There were a lot of
young veterans with missing limbs at the 1982 national gathering of the
Vietnam Veterans of America in Washington.
At first, Ken Wunder figured they were all casualties of enemy fire.
He was wrong. Some were casualties of Agent Orange.
"A lot of them that were there had limbs missing from cancer caused by
Agent Orange," said Wunder, an Army veteran who attended as a
representative of the then-new Berks County Vietnam Veterans of America
The U.S. sprayed millions of gallons of chemical herbicides in Vietnam
and other combat-related areas during the war to remove foliage that
might hide enemy soldiers.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Agent Orange - named
for the orange identifying stripe on its 55-gallon storage drums - was
the most widely used substance.
It was sprayed from 1962 to 1971 during "Operation Ranch Hand." Ever
since then, it has been a major health issue for veterans, their spouses
and even their children.
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