SHARE YOUR STORY

Name: Colt Romberger
Your Story: My dad, Clifford Romberger, served in Vietnam from November 1970-November 1971. While in Vietnam, he was stationed at Da Nang Air Base and served with the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing “Gunfighters.” Forty years after he returned home from Vietnam he was diagnosed with a rare brain disease known as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) in which the Veterans Administration (VA) determined was caused by exposure to Agent Orange. In 2015 my Dad passed away with my sister, my mom and me by his side. Never once did my Dad regret his service to our country. He served with pride until the day he passed away. A true patriot, friend, and best father a son could ever ask for.
Name: Heidi spencer
Your Story: My dad, Jack Niedermeyer served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1966, he served in Da Nang, and was exposed to Agent Orange, however he did not know the consequences of the exposure. In 2003 he was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma multiforme, brain cancer in his left temporal lobe, it is a very aggressive cancer and terminal, He died 7 months after being diagnosed. He died June 23,2004. He never talked about his Vietnam service, and I am sure when he came back he was never recognized for his time in Vietnam as they were not treated very nice when they came home, My dad took me to visit the wall with our family in 1985 in D.C. he cried for his fallen friends who he served with and did not make it out alive. There are many of our Vietnam Veterans who have had this type of brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme and have died the VA needs to recognize this cancer for our veterans and put it on the presumptive list!!!
Name: Dianne Wright
Your Story: Min the father did 2 tours of Vietnam air force.He has had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, prostate cancer and melanoma and now at 91 almost 92 he is slowly dying from a form of Alzheimer’s. There has never been this in my family. His lymphoma was attributed to agent orange and I have wondered if the Alzheimer\’s is too? Do you know if any studies have been done to show this?
Name: David A. Parks
Your Story: I am a VV and I think you should link to this site. I have a story to tell but I will do that later. I am 68 years old and I did not realize the effect that Agent Orange had on me, my children, and grandchildren until now! site is : http://beforeitsnews.com/health/2012/08/children-of-vietnam-veterans-agent-orange-dioxin-reported-illness-list-covvha-database-update-2444506.html
Name: Mary Osberg
Your Story: My father was a civilian worker in Nam, teaching the Vietnamese how to repair helicopters. He told us that the military had bags of agent orange on the tarmac for use in spraying and the air was thick with it. He died of lung cancer in 80.
Name: Michele
Your Story: My brother is a Vietnam area veteran stationed at Panama Canal Zone. He currently suffers from Parkinson\’s disease. Our government denies using agent orange there, but many vets have said otherwise. My brother spoke of it clear back in the 70s after he came home during conversations with my oldest brother who was in Vietnam. We have been told the Panamanian government has also made claims against the US because of the use of Agent Orange. Any way to help get an investigation launched?
Name: George B Norman
Your Story: Before I begin my story about Agent Orange, I would like to thank Colt for bringing attention to AO and making people aware of it’s dangers. I imagine there are thousands of Vietnam Veterans and their offspring who suffer from illnesses related to Agent Orange not knowing AO is the cause of their illness. Over the years, many Vietnam Veterans have died from Agent Orange diseases never knowing AO was the cause of their death? Only God knows how many! HELLO, my name is George B. Norman…my friends call me “Ben”. The VA considers me permanently and totally disabled due to the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam. I was a sniper with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division 1970-71. My sniper team and I were dropped into many AO’s (areas of operation) that had been freshly defoliated with Agent Orange. At that time I had no idea what Agent Orange was. I just knew that the vegetation in the area’s we went into had been killed…I didn’t know how or what was used. A normal mission in the field would last about a month. We didn’t shave; have a shower or a change of clothes. There were times when we had to brush mosquitoes off muddy bomb craters to re-fill our canteens for drinking water. We smelled so bad the flies wouldn’t even land on us. Every scratch and mosquito bite seemed to get infected. I remember getting ringworm from where my rucksack and clothes rubbed rubbed up against my skin. Leeches and dysentery was also a problem. THINK ABOUT THIS…Agent Orange got into and soiled our clothes and was in the water we were drinking. Looking back on time, I believe my first health issue related to the use of Agent Orange was while I was in Vietnam. I remember getting blisters on the back of my hands, which was the only part of my body exposed to the elements other than my face. I started wearing gloves to protect my hands thinking the blisters