Friday, May 16, 2014

Vietnam vets push for research, treatment of Agent Orange illnesses
CINCINNATI — Dave Maier didn’t believe he had tennis elbow.
The 71-year-old Vietnam War veteran had taken 16 aspirin a day for weeks — and then years — until his doctor found the true cause of Maier’s pain: soft-tissue sarcoma — a rare type of cancer that has been found in Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
That’s why Maier, of Bay Village near Cleveland, traveled to Cincinnati yesterday to attend a town-hall meeting hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America. Held nationwide, the organization’s Faces of Agent Orange meetings are meant to garner support for a U.S. Senate bill that would pay for research into toxic chemicals’ effects on soldiers and their children.
Between 1962 and 1971, U.S. forces sprayed approximately 20 million gallons of dioxin-containing herbicides on more than 6 million acres in Vietnam, the organization says.
The chemicals — one of them known as Agent Orange — are expected to cause health problems for veterans and their children and grandchildren for at least five to seven generations.
More than 2.5 million Americans served in the war.
A few weeks after his diagnosis, doctors amputated Maier’s left arm to save his life. Now, he worries for his three children.
Two of them were born with abnormally large heads, he said, but don’t seem to suffer any serious health problems.

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