Agent Orange Day
August 10th, 2022, marks the 61st anniversary of the first use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.
The goal of the U.S. was to use Agent Orange to kill and defoliate vegetation in rural and forested land, depriving the enemy of food, cover and concealment, and clearing sensitive areas such as around military base perimeters.
Agent Orange was usually sprayed from helicopters or from low-flying C-123 Provider aircraft, fitted with sprayers and 1,000-gallon chemical tanks. Spraying was also done with trucks, boats, and backpack sprayers.
During the Vietnam War, the United States military sprayed over 20,000,000 gallons of Agent Orange. That is almost 364,000 fifty-five gallon barrels.
An estimated 39,000 square miles of agricultural land was ultimately destroyed and more than 20% of South Vietnam's forests were sprayed at least once over the ten-year period.
Before Agent Orange
After Agent Orange
While in Vietnam, our veterans were told not to worry about Agent Orange spraying and were persuaded that Agent Orange was harmless.
After returning home, Vietnam veterans began to suspect their ill health or the instances of their wives having miscarriages or children born with congenital disabilities might be related to Agent Orange, which they had been exposed to in Vietnam.
These veterans also started to develop Chronic B-Cell Leukemia, Diabetes Type 2, Hodgkin's Disease, Hormone Disruption, Ischemic Heart Disease, Multiple Myelomas, and other deadly diseases. The Veterans Administration began receiving claims related to Agent Orange exposure in 1977. It was not until The Agent Orange Act in 1991 that the Veterans Administration established the presumptive service connection for veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
Currently there is not a reliable medical test for Agent Orange or a treatment to prevent these diseases.
According to the VA more than 400,000 Vietnam veterans have died from illnesses associated with their exposure to Agent Orange. That number could be significantly higher because many veterans did not use the VA hospital as their primary medical provider. Thousands more servicemen are currently suffering and may lose their lives because of Agent Orange caused illnesses. There are 620,000 Vietnam veterans with families alive today and most of these veterans have been exposed to Agent Orange. Since Agent Orange vapors can travel in the atmosphere for long distances, it can poison the food supply, as well as contaminate the water supply. If you stepped foot in Vietnam during the war you were probably exposed to it.
We have to save our remaining veterans and their children
We must bring Agent Orange exposures used by our military to the forefront. The public and our leaders must be reminded that the Agent Orange issues still exist and that we desperately more serious research to be done to combat these illnesses before they claim more veteran’s and their children's lives.
We must make sure that our military will never use toxic chemicals ever again.