were coming from the sun. I now believe it was probably from the use of AO. Not long after coming home from Vietnam I began to get skin rashes, which I had never had before going to Vietnam. Then I found out many other Vietnam veterans were having the same problem. They even gave it a name…JUNGLE ROT. It was around this time is when I first learned about Agent Orange and the health problems it was having on Vietnam veterans. Back then the VA was denying AO caused any health issues at all. To this day I still deal with the same skin rashes and the VA still denies AO has anything to do with it…I disagree. About 15 years ago is when I believe AGENT ORANGE really began to take a toll on me. I began to have unexplainable muscle cramps all over my body (which I still deal with today). Then I was diagnosed with multiple lung nodules. I’ve got more spots on my lungs than a Dalmatian puppy. Two weeks ago I was told one of the nodules has grown and doubled in size (not good news). Around 6 years ago I was diagnosed with incurable leukemia (CLL), which is associated with the use of Agent Orange. Around the same time I was diagnosed with CLL my toes and fingers started feeling tingly and numb and I was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy. I am not diabetic, or obese so the PN was not caused by diabetes. The doctor decided to run a PET scan to see if I had any nerves that were pinched, it came back negative. The neurologist believes my Peripheral Neuropathy was chemically induced due to Agent Orange. I have also had many surgeries to remove skin cancer, which may or may not have to do with Agent Orange. It’s been almost 6 years since I was told I had an incurable form of leukemia. MY WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN THAT DAY… I THOUGHT I WAS ON THE LAST PAGE OF THE LAST CHAPTER…BOY WAS I WRONG… IT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING OF A NEW CHAPTER IN, “THE LIFE OF BEN”. After the initial shock wore off (which took quite some time) and my brain cleared, I came to the conclusion it was time for me to stop feeling sorry for myself. Up to this point I was like Red Fox on the old TV sitcom Sanford and Son. Every time I had an ache or pain I would think this is it, “IT’STHE BIG ONE” then I would WAIT…and nothing would happen. Being a CLL patient at Virginia Oncology they have me on what they call WATCH AND WAIT and that is exactly what you do…watch and wait. There is nothing oncologists can do initially to treat patients with CLL because there is no cure. So what they do is WATCH and monitor you and WAIT for the symptoms of leukemia to progress until they affect your quality of life before they start treating you with chemotherapy and other drugs. The logic behind this is to keep the deadly chemo chemicals out of your body as long as possible because they themselves will lower your quality of life and they are toxic. Being there is no cure for CLL they don’t want to treat the disease to prolong your life until the latter stages. Anyway, I got tired of WATCHING & WAITING because it was driving me crazy! I finally came to realize that George Benjamin Norman wasn’t quite ready to start his treatments, at least not yet. I decided to develop my own oncology program and I call it…TRY NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT & LIVE (which is easier said than done). Once I latched onto this concept, I welded it into my brain and my life began to change. I began to have a new understanding and awareness. I see life differently now, everything is much clearer and distinct and in a brilliant and focused perspective. My feelings and emotions are more enhanced…I love more, cry, smile, laugh and even hate more. My senses seem to have heightened, especially my sense of smell and taste. I’m enjoying life more now and I am super conscious of my surroundings. I pay more attention to details, like what brand of shoes a poor man might be wearing or how a rich man walks. My inclinations seem to have amplified by 10X…it’s as though I can see right through people’s skin and into their souls. I can tell if someone is truly sincere or just putting on a front, lying or telling the truth. I find myself watching people and studying their actions and reactions. No longer do I worry about what people think of me…I know who I am, where I come from and where I am headed! I speak my mind freely and if you don’t like what I’m saying…I don’t care! DON’T MESS WITH DEAD MEN WALKING; WE ARE FEARLESS! We have nothing to lose and that in it self is a strange but magnificent feeling! Is it not strange and uncanny that I had to find out I was dying to actually start seeing life at this potential? So far I have been very fortunate and blessed with my health. I have not yet had to undergo any chemical treatments and all of my major body parts are intact. They have taken one small lymph node from under my arm and my spleen and a few other lymph nodes are enlarged but everything is still attached. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to see life this clearly. I feel as though I am very fortunate and I can attribute all my good fortune to what most people would consider bad luck. If I were to die tomorrow I can honestly say,” Thank you God for giving me the vision to see life as it is and to be able to tell people like it is”.
