This month I got two of the most distressing pieces of news I could imagine. The first was a headline: US to use Galápagos island as a military airfield. The second came from my grandmother: two of our family friends are in the end stages of Agent Orange poisoning.
I’m from Guam; one of the countless islands of the Pacific used by the United States military as a base. At just 8 miles wide and 30 miles long, about a third of our island is covered by military installations with more build-up expected. My family and my community know all too well what being used as an airfield means. 52,000 veterans have organized into the group Agent Orange Survivors of Guam to lobby for benefits related to their exposure to the infamous herbicide while serving in the Pacific.