Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sharon Perry

Even when the letter came in 1984, Sharon Perry and her late husband, Reuben “Bud” Perry III, didn’t make any connection with Agent Orange. No red flags were raised about what was happening in their home, happening to him, happening to their daughters. The oldest, Danielle, would be sick all her life. The youngest, Lisbeth, would be diagnosed with autism — but not until she was 26. Lisbeth would have a son and he, too, would be diagnosed with autism. Bud would die in 2005 after many difficult years of dealing with the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
But in 1984, they stood in the kitchen, reading the letter about a class-action suit brought on behalf of veterans who may be suffering from the lingering effects of Agent Orange. They didn’t think it had anything to do with them.
“I’ll always remember standing in the kitchen and looking at one another and saying to him, ‘you’re not sick,’ ” she said.
She saved the letter anyway.


1 comment:

  1. I remember being in an in patient treatment program for PTSD in Hot Springs South Dakota VA. This was a few years ago.
    We sat in the group sessions, three times a week for seven weeks, and we talked. I listened to the stories of the nine other guys in my group.
    Every one of them had a story that put mine to shame. All of them had it worse or is having to endure worse symptoms and problems with themselves, and in some cases, their offspring. All of them were suffering and fighting with the VA and the bureaucracy of the decision makers for claims.
    Perry's story is that kind of story, and it makes me cringe that justice isn't there for everyone effected by these chemicals that the government knowingly used in societies name to promote death and destruction.
    I send prayers and good positive energy to all that suffer.
    When I told my story in that group, funny thing, all the guys thought they had it easy compared to me as i did about them.
    We are all Brothers and Sisters in this fight for truth and justice. I'll pray for that too.