Name: Carey Bowen
Your Story: I am the wife of Major Thomas William Draper who is now in a Memory Care facility for Parkinson\’s with Lewy Body (one of the confirmed AO diseases). As an officer in the Marine Corp, he flew helicopters through the clouds of Orange in \’67 -\’68 to take supplies and men back and forth to the front lines. He has tried to cover up his symptoms for years, because he always wanted to battle ready in case his country needed him. We are applying for the VA Agent Orange benefits now, but he may not live long enough to receive any since it takes 6 months to a year to process. Thank you for what you are doing. I wish I was in your route, since I have horses and stables where your team could rest. Will try to find other ways to help.
Name: Kris
Your Story: My dad was also exposed to Agent Orange while serving his country in Vietnam. . He spent many years fighting “mysterious” tumors and was ONLY told about the correlation when he met a service representative from the VFW. The government made no effort to contact him regarding the risks. My brother is now being denied the same type of truth for illnesses due to exposures in Kuwait. My family served with honor and pride they , just like yours , deserved the truth. I will be with you in spirit on your journey and applaud you for being the voice for these heroes!
Name: Brenda
Your Story: I lost my husband and brother n law to agent orange. They were not in the military. They were two young men in college looking for a way to pay their bills. Jim got a job spraying chemicals under the power lines in rural PA. The job paid well so he brought his older brother into the job. All was good until they learned the chemical they were spraying was Agent Orange.
Name: Julie Kromkowski McSweeney
Your Story: I had a roommate in college who was 11 when her dad died from cancer. He was a pilot who sprayed Agent Orange during his tours. She said at his funeral, they handed her the flag and she responded by saying “I don\’t want your flag…I want my dad.” I heard her but never understood. 6 years ago I lost my father to cancer from Agent Orange. I felt the same way when they folded that flag. We had such a complicated relationship because of Vietnam. He had horrible PTSD. My first memories as a child were of him crawling around the floor in the middle of the night with his gun screaming. His flashbacks were paralyzingly and scared the shit out of me. Everything went back to Vietnam. His skin always itched and when he would scratch, chunks of skin would fall off. He called it \’jungle rot\’. He drank when he got back to the states and never stopped. When he died we found 65 empty bottles of bourbon in his closet. 1/5 bottles. There were more in the trunk of his car. He was diagnosed with cancer 12 years ago. Started as prostate but by the time they really started treatment, he was full of it. Especially in his bones. As a kid my dad would always joke that he never went to the doctor because the last time he had a physical “they sent my sorry ass to Vietnam.” They kept him alive for about 6 years. My brother and I live very far away. We begged dad to get help. To call the VA. To let us get him a caregiver. He refused. He never did the paperwork and never took a penny from the government. He refused help of any kind and told us, when he was ready, he kept his gun next to the bed with one single bullet….in the chamber. He didn\’t get a chance. One night my cousin found him passed out in his own shit. He died at the hospital a few days later. The funeral was a funeral. We had potbellied vets doing the 21 guns. They gave speeches. And then they folded the flag. And a young man in flawless dress knelt down in front of my 96 year old grandmother who was in a wheel chair. The light shining through the stain glass window behind her as he handed her the flag and said the same words my college roommate heard decades before. It was like a picture from Time magazine. After the funeral I asked my grandma what she thought. She looked me straight in the eye and said “I never put my hearing aids in this morning. I don\’t care what they say and I don\’t care about that flag. I just want my son back.” My son and I went to D.C. a few years ago. I\’ve been there dozens of times and been to the Wall. But this was the first time since dad died. My son and I walked silently. We watched others. And then we tried to find the memorial for the “other veterans”. The ones who died because of Vietnam but couldn\’t get their name on the wall. They didn\’t die \’the right way\’ I guess. Sean and I looked all over and couldn\’t find any monument. We went to the park ranger who literally locked up the visitors center and physically walked us to the monument. It was a plaque. A fucking plaque in the ground in memory of all those men and women who died and continue to die because of that war. I cried because it is so pathetic. So incredibly pathetic. The lady from park services gave us a little speech and then stood at attention and saluted us. I couldn\’t