Agent Orange/dioxin has killed more Americans than al-Qaida, the
Islamic State, Boko Haram, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard combined.
It has managed to do this without any significant action from our
government to stop the slaughter of American veterans and their
Currently two bills, Senate Bill 901 and House
Resolution 1769, the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015, languish in
Congress because those we elect choose to ignore the simple fact that
Agent Orange/dioxin is injuring and killing people 40 years after the
Vietnam War ended.
It is now 50 years since our “official” entry
into the war in Vietnam on Nov. 14, 1965, when elements of the 1st Air
Cavalry Division engaged a superior North Vietnamese force in the Ia
Drang Valley. Gen. Hal Moore and journalist Joe Galloway chronicled this
battle in the book “We Were Soldiers Once and Young,” subsequently made
into the Mel Gibson film “We Were Soldiers.”
What are we waiting for?
1983, scholar Fred Wilcox penned a book titled “Waiting for an Army to
Die” about the tragedy of Agent Orange/dioxin. In it, the author quotes a
young Vietnam veteran, 28-year-old Paul Reutershan, who told the
“Today” show in spring 1978, “I died in Vietnam, but I didn’t even know
This was only three years after we left Vietnam. He died
less than six months later from the cancer that had destroyed his colon,
liver and abdomen.
These two bills are very simple in their
effort to address the crisis of birth defects in the children,
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of those men and women who served
our nation in Vietnam.