Journal of the Vietnam Veterans Institute

Volume 6, Numbers 1-4, 1997

"If we who served and those who were otherwise involved do not, through our words and deeds, challenge the revisionist history, a generation of young American fighting men will be forever denigrated and a vital chapter in our national history will be remembered erroneously through a dark cloud of neglect."

J. Eldon Yates
Chairman of the Board
and Founder, VVI

Contents

 

INTRODUCTION

 

By R.W. Trewyn, Ph.D., Associate Vice Provost for Research,
Professor of Biology, Kansas State University

Chapter One

AGENTS ORANGE, WHITE AND BLUE-NEW DISCLOSURES, A COMBAT SOLDIER'S REASEARCH... 5

APPENDIX I Cancer rates by Year Group/Company
APPENDIX II Miscarriages and Children with Birth Defects
APPENDIX III Tapes Spray Data
APPENDIX IV Nine Unreported Facts

By LTC Patrick H. Dockery, USAR (Ret)

Chapter Two

TEACHING THE VIETNAM WAR TO GENERATION X............................................................... 77

By Jenny Thompson

 

Captain Patrick H. Dockery, "C" Company Commander, 5th Battalion 7th Cavalry, in the middle of a landing zone (LZ) created by a 25,000 pound bomb delivered by a C-130 Hercules Aircraft. LZ was North of Tay Ninh City, Tay Ninh Province near the Cambodian Border. Time was 1970, just before the Cambodian Invasion.

AGENTS ORANGE, WHITE AND BLUE - NEW DISCLOSURES
A COMBAT SOLDIER'S RESEARCH

BY LTC Patrick H. Dockery, USAR (Retired)
Board of Directors, VVI

 

The herbicides used in South Vietnam are most often referred to as "Agent Orange." This general and common use of the term is misleading. There were actually fifteen (15) different types of herbicides used from January 1962 to September 1971, when all herbicide use was discontinued.[1] The total volume sprayed has been stated in amounts ranging between 17-19.4 million gallons. Of this amount there are three of the herbicides that comprise the bulk of spray missions. They are Agents Orange, Agent White and Agent Blue.

Agent Orange was the most widely sprayed . Over 11 million gallons, were sprayed in Vietnam with 5.6 millionconcentrated within the III Corps Tactical area, an area located just North of Saigon and extending all the way to the Highlands.[2,3]  Agent Orange was a fifty-fifty mixture of two herbicides: one was 2,4-D, a common herbicide in use today; the other chemical was 2,4,5-T. During the manufacture process for 2,4,5-T, a contaminant, a dioxin identified as 2,3,7,8-Tetrachloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin (or TCDD as it is better known) became an unwanted by-product and could not be removed. This dioxin does not occur naturally in the environment. The history and medical problems associated with the use of 2,4,5-T and its contaminant TCDD were so bad that in 1983 the Environmental Protection Agency instituted a mandatory recall and destruction of all quantities of the commercial production of the herbicide.[10,14] There have been at least 17 studies completed on experimental animals that demonstrate that use of any chemicals containing TCDD lead to increased tumor occurrence in multiple sites in the human body.[14] It is a carcinogen for both sexes. Even though animal studies are universally recognized as valid evidence for human cancer risk, the Department of Veteran's Affairs (DVA), formerly known as Veteran's Administration, does not allow consideration of animal studies.[57] Why not?

Probably because, it means they would have to accept new medical technology that would directly refute the old rules and ways of dealing with health hazards. By doing it this way, the DVA is applying a wait till they die, then analyze the results protocol. 2,4-D, the other half of Agent Orange, was not then-- nor is it now-- a harmless chemical.  The product today carries the "DANGER" signal word on its label indicating that it is highly toxic. This is because 2,4-D has produced serious eye and skin irritation among agricultural workers.[5] All the literature I have been able to examine indicates that, only recently, has the production of 2,4-D been manufactured as "contaminant free", whatever that is supposed to mean.[5,7,8,9 ] Controversy exists over the association of the chemical and findings of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, particularly amongst farmers in Kansas and Nebraska. "It is an interesting fact, that only when a chemical is recognized as a health hazard or as harmful to the environment, does extensive testing and funding become available".[55] To this day, disclosure by the chemical companies of all inert chemicals or contaminants found in herbicides used in Vietnam has not occurred.

Enough evidence is available, however, to support the suggestion that 2,4-D causes reproductive effects at moderate doses in animals. 2,4-D residues may occur in raw or finished drinking-water supplies. Agent White was also a two part solution. Its technical name was Tordon 101 and was made from Picloram and 2,4-D again. [15,16] Tordon 101 was registered as a chemical by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 14, 1963. Five and a half million gallons of White were sprayed Vietnam-wide with 3.7 Million in III Corps (large military area located just North of Saigon). We know 2,4-D, is not an innocent bystander. Picloram, the other chemical component is now listed by the EPA as a hazard to non-target organisms such as plants, both crop and non-crop. It is considered persistent and capable of leeching into ground water systems. Picloram as a specific chemical, withno mention of its contaminants, is considered only slightly toxic for humans and requires the signal word "Caution" on its label. It is a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) in the United States. Restricted Use Pesticides may be purchased and used only by certified applicators. Consuming Picloram at high levels over a long period of time has been shown to result in damage to liver, thyroid, testes and arteries--and possible infertility in animal studies. Let us not forget, that the DVA does not allow consideration of animal studies. There is no documented history of human intoxication by Picloram so symptoms of acute exposure are difficult to characterize. It has been shown that an additive effect can be seen when sheep are given moderate amounts of Picloram with slightly larger amounts of 2,4-D over a five-day period. (The combination was fatal to the sheep even when Picloram did not produce overt signs of toxicity.) Remember that the mix fed to the sheep was the same chemicals found in Agent White or Tordon 101.

