CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the Air Force
Reserve before his retirement in 2005, Terry Dillon served in Vietnam as
a member of the 14th Air Commando Wing at Nha Trang Air Base.
He was there for only one year, from June 1967 to June 1968, but it was long enough to potentially affect Dillon's health decades later.
Millions of Vietnam War veterans were exposed to Agent Orange, an herbicide that contained dioxin and
other dangerous toxins and potential cancer-causing agents. Throughout
the 1960s until 1971 in Vietnam (as well as in the Korean Demilitarized
Zone and, until 1975, in some parts of Thailand), the military used the
herbicide to wipe out the foliage and trees to impede the enemy's
ability to hide.
"Nobody thought a thing about it," said Dillon, 68, of suburban
Columbus. "Basically we knew they were defoliating the jungle areas, but
no one I talked to thought there was anything bad about the stuff.
"[Agent Orange] was the least of our worries, we would be hit with mortars and 122 mm rockets," he said.
In 1981, Dillon was diagnosed with and treated for testicular cancer,
but he didn't link his disease with exposure to Agent Orange.
READ MORE: http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2013/05/veterans_exposed_to_agent_oran.html