Day 18: Barstow or Bust

Colt with Jessica Hankins and her son

At last there’s Barstow, and more desert until at last the mountains rise up again, the good mountains, and 66 winds through them.  -John Steinbeck “The Grapes of Wrath”

A few days ago I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Hankins and her son at the Route 66 museum. Jessica took time to sit with me and discuss how her father struggled with a host of illnesses brought on by Agent Orange Exposure.

She also spoke about her own health problems that she attributes to her father’s exposure. Jessica had been told from a young age that her health issues were related to Agent Orange.

Jessica worries about her son. Even the knowing there is a potential that Agent Orange related issues can be passed from parent to children she worries about the possibility she may have passed something on to her son that may affect him later in life.

Welcome Home,




2 Replies to “Day 18: Barstow or Bust”

  1. I am so impressed by your determination and courage. Thank you for taking up this important mission. You and the stories of the people you are meeting along the way are beacons of light.
    Stay strong. There are many of us out here sending warmest wishes your way.

  2. I have Parkinson’s Disease from being in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange . Now my son Adam who is 32 years old has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s . I’m so sorry that my son will slowly become disabled as I am today at the age of 73 . Larry

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