What has not been shown is that the manufacturing process for Picloram also produces a contaminant within the chemical solution, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB).[21,22,29] This chemical has been banned in the United States as a probable human carcinogen [20], and it easily enters any aquifer system and remains persistent in that media. In Canada, one of a few countries to perform its own chemical testing in national laboratories, has within the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) linked HCB to carcinogenicity. As a result HCB may be the first pesticide classified into Group I category, ie. that the agent is carcinogenic to humans.[56]

According to the EPA chemical registration data sheets, about half of Tordon 101 was active ingredients.[15]   Hexachlorobenzene is not listed. In actual practice, pesticide manufacturers decide what to call inert and what to designate as an active ingredient subject to EPA regulation.....By law, inert ingredients are not listed on Pesticide product labels. Only active ingredients are listed on labels. Furthermore, government officials are forbidden by law from revealing the inert ingredients in Pesticide products. Inert ingredients are confidential information.[23]

Confidential from whom? Use of mass spectrometers by rival chemical companies makes the kinds and amounts of ingredients of any chemical a momentary hinderance. The vast amount of the registration documents on pesticides are assessed by the registration authority only, they are not peer-reviewed...[55] To the Public and Vietnam Veterans however, this secrecy continues to be the basis for belief that our government has the information and scientific studies to demonstrate the true dangers of the herbicides. Big money talks. Chemicals are a 12 Billion dollar a year business.

Manufacturing process of Tordon 101 for Vietnam produced a cheaply made contaminated product. Contaminated then and now. In fact the manufacturer of Picloram (an active ingredient of Tordon 101), has been working since 1984 to reduce the concentration of Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) found in the chemical.[22]   In water, HCB is persistent and has been found to penetrate the earth to a depth of 30 meters. HCB, the contaminant in Picloram degrades to become Pentachlorophenol in hydrosoil."[24] Penta (as it is sometimes abbreviated), is a very toxic compound that accepts skin penetration as the most dangerous route of exposure.[25] Major targets of Pentachlorophenol toxicity are the liver, kidneys, blood, lungs, immune system, gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. Toxic effects occur at low doses. [25,28] There is a latency of many years between exposure and diagnosis. [26] This chemical accumulates in tissues, particularly muscle, bone marrow and fat. [26]

Neither HCB or Pentachlorophenol have been discussed, mentioned or formally studied by any governmental agency as an issue affecting Vietnam Veterans. Yet over 5.7 million gallons of Agent White, a.k.a. Tordon 101 was used on troops, their maneuver areas and water supply systems.

Agent Blue was Cacodylic Acid, an arsenic herbicide. Over 1 million gallons were sprayed, with at least 287 thousand of it in III Corps.[3,32] Cacodylic Acid is toxic by inhalation and moderately toxic by ingestion. Exposure affects a variety of organ systems: the kidney, liver, heart, digestive tract and central and peripheral nervous systems. It carries a Level Four, "Extreme" warning label identifying it as a cancer causing chemical on its label. This herbicide is also considered a poison, with the capability to kill.[30,31]

It should be noted that all the information on the herbicide chemical components presented here is based on singular testing of the specific chemical. Each has its own damning characteristics. Each had its unique combinations of inert ingredients within the formulas that even today is protected from disclosure to the general public. Herbicide Tapes Spray Data [36] validate that combinations of, and repeated spraying of the same coordinates with Agents Orange, White and Blue did occur. I found this strange, as any farmer who uses herbicides knows that you cannot use different brands of herbicide near or in close proximity to each other. To do so, will cause him/her to be subject to possible fines and potential loss of their license or authorization to purchase and use any chemicals on the farm. Yet our government did just that.

    My research found no studies that examined what the synergistic effect is of combinations of Agents Orange, White and Blue. More importantly no studies exist on the effect that inert ingredients had on the environment and most importantly the human body.

Synergism is the effect that chemicals have in combination with each other. It is an unexplored area in the use of herbicides in Vietnam. The National Research Council (NRC) has recently concluded that simply adding up the individual toxicities was the way to handle combinations. NRC said this approach would underestimate the toxicity of combinations of chemicals no more than 10-fold. ...The new study published in SCIENCE throws the NRC's conclusion into a cocked hat. ...The new study shows that combinations of tw o or three common pesticides, found at low levels that might be found in the environment, are up to 1600 times as powerful as any of the individual pesticides themselves.[34] Again it appears that our government with inadequate experimentation and knowledge of the "synergistic effects" of multiple chemicals, has allowed their use in and on the combat soldiers following the orders of their government. Let us get beyond the "Agent Orange" monocular view of Vietnam.

