proof removed in a bill that is now before congress:

https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/2021/04/15/troops-exposed-to-agent-orange-outside-of-vietnam-could-be-in-line-for-presumptive-benefits/

But that covers just the vets (if it gets adopted), there are also children of vets who have suffered the consequences, much like the deformities and other effects documented in grandchildren in Laos. "In 1972, she was born two months premature. “Birth weight three pounds, four ounces,” Bowser read from her baby book. Her big toe is missing on her left foot and her right leg is missing from the knee down."

https://spectrumnews1.com/oh/columbus/news/2021/03/16/the--long-shadow--of-the-vietnam-war---i-was-never-there--but-it-has-been-part-of-my-life-forever-

Dale

Posts:1638

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04/16/2021 05:07 PM
The homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, PTSD, CTE, etc. issues our vets have sickens me as well.

Let's quit manufacturing veterans. No more trading teenagers and troops in their early twenties to fight wars that are, essentially, all about protecting the profits of Exxon-Mobile and their ilk.

Don't give me that "war on terrorism" bs, we manufactured the terrorists in our proxy wars for oil:
Iran 1953
Iran-Iraq war 1980-1988
Desert Storm 1991
etc, etc, etc.
And who paid the price? Boots on the ground.

Same thing in Veet Nam (channeling LBJ), let's over throw one ruthless dictator to install a different ruthless dictator and "bomb them back into the stone age" to prevent a different dictator from taking over.

Who paid the price for that? Same thing... boots on the ground, villagers in their huts, grunts rolling barrels of toxic chemicals around the base.




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