Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Here We Go Again! - Don't let depleted uranium become another Agent Orange
On Aug. 24, my son died. His name was Aaron Barnes. He was 26 with a wife and two young children. He died of a very rare and extremely aggressive cancer called Sacramatoid Renal Sarcoma.
Aaron was a soldier. He joined the Army in response to 9/11. He served two tours in Iraq, a total of 26 months.
During his time in Iraq, he was exposed daily to depleted uranium. This is believed to have caused his cancer. Depleted uranium is everywhere in Iraq and Afghanistan, as leftover shrapnel from previous wars. Veterans of the current wars are coming home and getting sick with rare diseases at a much higher percentage than the general population.
Unfortunately, neither the U.S. Department of Defense nor the Veterans Administration are releasing this information or suggesting that returning soldiers be tested regularly, before symptoms become present.
It took several months for Aaron to be diagnosed. During that time, he repeatedly stated that it was from exposure to something in Iraq. When he was finally operated on and diagnosed, he lived four more months.
If you know a veteran from the current wars or are one yourself, please be hypervigilant about your health. Mention to your doctor that you were exposed to depleted uranium. My son may have had a chance if his doctors knew what they were dealing with.
Please don't let DU be this generation's Agent Orange. Write to your congressmen, senators, the Defense Department and VA, asking them to address this matter. Aaron was a casualty of war just as if he had been killed in combat.
I would also like to thank everyone who helped my son during his illness: Dr. McCarthy, Dr. Fishkin, the Cancer Care nurses, Graham Hospice, the hospital nurses and everyone who contributed to his children's educational fund. I especially want to thank the Legion and VFW members and the Patriot Guard Riders for providing a wonderful military service. Also, thank you to the Fairview Auxiliary for the great dinner following the funeral.
Kim Schisler is Aaron Barnes' mother and lives in Canton.
Aaron S. Barnes, 26, of 1465 E. Myrtle St. Canton, passed away Wednesday (Aug. 24, 2011) at 8:15 a.m. at his residence.
He was born Feb. 9, 1985, in Houston, Texas, the son of David Lynn Barnes and Kimberley Schisler. Aaron married Amanda Bowton on May 14, 2005 in Canton. She survives.
Also surviving are his mother, Kimberley Schisler of Canton; two children, Emmalynne Barnes and David Barnes, both at home; one brother, Corey Barnes of Peoria; maternal grandparents, Gale and Gloria Schisler of London Mills; maternal grandmother, Carolyn Stevens of Galesburg; paternal grandmother, Dalphna Barnes of Texas; father and mother in law, Tim and Tammy Bowton of Canton; one niece, Melody Barnes; and his grandmother-in-law, Bertha Newlan of Canton.
He was preceded in death by his father.
Aaron was a student at Spoon River College and had served in the U.S. Army as an E-3, serving two tours of duty in Iraq.
He was a member of both American Legion Posts 16 of Canton and 644 of Fairview.
Aaron was a loving father, husband, and friend to many and always brought a smile to everyone’s face.
Services will be Monday 1 p.m. at Murphy-Sedgwick Memorial Home, Canton, with visitation from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rev. Kevin VanTine will officiate. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Greenwood Cemetery, Canton.
Memorials may be made to an education fund for his children c/o Wells Fargo Bank of Canton.
To view Aaron’s memorial tribute or send online condolences, you may go to www.sedgwickfuneralhomes.com.