Step up for Agent Orange vets
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Friendly fire in combat operations occurs due to misdirection and errors in distinguishing between friendly and enemy forces. Incidences have occurred in the use of all weapon types in wartime.
Often the incident of friendly fire is investigated by higher authorities. This hopefully results finding ways to better identify friendly and enemy troops. The grim outcome of friendly fire ranges from injury to death, albeit unintentionally.
Weapons used in war come in many forms, including unconventional. One such weapon is the use of chemicals and the most recognizable chemical weapon used during the Vietnam War was various types of herbicides used to defoliate the forests and jungles to eliminate enemy hiding places and lessen food supply. The most common was Agent Orange, which contained dioxin — a deadly compound.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has concluded presumptive exposure to Agent Orange can cause crippling and life-threatening health conditions. This undermines previous statements by the U.S. Defense Department stating Agent Orange is relatively nontoxic to humans and took no precautions to prevent exposure.
The use of these herbicides as a chemical weapon caused — and continues to cause — illness and death among our troops on land, at sea and in the air.
This does not fit the definition of friendly fire. Our government should be held responsible and accountable for its actions.
Congress needs to recognize this by passing a non-loophole law affording care and compensation to all Vietnam veterans who are infected with Agent Orange poisoning.
Media, Delaware County
The writer is a retired from the U.S. Navy, a Vietnam veteran and a veterans activist.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Shortchanging military
- Touching film
- Economics dissent
- Term limits’ limits
- Kiski board ignores taxpayers
- She’ll be missed
- School staffers’ challenge
- Do it or shut up