Synergism is not a myth. Its possibility and importance, as it affects all Vietnam Veterans is not being addressed. Testing to demonstrate "synergism" or lack there of, would be tremendously expensive and time consuming. After all, isn't what this is about; the concern over what it will cost in mega-dollars to our nation and not what is the truth or a moral action by our government..

About a year ago, I began a mail-in survey on members of my battalion from Vietnam. The survey (which is still ongoing) is examining miscarriage rates, birth defects, individual soldier cancers and family member cancers resulting from exposure to Agent Orange, White and Blue while serving in Vietnam.

Inside my study, I was initially able to identify troop movements and locations for my battalion in II Corps (a different zone located further north of Saigon) from September 1966 through December 1967. In comparing battalion location data to the Air Force Tapes data on spray missions, it was not difficult to correlate one to the other. Even in this small study area, I was able to identify repeated aircraft spray missions that showed two of the three agents (Orange, White, or Blue) sprayed on the same day, in equal gallon amounts and on the same map coordinates.

With more data, I was able to expand my work to two specific time frames for comparison of battalion locations against spray data (Tapes) . These were the August 1966 to December 1967, and November 1969 to February 1970 periods. While I am not an expert, by just using an EXCEL spreadsheet application, I have been able to identify both the areas and approximately the amounts sprayed during both time frames.Recently I identified a third time frame, July 1970 to March 71, but have not yet completed the spray data calculations. Why can’t the CDC do the same thing? The truth is, they have done such a study, but it went unpublished. CDC scientists analyzed 21 of 50detailed computer tapes developed by the U.S Army and Joint Services Environmental Support Group (ESG) on battalion and company movements in South Vietnam between 1966-1968. All units were located in the III Corps Tactical Zone.[37]

After testing two dozen different rating systems, including one that looked at units within one kilometer and one day of Agent Orange spraying, the CDC found it was possible to correlate the information with consistent results. Out of 21 Battalions examined, seven always were ranked "high" in exposure and seven others consistently ranked "low". This study though unpublished, had the information included in a February 1985 Report, to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). After five years of research and the expenditure of millions of public dollars, CDC in 1988 announced that there was not enough information to correlate troop deployments and records of spray missions.[37] Always remember an unpublished study is not subject to peer review and questioning on the results obtained, good or bad.

So what then made my initial two study time periods different? In looking at spray data I found approximately 280,000 gallons of Orange, White and Blue sprayed in the II Corps area where the battalion operated during August 66--September 67. For the second time period (November 69-February 70) the unit was at a place called Phouc Vinh. During this time period 483,336 gallons of Orange, White and Blue were sprayed. Phouc Vinh however, can also be called "Ground Zero" for spray missions. From 1966-1971 over 3,170,000 gallons of herbicides were sprayed on the immediate surrounding area. In 1969 alone over 1.2 million gallons were sprayed in an area that represented about an 80 to 100 kilometer semicircle extending north from Phouc Vinh. Airforce spray maps show that every square inch of the identified area was sprayed that year alone. The sprayed area was our maneuver area. We ate with, slept on and breathed the dirt, which had to have been heavily contaminated. Since water flows downhill and toward the sea, water coming out of this area had to have become part of our source of water obtained from Phouc Vinh.

Water in my opinion is one of the key factors in individual contamination. In the 66-67 group, the cavalry battalion had not yet mastered the techniques of delivering clean water to the troops in the field. Because of this, while in the field, the troops took their water from whatever source was available. All of these sources had been sprayed. By ingesting the water, they were processing Agents Orange, White and Blue directly into their bodies.

Phouc Vinh was a very large basecamp. Consider that at least every square inch, sometimes repeatedly, of at least a 100-kilometer area extending outward in all directions from Phouc Vinh was sprayed during the period 1965 to 1970. These were the areas we patrolled. They were totally void of vegetation, with the ground and dust heavily laced withthe consistent spraying of herbicides. Ground water tables were high in the Phouc Vinh landscape. Water moved so freely through our surrounding sandy soil base, that it was capable of displacing land mines in adjacent minefields and moving them three or more feet during any heavy rainstorm. Herbicide mixes, some of which were persistent and water soluble, logically had to be constantly present in all water systems supporting Phouc Vinh. While a filtration system may have removed some of the contamination, we were still drinking water laced with herbicides. There were no testing capabilities for the herbicide contaminants present in the water, available in Vietnam. The earliest that such testing to include the necessary test equipment becoming available was in the middle to late 1970time frame. You did not have to enter the defoliated area to enjoy the benefits of Dioxins, you could just suck up the results from your local Vietnam spigot. No bugs or critters in the water, but Dioxin, Hexachlorobenzene?