be mad at her. In the end I finally realized I never really knew my dad. He went off to war as a wonderful man (from what I\’ve been told). He came back destroyed. Vietnam impacted every aspect of our lives from where we sat in restaurants to how we celebrated the 4th of July. But the funny thing is- he never talked about it. It turned our lives upside down but a word was never spoken directly about his tour. The last time I saw my dad he had just been through surgery. They removed tumors that had been growing all over his spine. As I cleaned his staples with alcohol he finally told me what he did in the Army. He was a bomb sweeper. For almost a full year he walked around looking for mines. He told me how his best friend triggered one and then my dad held him until he died. How the man said “tell my mom I love her”. That was the only time he ever spoke of the war. I still have the letters he wrote my mom when he was serving. I haven\’t had the courage to read them yet. So after all my words I want to say this: ride. You and Gus ride in safety and in pride. What you are doing is amazing and I hope you bring awareness to Agent Orange and how it leads to horrible deaths. And how our vets are remembered by a tiny plaque in the ground that most people don\’t even notice and walk over. I will be following you. My son will be following you and we will donate when we can. My son is working toward acceptance to the Air Force Academy. I hope to hell he grows up to make an impact like you are. Thank you from all of the children and grandchildren of Vietnam vets who have been impacted by Agent Orange. Julie (Kromkowski) McSweeney
Name: Mike Robbins
Your Story: Vietnam vet 67-68, recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, one of the presumptive agent orange cancers. So far so good but more attention needs to be given to the effects of this chemical. Wish you and your horse fair skies and the wind at your back.
Name: Joan Slawson
Your Story: My husband, Darrell (Doc) Slawson died of Agent Orange related Small Cell Lung cancer on February 22, 2015. He was a Marine in Vietnam in 1969-1970. He was also a Firefighter for 32 years. Darrell also had Metabolic Syndrome (pre diabetes) and Peripheral Neuropathy. His daughter has had a pace maker since she was 17 years old. His son has severe bone and joint issues, cardio problems and gout since he was a young adult. The VA seems to finally have made it easier for the Agent Orange era Vets to seek treatment and compensation, but there is such a long way to go. I am in Kansas City and hope to see Cliff when he comes through.
Name: Tony B
Your Story: VietNam vet 67-68; Pleiku Exposed to AO and 40 yrs later have had 5 recurrences of bladder cancer so far. First, and as far as I know, only member of my immediate family to ever have any cancer related problems. I\’m 69 yrs old and have been constantly told by the VA that prostate cancer is covered under AO specs, but not bladder cancer. Don\’t know how that could be when these 2 organs are inches(or less), apart? Thanks for bringing attention to this problem. God Speed.
Name: Eugene A. Winter
Your Story: Hello, I think what you are doing is awesome. My father was in the US Army 4th Infantry and served Vietnam from August 66 to July 67 in the Central Highlands area. He was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V. He was diagnosed on April 15th 2015 with a brain tumor and passed on July 10. 87 days later. He was my dad and best friend. I am devastated to this day. Its a lonely empty feeling not having my dad around. I am a small contractor, but have projects from Bakersfield, CA to Texas and I know a lot of cattlemen in between. If you guys need anything, I\’d love to hear from you and see if I can help. I just donated a little money ($250) but can help in other ways too. I am sure you have things planed out, but I might be able to help. I have family friends in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. Not sure of your route, but let me know. I look forward to following your trip. Be safe and take care. Eugene A. Winter C# 661.331.2758
Name: Herb Hill
Your Story: I grew up in Nitro, West Virginia where agent orange was produced by Monsanto. There is a class action suit as the residents of this small town were exposed to this toxin for many years. I hope you will stop in this town as part of your ride.
Name: Toni Beckwith
Your Story: My uncle served 3 tours in Vietnam doing Military Intelligence. After he retired from thr Army in 1989 as a CW4, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. After several unsuccessful surgeries to remove the tumors,they just kept coming back. He died holding my hand in 1991. He is honored in the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame at Fort Huachuca Arizona. I\’m so proud of what he was able to accomplish in his life! But the look of pain and suffering as he died in front of me still stays with me. I would love to help you in some way. Please let me know how I could best help you with your mission!!
