butterfly ---
there are no leaves to land on
this year


Agent Orange, a powerful herbicide/defoliant, was regularly sprayed by
American aircraft on selected jungles and rice fields in South Vietnam
between 1962 and 1971. It was used to defoliate areas the enemy inhabited; and the crops serving as their food supply. Agent Orange trans-formed sprayed areas into grotesque wastelands. All in all, eleven million
gallons were sprayed. It is a highly toxic chemical compound that can
cause severe health problems such as spinal bifida, diabetes, and cancer.
I was stationed in an area that was heavily sprayed. I have not been
affected so far by any of the after effects. I know of veterans who haven’t been as lucky. Their health has suffered. So has the health of some of their children. Veterans hospitals in the U.S. offer testing for symptoms
related to Agent Orange exposure and pay those affected a monthly
settlement. They also cover medical expenses. I wonder how many thousands of civilians living in the sprayed regions were affected? Do they have any medical recourse?






Vietnam Ruminations - Robert D. Wilson
Copyright Robert D. Wilson, 2003