Just recently the Air Force released another update on the results of its famous "Ranch Hand" Study. "Ranch Hand" was the code name, which specifically referred to the C-123 aircraft herbicide-spraying project. The ongoing study looked at the continuing effects of herbicide on the crew-members, who actually flew the C123 aircraft that did the spraying. The results show some new and statistically significant findings. Some of these are Cardiovascular Mortality (Ischemic Heart Disease and selected peripheral pulse deficit), increase in incidences of Diabetes II, serum lipid abnormality (elevated liver enzymes, cholesterol, triglycerides and Cholesterol-HDL readings are affected) and strong indications of immune suppression.[38]

The Air Force earlier had completed a study on birth defects amongst the "Ranch Hand" Airman. This study strongly indicated increased problems of "Ranch Hand" personnel and their children compared to the control group. This study has also gone unpublished.[39]

In December 1995, a very relevant study was published based on human exposure to herbicides in a chemical manufacturing plant in Germany. The study cohort consisted of 1189 male workers over the period 1952 to 1984, when the plant was shut down. Comparison was made to 2528 workers at a gas company located nearby who were not exposed to dioxins in their employment. It is considered significant because it was based on actual serum blood levels and not any correlation to tested animals. Results mirror those of the Air Force. Conclusions also indicate a strong dose-dependent relation between mortality due to Cancer, Diabetes II, Liver enzymes, and ischemic heart diseases in relation to the level of exposure to polychlorinated Dioxins and Furans (found in Herbicides).[11,12,40,41]

All the studies I found agree that Dioxins enter the body by either ingestion, inhalation or dermal (skin) absorption. Percentages calculated in one study were:  25% to 29 % by inhalation, 20% to 26 % ingestion of contaminated soil, , 50% to 80 % ingestion of contaminated food, such as fish and only 3% skin absorption. No figures were found to show the effects of drinking contaminated water, which enters the digestive track directly. In the heat and humidity of the jungle, almost all water that is drunk goes through the bodyto be processed as sweat and very little else is available to provide elimination of the contaminants as a waste product. Were the herbicides capable of entering the water systems? Clearly most were, and indeed it was true for the contaminants and inert chemicals.

Food and Drug Administration studies indicate that drinking water is not a significant exposure source, outside areas that have been sprayed with herbicides. But what about water inside or coming directly from the area sprayed? The relationship of drinking water to Vietnam Veterans and the fact that we operated in sprayed areas and drank the water from those areas has yet to be acknowledged. Troops in the field either carried extra water or obtained it when and where ever it could be found, even if it was a putrid shell hole. Water supplied from the rear, was processed by water treatment personnel. It too, however came from the surrounding rivers, local streams or from shallow wells, whose aquifer was fed by the same contaminated streams flowing through the areas we patrolled.

Another dimension to the dilemma is the question on what happened to the empty barrels of herbicide? Were they cut in half and used in the outdoor type latrines? Or were they used again to move fuels from rear areas to forward or field locations? In either case, any residues in the containers would be burned either to destroy the human waste or as exhaust from contaminated fuel burned in vehicle engines. It is a scientific fact, that burning dioxin intensifies the effect on the environment by creating a more concentrated release of the dioxin. It is also possible that these containers were used as shower tanks. If this is true, then our troops as they bathed, brushed their teeth or shaved were using dioxin tainted water.

Nothing has been said about those soldiers that sprayed defoliants surrounding their basecamps. Because of the lack of concern by commanders, many if not all of these sprayings cannot be documented. Yet soldiers wearing back pack sprayers, truck and or boat mounted larger sprayers handled, breathed the mist, and became directly exposed to whatever chemical they were applying. Surveys and studies can be easily skewed by excluding or including, mutually exclusive kinds of data. Simply put, data is available to clearly demonstrate relationships between the spraying of herbicides in South Vietnam and problems being experienced by the veterans who served there. Consider the following: 

a. Over 2,584,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam.[42]   The Department of Veteran's Affairs (DVA) has less then 600,000 Vietnam Veterans registered in their Agent Orange database. To date, they have not published any statistics concerning answers to their survey questions and their medical test results.

b.  During the Vietnam-era (Aug 5, 1964- -May 7, 1975) 8,744,000 personnel were on active duty.[42]

c. Of the 2.6 million personnel stationed in Vietnam only about 20 percent  actually served in the first echelon combat arms (Infantry, Armor, Artillery, etc.) where they regularly pursued and engaged the enemy on the ground in areas that were subject to spraying.[42] This then provides a potential data base of about 520,000 soldiers that are at extreme risk as a result of potential exposure to Agents Orange, White and Blue. Also not considered is the number of combat arms personnel that served more then one tour or multiple years in country.

 Even to a beginner in statistics, the difference in percentages between 8,744,000 (total on active duty), 2,584,000 (total in country) and 520,000 (first echelon combat arms) can be easily demonstrated. Any number of occurrences such as cancer in a number equal to or greater amongst the 520,000 compared to either of the other larger numbers easily becomes significant. These kinds of comparison, are being ignored by the CDC and the DVA. While they wait, we die with the legacy that clearly our government knew the danger in the use of herbicides and has sought to ignore the damage it has reaped on those who served. How many have already died from the effects caused by the use of herbicides and how many more must die before an honest and complete report backed by scientifically sound data and procedures is forthcoming?

