Friday, November 20, 2015

Interview a Vietnam Veteran With ProPublica and StoryCorps
This summer, ProPublica and our partners at The Virginian-Pilot asked Vietnam-era veterans to help us investigate the generational impact of Agent Orange exposure by sharing their stories with us. More than 3,400 people have done so, including nearly 600 spouses, sons and daughters of veterans. Many of these relatives are concerned that their veteran's health problems — and sometimes their own — may be tied to wartime exposure to the toxic chemicals.
Mary said she believes her husband Robert's health issues — which include Parkinson's disease – are connected to Agent Orange. Robert served as an Army nurse in 1967 and 1968 in Da Nang, Vietnam.
"Robert worked in evacuation hospitals on the front lines," Mary wrote. "He met and helped evacuate the wounded from the medical helicopters, removed their contaminated clothing and prepared them for surgical procedures."
Tamara suspects her father Stanley's heart and neurological issues are tied to his service in the Army's 25th Infantry Division, which also operated in Da Nang.
"My father explains about being completely covered in Agent Orange during his tour in Vietnam," Tamara wrote. "He was in constant contact with the ground and foliage. He suffers from severe [pulmonary disease] and is oxygen dependent due to breathing Agent Orange and living IN IT!"
Four decades after the fall of Saigon, these families and many other Vietnam veterans are struggling with health problems they say are related to Agent Orange.

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