Local veterans share stories about how chemical has impacted their lives, lives of childrenVietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange have battled cancer, liver damage and other serious health problems.
But their exposure to Agent Orange also has caused birth defects and health problems in their children and grandchildren, according to the Vietnam Veterans of America.
The national organization is working to educate Kansans about Agent Orange, a defoliant deployed during the Vietnam War.
The organization has scheduled three Agent Orange town hall meetings for the month of March, including one March 16 at the Prairie Band Casino and Resort, 12305 150th Road in Mayetta.
“This is very important,” said Blas Ortiz, president of VVA Chapter 604 in Topeka. “A lot of the guys who served over there don’t know. They have been doing a lot of studies where they think this may affect seven generations down the road.”
Ortiz, of Delia, was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago. His daughter also has battled cancer, said Ortiz, a combat veteran who served in the Marines in Vietnam from 1964-66.
At least 3 million veterans served in Southeast Asia, and it isn’t known how many of the veterans were exposed to Agent Orange, according to information provided by VVA. Some of the veterans were deployed in areas during and immediately after spraying operations, while other veterans handled Agent Orange and did the spraying.
READ MORE: http://cjonline.com/news/2014-03-02/vietnam-veterans-america-host-agent-orange-town-hall-meetings