Another missing factor is information and studies on the effects of other additional chemicals (non-herbicides), combat veterans also had in our bodies before and after exposure to the herbicides. Two non-herbicides I am familiar with are: Chloroquine/Primaquine and Dapsone. The "Orange Bomber", our one tablet weekly dose of Chloroquine/Primaquine was prescribed for us in the field to aid in the prevention of malaria resulting from the bite of mosquitoes. There were lots of mosquitoes found in the deep jungle. The closer you operated to the enemy, the more infected the mosquitoes became. Chloroquine/Primaquine, I found, had very little bad said about it, other than it did not work for all forms of malaria.

The daily dose of Dapsone, however is another story. It is a common drug used in the treatment of leprosy and at the present time in some HIV studies. Dapsone was prescribed as an added protective measure against the other forms of mosquito-borne diseases that Chloroquine/Primaquine did not prevent. It, however, has a list of adverse effects that will not quit. Peripheral neuropathy with motor loss is a definite but unusual complication seen from the use of Dapsone in non-leprosy cases. What were we? The DVA now recognizes peripheral neuropathy. Is this related to herbicides or Dapsone or both? Dapsone use may also cause agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia and other blood dyscrasias resulting in fatalities. It has also been identified with male infertility, drug-induced lupus erythematosus and an infectious mononucleosis-like syndrome. [43,44,45,46]

Airforce scientists in the 1960s were well aware of the potential for damage due to dioxin contamination in the Agent Orange herbicide. They were also aware that the military formula had a higher dioxin concentration then the civilian version, due to the lower cost and speed of the manufacture.[39,47] Herbicides were sprayed at a rate of six to 25 times the rate suggested by manufacturer.[47] Yet even today, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) simply applies different standards for veterans than for civilian workers who also have a hard enough time establishing that their job may have made them sick.

Seventy-five different Dioxins have been identified, each with its own chemical structure and a unique toxicity.[4] Large groups of related compounds such as polycholorinated biphenyls (PCB) and dibenso furans, have similar affects. Several of these dioxins in various amounts were present within the various herbicides sprayed in Vietnam. The worst and most toxic dioxin, 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (abbreviated as TCDD), was a chemical contaminant found in over 11 Million gallons of Agent Orange. The supposed trace amounts of TCDD are estimated at 170 kilograms and represents the largest dioxin release in history.[4] Environmental Protection Agency in its recently completed re-evaluation of its 1994 report on Dioxin, reported data that strongly supports the dangers of dioxin yet it stopped short of initiating or banning products containing dioxin.[12] This work did suggest the potential for a very high risk in the general population if it occurred on the order of 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1000.[12,34,52]

Lets apply the most dangerous possibility of producing cancer as a factor of 1 in 1000. How many rats and mice would have to be tested to determine if the risk is in fact at least one chance in 1000. Testing 50 to 100 male and female rats/mice requires the administration of very high levels of the chemical being tested. How quickly a reaction occurs and for how many rats/mice is then used to try and determine a relationship to the same occurrence amongst 1000 humans. Let's not forget that even up to one chance in 10,000 there is still a serious carcinogenic risk.

Lots of work has been done to determine what level of dioxin in the human body, triggers the adverse response such as ischemic heart disease or cancer. Studies on Vietnam Veterans to date, have had a difficult time determining what was the actual exposure. Dioxin is supposed to have a half-life (time frame for elimination or reduction in potency) of four to seven years. Strangely enough, people with no time spent in Vietnam have detectable readings of Dioxins.[12,14,50] Reason; every person in the United States is bombarded daily with dioxins. So much so that the EPA and Occupational Safety and Health Agency, have established separate and different acceptable levels of dioxin that can be introduced to the human body expressed in picograms per kilogram per day.[51] A picogram is a trillionth of a gram. Does this imply that there is a minimal acceptable level above which adverse affects will occur? Surely there must be, or there is no basis for an acceptable daily dose. But why is this important? Around 1978, Dow chemical conducted studies on the capability of dioxin to cause cancer in animals. Dow chose very low exposure levels, probably hoping nothing would show up. Guess what, cancers showed up at very low levels of dioxin exposure, the lowest being 210 parts per trillion.[53]

Dioxin reacts in ways that are still not totally understood. With both high and long term exposure, it enters the body and initiates its destruction of cells and system. Many of the related diseases have extremely long latency periods. It is possible for an exposed person to not have any adverse effects of that exposure for twenty years or more. This of course assumes that no further contamination by dioxin occurs to the person. So it is with the Veterans. Exposed in Vietnam and not knowing the exposure level he or she brought home in their bodies, they continued to be bombarded by the "safe" environment enjoyed by all Americans. Our fates were sealed, we could not escape the chemical companies and their rape of the environment even when we were not at war.

Yet the administrators continue to deny the validity of damage caused by dioxin for claims concerning innumerable other areas not involving cancers. Why, the cost-benefit analysis is too high to admit. That maybe, whole units of men who served in Vietnam are at risk. Can a battalion of men, approximately 800 strong, who trained and deployed together to Vietnam be a viable study cohort.

This battalion which arrived in country in September 1966 had the correct organizational structure of men, grades, age and experience. All of this before rotations and early promotions began to take effect. Battalion was known to have operated in a specific area in II Corps that was sprayed with more than 260,000 gallons of herbicides over an area about 50 kilometers wide by 150 kilometers long. In looking only at battalion personnel who served 90 days or more in Vietnam from September 66 to August 67; out of some 1200 surveys possible thus far, only 148 have responded.

