sat behind a stack of her husband's medical records at her spotless
town house and told how wounds from the Vietnam War ate away at the man
she loved for nearly 50 years.
The Malta woman met Robert Cesare on his birthday in a Troy nightclub in 1965, the year he graduated from Colonie's Shaker High School
and enlisted in the Army to fight in Vietnam. After 13 months in the
war zone, he came home a changed man on St. Patrick's Day in 1967.
Over the following decades, he suffered from cysts and boils on his
body and post traumatic-combat stress that nearly tore his family apart.
He sought disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange — a blend of
chemicals used by U.S. armed forces in Vietnam to eliminate foliage
that provided cover for the enemy — but the Department of Veterans Affairs repeatedly rejected his claims until days before he died, according to records.