Name: Ron Sites
Your Story: I\’m a combat vet from the war in Vietnam. I served in war zone III from June 1969 to August 1970. I was in two infantry units serving as a grunt and spent about 12 months in the jungle. I slept on the ground, swam in bomb craters and drank water from bomb craters and,streams. I also served in a helicopter company as a door gunner for two months. I was diagnosed with MCL cancer in December 2016. Left untreated I would probably die in a year. With successful treatment I may live another 6to 8 years. Agent Orange cancers have killed a lot of my Vietnam brothers and will continue to kill them. There numbers will undoubtedly surpass the number of names on the wall. How could our country do this to us?
Name: Jan
Your Story: I am donating to your ride because of my baby brother, John, who passed away several years ago due to the effects of A.Orange after many years of severe pain and several surgeries. His wife and family appealed many times to the Veterans Association for assistance but was denied each time. No one nor their family should suffer so much because of their choice to fight for the country in which they were born. The best to you and your team. Stay safe. Sincerely, Jan Schott
Name: Erin Kline
Your Story: My father, Patrick Wells, served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam in 1970-1971. He returned, married my mom, and was an exceptional PE teacher for 30 years. He loved his kids, his students and eventually, his grandkids. He suffered from several illnesses associated from AO and his time in the service from peripheral neuropathy, severe arthritis, hearing loss, PTSD, atrial fibrillation and organ failure. He passed away in June 2016 from organ failure after cardiac arrest. AO slowly killed my father. I miss him so much! Not a day goes by that I don\’t think of him and shed tears. He should have had more time on this Earth
Name: Henry Huizenga
Your Story: I was sent to DaNang in December of 1972, I was there to start cleaning up our base to prepare it for turnover to the VNAF. we had to make trips up into the mountains to recover equipment, often under fire. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015. Currently in “watchful waiting” one of these days I will probably have to get the gland removed, but my life will go on. The AO was everywhere in Nam, to not be exposed is the exception rather than the rule!
Name: Kathy Owen
Your Story: I am doing this story for my husband Travis Owen, which as we speak is in the hospital tonight from a possible blood clot in his heart. My husband never had his “Boots” on the ground. He served in the Navy and was stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI. He loaded ships with the Agent Orange that were being shipped over seas to Nam. He got bathed in the chemical when one of the barrels was leaking. Upon his discharge, 10 yrs after he had a stroke and got diabetes type ll. I have now been married to Travis for 23 years and still going strong. But I am slowly watching him die. He doesn\’t have much longer to go. He now has Congestive Heart Failure, Ischemic Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Stage 4 liver Disease and Failure. Stage 3 Renal Failure (Kidneys) ,Atherosclerosis of Arteries, Coronary artery disease, and this is just to name a few. Today the doctors admitted him to the hospital down in Phoenix, thank God it\’s not the Phoenix VA! Admitted due to his heart and have him on blood thinners because of a possible blood clot, I will find out tomorrow. He\’s dying, doesn\’t have long before he\’s dead. Even his first born and only son was born with a defect to his legs and has problems walking and is on disability at 35 years of age due to being born with this defect. I hope and pray that you can get them to listen to you and your cause. You are an angel for fighting for our Vietnam Veterans! God Bless Kathy Owen Travis Owen-Navy
Name: msg. Carnell Landis ret.
Your Story: I am from Halifax Pa. and I spent total of tree years in Nam.. while on patrol in and around phu lam the chopers sprayed agent orange over head it was like rain I remember telling a medic back at base camp aout it and he told us tha he had it from a good sorce it would not hurt us and don\’t let it bother us well I now have parksons, lucky I have and exlent dr. at Hershey med center…good luck on your jurney and god bless you
Mary L Jasicki
Your Story: Hi! My prayers go with you as you travel for the benefit of the those exposed to Agent Orange. I believe the children of the Vietnam Vet are now suffering from this toxin as well. I am preparing an Agent Orange Awareness Performance for the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August.