Results below, are staggering:

19 Cancer Deaths

  3 Heart Deaths

19 Active Serious Cancer Cases

45 Miscarriages, Most Within Four Years Of Tour Completion

27 Children with Birth Defects

  6 Suspected Sterilities (Tried, But No Children)

Using the 1 in 1000 occurrence level, this battalion is at extreme if not deadly risk against cancers and other related illnesses associated with herbicides.

The saga of incomplete data and testing continues for us veterans. How long must we wait for the regulators to admit that dioxin (TCDD) used in Agent Orange was only one cause of many illnesses associated with veterans. It is the total cocktail of chemicals and their contaminants that continue to affect our lives. Provide us, no questions asked with the quality care and government support that will allow us to begin to enjoy what few years many of us have left.

When I showed my work and references to my personal doctor, he asked if I was doing a chronicle on my death. In a way, I am. But I am comfortable that my work will be useful to the many who will follow me; and that makes this effort worthwhile.

Works Cited

1. Agent Orange Review, Information for Veterans Who Served in Vietnam, Vol 9, No 2, April 1992, Department of veterans Affairs.

2. H. Lindsey Arison III, Executive Summary, The Herbicidal Warfare Program in Vietnam, 1961-1971, Operations Trail Dust/Ranch hand, July 12, 1995, arison@gslink.com

3. Herbicide Exposure Assessment, Pointman II Project, New Jersey Agent Orange Commission, William W. Lewis, Executive Director, New Jersey Agent Orange Commission.

4. "An Unwanted Agent", Chemical Reaction, The Why Files, National Institute for Science Education (NISE), University of Wisconsin-Madison, in partnership with the National Center for Improving Science Education, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF is an independent agency of the U.S. Government. The project is sponsored by the Directorate of Education and Human Resources.

5. "2,4-D", Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET), a Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices at Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, Revised 9/93.

6. Anna Maria Evangelista de Duffard and Ricardo Duffard, "Behavioral Toxicology, Risk Assessment, and Chlorinated hydrocarbons", Laboratorio de Toxicologia Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias, Bioquimicas y Farmaceuticas, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. This paper was prepared as background for the Workshop on Risk Assessment Methodologies for the Safety Evaluation of Chemicals (SGOMSEC) held 12-17 June 1994 in Rochester, New York. Manuscript received: 22 February 1995; Manuscript accepted 17 December 1995.

7. Arthur L. Craigmill, PhD, Extension Toxicologist Environmental Toxicology and Veterinary Extension, University of California Davis, CA 95616, Newsletter, "2,4-D, Cooperative Extension, University of California, Environmental Toxicology Newsletter, Vol. 1 No. 1, November 14, 1980.

8. "Occupational Risk of Cancer from Pesticides: Farmer Studies", CancerNet from the National Cancer Institute, Copyright 1996, cancerweb@www.graylab.ac.uk.

9. Manufacturer's Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), for "(2,4-Dichlorophenoxy) Acetic Acid", effective date: 08/29/86, CAS No: 00094-75-7.

10. "In Answer to Your Questions About Agent Orange", CancerNet from the National Cancer Institute, CancerWEB, Copyright 1996, cancerweb@www.graylab.ac.uk.

11. "Nationwide Dioxin Campaign", Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly # 479, February 1, 1996 Environmental Research Foundation, INTERNET: erf@rachel.clark.net.

12. Gary Lee, Washington Post Staff Writer, "EPA Study Links Dioxin to Cancer Report Stops Short of Calling Chemical a Known Carcinogen", (C) 1994 The Washington Post (LEGI-Slate Article No. 212033).

13. Vincent F Garry and Jack Griffith, University of Minnesota Laboratory of Environmental Medicine and Pathology, Minneapolis, MN 55414 USA; Dina Schreinemachers and Mary E. Harkins, U.S. Environmental Protection agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 USA, "Pesticide Appliers, Biocides and Birth Defects in Rural Minnesota", manuscript received 31 August 1995; accepted 1 December 1995.

14. Congressional Testimony, "Public Health Implications of Dioxins", by Barry L. Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Surgeon General, Vice Chairman, Public Health Service, Committee to Coordinate Environmental Health and Related Programs; Before the Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, June 10.1992, ATSDR Science Corner, November 9, 1993.

15. "005102 - PICLORAM, TRIIOSOPROPANOLAM - 070193", CAS number: 26952-20-5, EPA registration data on Tordon 101.

16. "TORDON 101 MIXTURE WEED AND BRUSH KILLER", Registration number: 000464-00306, Company: DOW CHEMICAL CO, THE, Approval date: 19630614, Cancel date: 19891204. Old registration of Tordon 101.

17. "TORDON 101 MIXTURE", Registration Number: 062719-00005, Company: DOWELANCO, Approval date: 19891204. New registration, still Tordon 101.

18. PC Code: 030035, CAS Reg. No. 32341-80-3. Specific chemical registration for the Chemical 2,4-D.

19. PC Code: 005102, CAS Reg. No. 6753-47-5. Specific chemical registration for the chemical PICLORAM, Triisopropanolamine Salt.

