Tom Owen doesn’t have side effects from being exposed to the defoliant commonly called Agent Orange during his time in Vietnam, but he is fighting for the thousands of families affected by the toxic chemical.
Owen will travel to Washington, D.C., next Wednesday and has a full schedule of meetings planned with members of the Senate and House, talking about the health effects caused by exposure to toxins and lobbying for the passing of House Resolution 1769 and Senate Bill 901.
“These bills would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to allocate a portion of the money spent annually on research issues for the study of health effects caused by Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals,” Owen said. “It’s not just the veterans, it’s the health effects of their children and grandchildren. This stuff affects DNA.”
Owen said about $250 million is budgeted each year for research projects.
Owen will travel with John Birch, Region 8 director of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and they will meet Mokie Porter, communications director for the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Owen said 183 members of Congress and 28 Senators have signed on to support the bills.
“This is really about future generations, not so much us old guys,” Owen said. “We don’t want our current military men and women, or their children, affected by this stuff.”