Sgt. Thomas M. Dunne, USMC
Your Story: I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004. I served in South Vietnam from July 1969 to July 1970. I had a prostatectomy on November 10, 2004 (the Marine Corps Birthday!). I subsequently applied for a disability with the VAMC in Martinsburg, WV in 2015.wckHT
Darlene Humphrey
Your Story: My dad, Curtis Fleener was a Staff Sergent in the USAF. After Basic Training and being stationed in South Dakota he received orders to go to Anderson AFB in Guam. Dad served his country there from August of \’69 to March of \’71. While in Guam my dad loaded and unloaded barrel after barrel of this toxic chemical, which we do have pictures of. He also transported the empty barrels to the Naval Salvage Yard on the island. But the sad thing about it even after Dad was diagnosed with diseases such as Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, and Peripheral Neuropathy among others he was denied VA benefits from exposure to AO due to the Department of Defense not acknowledging that this deadly chemical was used in Guam. I absolutely believe otherwise. My dad told me and my son stories of being asked to stay in his barracks at night and ordered not to come out until morning. Upon awakening and stepping outside he said the vegetation was completely dead but it was not that way when he entered his barracks just the night before. Not only did it kill the vegetation but the small lizards were dead as well. How the DOD cannot acknowledge the use of AO on the island of Guam is beyond anything I can even understand. I do know there is currently a bill introduced by Congressman Dennis Ross of FL called the Foster Act that would allow Veterans who served in Guam among other areas to be able to access VA benefits due to the exposure of Agent Orange. I\’m not sure of it\’s status but my hope is that this bill will pass and my mom, will be given the benefits that my Dad should have been given while he was still with us. Yes, dad passed away just a little over three and a half years ago. What a great guy my dad was, just the best father a girl could ask for. Dad always went out of his way to help others. Dad took great pride in his service to his country. Colt, let me just say, what you are doing would just have made my dad so happy and even more proud to be a Veteran of the United States Air Force. I miss my dad so much but I take comfort in what your are doing and the many stories that have touched my heart in a way like no other. May God Bless you on your journey and to the many Vietnam Veterans, Thank you and welcome home. Best Regards, Darlene Humphrey
Orrie Molsby
Your Story: I served in Thailand and Korea from 1967-1968. The base in Thailand was Udorn. Agent Orange was sprayed during this time. I have Parkinson\’s, tremors, night terrors and memory loss. The VA has denied my claim of Agent Orange even though it was known to have been sprayed during this time.  My brother, a para trooper, has a similar story.
Name: Renee Brumley
Your Story: My husband Lawrence Brumley spent a year in Vietnam boots on the ground. He was Army infantry. Out of his platoon only 3 returned home. One has already passed from agent orange exposure. My husband suffers from these diseases due to agent orange exposure. Diabetes, nuerothapy, prostate cancer, lung cancer, non Hodgkin\’s lymphoma cancer, high blood pressure, ptsd, Chemo brain, heart failure, copd, very low potassium levels, low magnesium levels, low blood count. He is 100% service connected AFTER we had to fight the va system and prove boots on the ground!!! This took over 15 yrs to get to 100% sc. thank you so much for what you are doing!! The va system is so bad we cannot wait for or trust the va for care that we keep private insurance and owe large medical bills!! It is a disgrace how veterans are treated!!! We are in Oklahoma, or I would love to give you a hug and say thank you! Please thank your dad for his service and welcome home from my husband and I. Renee and Lawrence Brumley
Name: David Gautereaux
Your Story: April, 1971 – As an Air Force radio/radar intercept intelligence analyst, I began my assignment in Thailand. New barracks were being built at my assignment location, Ramasun Station, about 10 miles south of the Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. I stayed temporarily in barracks adjacent to the airstrip. The area around us had been sprayed with Agent Orange or other defoliant, known as the rainbow sprays, because of their different colors. The defoliant was used to keep vegetation at a minimum in order to provide no cover for sapper attacks. No matter which defoliant it was, all contained dioxin, which eventually negatively affected gene expression. In other words, some of our cells were doomed to become malignant at some future time. After a 2-3 week stay at Udorn, the barracks at Ramasun were ready. The barracks were wonderful – all new, air conditioned, and located just a 300 yard walk to the Operations Center we shared with Army intel guys. Our combined operations utilized a giant round antenna array, FLR 9, known as the elephant cage. During my year at Ramasun, extra activities included both football and baseball team games. I was on both the football and baseball teams for the Air Force. Little did we know that Agent Orange had been sprayed completely around the perimeter of the base, and inside the perimeter, around the elephant cage and the Operations Center, and the football and baseball fields were located on the perimeter. Dioxin was everywhere – to and from work every day, and on the sports fields. March 2006- I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. For the past 11 years I, with advice from my various medical teams, have gone through almost every imaginable treatment used to control the prostate cancer. To date there is no cure for prostate cancer, but research is getting closer to the cure. I have a stage 4, metastatic, aggressive form of prostate cancer. I am in a specialized 6-month treatment now, ending in July. Then we do the scans and blood tests and see where I am. I was approved for 100% disability through the VA in August of 2014. Had I known earlier about the VA system and the presumptive cause of prostate cancer being Agent Orange, I might have gotten coverage a few years earlier, but not much earlier than that. The use of Agent Orange at Udorn, Ramasun Station, and other military installations in Thailand was not recognized until 2012. The military had classified the use of defoliants in Thailand as Secret in 1973, declassified in 1989, but not released until 2012. It’s been a long road, but, just like Colt, Gus, and Kenny, I’m still enjoying each new day.