20. Joel Dyer, "Keep Off the TORDON", This Just In Home Page, June 11,1996.

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23. "Many Pesticides, Little Knowledge", Rachel's Environment Health Weekly #475, November 23, 1995, Environmental Research Foundation, INTERNET: erf@rachel.clark.net.

24. "Hexachlorobenzene", Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET), a Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices at Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, Revised 9/93.

25. "Pentachlorophenol", Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET), a Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices at Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, revised 9/93.

26. Richard Alexander, Esq., San Jose California Attorney, National Honor Scholar at the Law School, University of Chicago, "A Developing Toxic Tort: Lumber Mills Log Cabins, Leukemia, Lymphomas and Soft Tissue Sarcomas: The Case Against Pentachlorophenol", The Consumer Law Page, Articles:, The Alexander Law Firm, access@alexanderlaw.com, Copyright 1994-96, THE ALEXANDER LAW FIRM.

27. "Hexachlorobenzene", ATSDR, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Statement, December 1990.

28. "Pentachlorophenol", ToxFAQs, ATSDR, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Department of Health & Human Services, September 1995.

29. "Picloram", Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET), a Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices at Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, revised 9/93.

30. Manufacturer's Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), for "Cacodylic Acid, Sodium Salt, Trihydrate", Effective date: 11/20/85, CAS No.: 00124-65-2..

31. "Cacodylic Acid", Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET), a Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices at Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, revised 9/93.

32. "Herbicides Used in Vietnam", Copyright 1997, The American War Library, http://members.aol.com/warlibrary/vwhr1.htm. Special thanks to Richard Raine, Special Projects, Dept of Vet Services, Div of Vet Affairs, 1227 O Street, Po Box 942895, Sacramento, CA 94295-0001.

33. William "Bill" Lewis, Executive Director, New Jersey Agent Orange Commission, New Jersey Agent Orange Commission, "Some Facts about Agent Orange/Dioxin", copyright 1996, New Jersey Agent Orange Commission, Copyright 1996, New Jersey Agent Orange Commission, Revised -- 9/15/96.

34. "Dangers of Chemical Combinations", Rachel's Environment Health Weekly #498, June 13, 1996, Environmental Research Foundation, INTERNET: erf@rachel.clark.net.

35. "Agent Orange and Related Issues", VA Fact Sheet, Department of Veterans Affairs, Embargoed for Release at 1 P.M. May 28.

36. "HERBS TAPE", Department of Defense, AD A090956, Listing of Air Force Herbicide Spray Missions by province, coordinates, date, gallon amount, and agent type.

37. "Bad Science? Our Government's Approach to Agent Orange", American Legion Magazine, February 1990, page 38.

38. Air Force Health Study: An Epidemiologic Investigation of Health Effects in Air Force Personnel Following Exposure to Herbicides." Extract, 1992 Follow-up Examination Results, Executive Summary, 2 May 1995, Contract Number F41624-91-C-1006.

39. Senator Thomas Daschle, "Agent Orange, Ten Years of Struggle", American Legion Magazine, February 1990, Page 16, Remarks were delivered in the U.S. Senate on November 21, 1989, and were excerpted from the "Congressional Record.

40. Richard Alexander, Esq, San Jose California Attorney, National Honor Scholar at the Law School, University of Chicago, "Dioxin Proven to Cause Cancer and Heart Disease", The Consumer Law Page, Articles:, The Alexander Law Firm, access@alexanderlaw.com, Copyright 1994-96, THE ALEXANDER LAW FIRM.

41. Abstract, Dioxin study in American Journal of Epidemiology, "Exposure to Polycholorinated Dioxins and Furans (PCDD/F) and Mortality in a Cohort of Workers From a Herbicide-Producing Plant in Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany, Dieter Flesh-Janys, Jurgen Berger, Petra Gurn, Alfred Manz, Sibylle Nagel, Hiltraud, Waltsgott and James H. Dwyer, American Journal of Epidemiology 1995; 142:1165-75, cchw@essential.org.

42. "Vietnam Veteran Fact Sheet, The War", Vietnam Veterans Institute, J. Eldon Yates, Chairman, P.O. Box 169, Hunt Valley, MD 21031.

43. "Dapsone [USAN 1993], DRG-0036, Registry Number, 80-08-0.

44. "Dapsone", Gold Standard Multimedia Inc., [Resources], Dapsone by Jacobus, Copyright 1996, Gold Standard Multimedia Inc.

45. "Dapsone Fact Sheet (Feb 1995)", HIVemir, Hiv: An Electronic Media Information Review, HIV_EMIR Home Page.

46. TR-20, Bioassay of Dapsone for Possible Carcinogenicity (CAS No. 80-08-0).

47. "The Story of Agent Orange, Staff Report U.S. Veteran News and Report", This article was downloaded from AOL, Part of a series on Agent Orange.

48. Harold P. Green, Professor Emeritus of Law, The George Washington University National Law Center, " The Role of Law in Determining Acceptability of Risk", Management of Assessed Risk for Carcinogens, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 363, 1981, Pages 1-12.

49. "3. Issues in Human Health Risk Assessment", NCERQA, National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Last Updated: October 23, 1996.

