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Letter: Tell senators to help veterans exposed to Agent Orange

November 01, 2018 - 7:39 am

I am a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. I suffer from five different illnesses associated with Agent Orange exposure.

Naysayers say we are still using the same chemical to spray for weeds in our fields. That is partly true, with the exception that the Agent Orange used in Vietnam was contaminated with dioxin.

Dioxin is one of the chemicals that is not even questioned as a contributor to many different cancers. The government knowingly used it because it was cheaper for the companies to give it to the military than to dispose of it environmentally.

There is a bill authored by Rep. Tim Walz to include blue water Navy veterans as being exposed to AO. This bill passed the House, but the Senate has failed to even hear it in committee. The reason for this is our war-mongering president is pushing back hard. He claims to be the super patriot and advance the budget of the Defense Department, but when it comes to paying the past cost of going to war, he is AWOL.

I assisted Seasons Hospice in starting a support group for all veterans. We meet about twice a month. The one common theme that is predominant is the military does a great job of preparing the men to kill, but a really poor job of preparing them to deal with the killing.

The government needs to take care of the veterans, or we won’t have the No. 1 military in the world. Talk to your senators and satisfy a long-ignored obligation. Veterans are dying every day!

Buzz Christison, Plainview

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