Name: Carla Dean
Your Story: My story is the story of my late husband. He served in the US Army as a volunteer right out of high school. The Army was his life, he loved it. His dad had been a career Army officer and that\’s what Jim wanted as well. He served in Vietnam from 2/2/68-10/1/69. This was during the \’68 TET offensive with some of the most vicious fighting of the war. Little did either of us dream that the government would have used anything that would harm our troops. But, they did in the form of Agent Orange and all the chemicals that were used to cause health issues down the road for the troops. Jim had odd things happen over the years after he was in Vietnam, but, we never connected them to his exposure. The herbicides were used to help our troops never would we dream that they might hurt them. Jim had skin issues that he didn\’t have before, he had odd things pop up that nobody could figure out. And, we went to good doctors. In July 2010 he was diagnosed with stage IV Bladder Cancer. That was when we thought could this be from his exposure? Just to make a very long story short, the IOM did recommend in both 2016 and in 2017 that Bladder Cancer be seriously considered as a presumptive. We are still waiting. My husband died a terrible death from not only bladder cancer that had metastasized but from DM2, he had profound peripheral neuropathy from this, he had bone on bone arthritis in one knee due to the shrapnel from an NVA grenade had gone into his knee joint, A fib that gave him a resting heart rate of 160 beats per minute. He was running a marathon while sitting. It is no wonder his body simply gave out on him. I am so proud of what Colt, Kenny and Gus are doing to create a better awareness of this issue! Words cannot thank them enough. When I get done here I will be making a donation to their gofundme.com site. They need the funds! Also, consider buying an orange bandana. It\’s all for the cause! Thanks, Men
Name: Lauren Lutz
Your Story: My dad served for a relatively short time during the Vietnam War, as part of the Air Force. He was stationed in Thailand. He has now been slowly dying for the last almost 10 years of early onset Alzheimer\’s, and recently developed Parkinson\’s as well. He had been healthy as a horse his whole life, and none of this has ever been in our family. It has been the most unimaginable thing for my mom, brother and I to go through, not to mention the suffering my dad has incurred. He has the lost the last nine years of his life to this, as have we. We just want him to be at peace now.
Name: PAUL HESS
Your Story: I WAS IN VIETNAM 66-67.HAD PROSTATE CANCER SURGERY IN CHICAGO IL. MOVED TO SOUTH CAROLINA. I NOW HAVE WALDENSTROM MACROGLOBULINEMIA. GOING THROUGH WITH CHEMO. DUE TO AGENT ORANGE.
Name: phillip zamudio
Your Story: Arrived in country january of 69. Shortly after arriving while undergoing weapons training near Phan Rang AFB perimiter we were showered by a aircraft flying over head. I was shirtless eating C-rats I was drenched as was my food. The NCO in charge said don\’t worry about it boys its only DDT. I finished my now tainted C-rats and completed training. During my tour While on perimiter guard I was again showered with AO many times. First applied for compensation in 74 . Compensation denied. Having recently reapplied I am awaiting VA decision. When I applied in 74 it was only for injuries sustained due to a TBI & PTSD. 40 years later add diabetes high blood pressure & NAFLD to the injuries sustained due tothe TBI & PTSD. I am one of the lucky ones. I live. So many have died. AND SO IT GOS……..