Friday, March 22, 2013

Agent Orange still 'killing' Vietnam War veterans

Sen. Jerry Moran pins the Bronze Star on Patrick “Mike” Ramsey
in a ceremony at the Clay Center American Legion. 
Mar 21, 2013 (Menafn - Clay Center Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Vietnam veteran Patrick "Mike" Ramsey, who flew helicopters, said he is one of the "new victims" of the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War was one of the most controversial and longest wars in US history, Ramsey said, but yet Vietnam veterans were "chastised and humiliated" when they came home, Ramsey said. "We went to war as our fathers did, we raised our right hand for allegiance and defense of the Constitution," he said.
Ramsey told Lions Club members on Tuesday he is dying of Parkinson's Disease, a disease Veteran Affairs recognizes in veterans as associated with Agent Orange exposure during military service. An Institute of Medicine report released in 2009 found "suggestive but limited" evidence of an elevated risk for Parkinson's and heart disease for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange, a herbicide used by the military during the war.
The US lost about 50,000 troops killed in combat Vietnam from 1961 to 1973, Ramsey said.
"Since that time we've lost 40,000 to 60,000 troops to Agent Orange," he said. "I'm a victim of Agent Orange, I'm dying from it. There's nothing I can do about it."
He said when Agent Orange was used in Vietnam, troops were told "it was perfectly safe."
Ramsey shared a video presentation of images from the Vietnam, with songs about the war.
About Agent Orange
"Agent Orange" is actually code names for two herbicide that were used -- Herbicide Orange (HO) and Agent LNX, among the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its chemical warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971.
Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects as a result of its use, according to a 2008 report by The Globe. The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that up to 1 million people are disabled or have health problems due to Agent Orange, according to a 2012 report by CCN.
A 50:50 mixture of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D, it was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical.
The 2,4,5-T used to produce Agent Orange was later discovered to be contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), an extremely toxic dioxin compound.
___ (c)2013 the Clay Center Dispatch (Clay Center, Kan.) Visit the Clay Center
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