| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Agent Orange's aftermath

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Letter to the Editor
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Friendly fire in combat occurs because of misdirection and/or errors in identifying friendly and enemy forces. Often friendly fire is investigated by higher authority. Attempts are made to better identify between friendly and enemy troops.

The grim outcome of friendly fire ranges from unintentional injury to death.

Weapons used in wartime come in many forms other then conventional. One such weapon is chemical. The most recognizable chemical weapon used during the Vietnam War was tactical herbicides. These were used to defoliate the forests and jungles, affording the enemy fewer places to hide and to reduce the enemy's food supply. The most common was Agent Orange, the most deadly of the so-called rainbow of herbicides.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has concluded that exposure to Agent Orange can cause health hazards that may be crippling and life-threatening. The Institute of Medicine reports Agent Orange can cause serious diseases. This undermines previous statements by the Department of Defense, stating that Agent Orange is relatively nontoxic. Therefore, it took no precautions to prevent exposure, as stated by the U.S. comptroller general in November 1979.

Tactical herbicides as chemical weapons were authorized and deliberately used, causing illness and death among our troops. This is not friendly fire but deliberate fire by use of chemical weapons.

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 affected by Agent Orange poisoning.

John J. Bury


The writer is a U.S. Navy Vietnam War veteran.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Letters

  1. Can’t believe ATI statements
  2. The pope & child abuse
  3. Good for seniors
  4. Pope & peace
  5. Honoring a brother
  6. Refugees ruse?
  7. Pipelines to the future
  8. Debating the ‘doom’
  9. Tick carriers
  10. VA denies benefits
  11. The Vick ‘rub’