50. "Parts Per Trillion Couldn't Hurt, Could They?", Chemical Reaction, The Why Files, National Institute for Science Education (NISE), University of Wisconsin-Madison, in partnership with the National Center for Improving Science Education, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF is an independent agency of the U.S. Government. The project is sponsored by the Directorate of Education and Human Resources.

51. Rory Conolly, "U.S. EPA Reassessment of the Health Risks of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)(1), CIIT Activities (Vol. 14, no.12), Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (CIIT), 1994, All Rights Reserved.

52. Dr. Christopher J. Portier (LQCB), Dr. Michael Kohn (LQCB), Dr. George Lucier (Environmental Toxicology Program, NIEHS), Dr. George Clark (Laboratory of Biochemical Risk Assessment, NIEHS), Dr. Michael Gallo (Rutgers University), Dr. Lutz Edler (German Cancer Research Center), "2. Dioxin and Related Compounds, Last updated January, 25, 1995, schreibman@niehs.nih.gov.

53. Stephen U. Lester, Science Director of Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste, "Industry's 'True Lies", The Politics Behind the Scientific Debate on Dioxin", The Consumer Law Page, Articles:, The Alexander Law Firm, access@alexanderlaw.com, Copyright 1994-96, THE ALEXANDER LAW FIRM.

54. Linda R. Cohen, Department of Economics, University of California, Irvine, CA 92717 and Roger G. Noll, Department of Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, "The Future of the National Laboratories", PNAS, Proc.Natl. Acad.Sci. USA, Vol 93, PP. 12678-12685, November 1996, Colloquium Paper, Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

55. Torsten Brinch, Risboge55, 6640 Lunderskov, The case: "A sad state of a science", IAO Agrochemical Pages, email: iaotb@inet.uni-c.dk.

56. "Priority Pesticides at Cancer Agency", Pesticides News N. 23, March 1994, The Pesticides Trust, London, U.K., email: pesttrust@gn.apc.org.

57. "Report Links Herbicide Exposure to Illnesses Among Vietnam Vets", Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly # 212, December 19, 1990 Environmental Research Foundation, INTERNET: erf@rachel.clark.

NOTE: Appendix I & II are large files of over 1.4 MB. They do come up, it takes a little time.

APPENDIX I Cancer Rates by Year Group/Company

APPENDIX II Miscarriages and Children with Birth Defects

APPENDIX III Tapes Spray Data

 

APPENDIX IV

 

WHAT IS NEW AND OR SIGNIFICANT

NINE UNREPORTED FACTS

  1. An 800 man combat infantry battalion cohort exposed to Agents Orange, White and Blue has been identified.
     
  2. High toxic-risk exist, if cancer occurs at a rate greater then 1 in 1000. The selected battalion cohort, can validate 19 cancer deaths and 19 additional, medically confirmed cancers. Thirty-eight times greater than the EPA standards for determining high risk.
     
  3. All impurities or contaminants in Agents Orange, White and Blue have yet to be studied.
     
  4. Agent White a.k.a. Tordon 101 is a combination of 2,4-D and Picloram. Picloram is a chlorobenzoic acid.
     
  5. Agent White was contaminated with Hexachlorobenzene, and has yet to be discussed or examined by the medical community as to its effects on Vietnam Veterans.
  • Hexachlorobenzene is banned in the United States.
     
  • Hexacholorobenzene seeks out, enters and remains persistent in water acquifier systems. in soil degrades to become Pentachlorophenol.
  • Governments agencies under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) are forbidden to discloseimpurities and inert chemicals to protect "trade secrets or confidential Commercial information".
  • Pentachlorophenol is toxic at low levels by skin absorption and attacksthe liver, kidneys, blood, lungs, immune system and gastrointestinaltract-all areas of limited evidence of an association to supportveteran medical claims.
  1. Synergism (Combined toxic effects) of Agents Orange, White and Blue has never been studied.
     
  2. Air Force TAPES Spray Data validates repeated spraying of the same coordinates, on the same or subsequent dates and the use of combinations of Agent Orange with White and Orange with Blue.
     
  3. Drinking water is identified as a key factor in individual toxic accumulation.
     
  4. Dapsone, an anti-leprosy pill taken daily by U.S. Troops in Vietnam to combat a form of Malaria, has not been added to the list of chemicals that in combination with Agents Orange, White and Blue may be affecting the present health of veterans.

 

Teaching the Vietnam War to Generation X

by Jenny Thompson

 

April 1975: Images of the end of a war, broadcast to the world, seen by a nation whose eyes stare at these slices of time in disbelief, sadness, relief, shame--the final chaotic shots of a long, arduous journey. Slowly fade to black. What for many Americans constitutes one of the most critical events not only in the nation's history, but in their own lives, the Vietnam War remains a conflicted memory in our society, its meaning still debated as it is re-interpreted, its old wounds exposed anew, as Americans search for a meaningful way to remember it collectively.

The generation currently being educated about this recent past has a unique composition never to be replicated in the future. These students are often the sons and daughters, nieces and nephews of those who lived through the war--veterans, protesters and supporters. Because of their proximity to, or indeed, their intimate connection with the war, they comprise a generation that has been deeply effected by it. But for most of these college students in the 1990s, the larger cultural debate and continued conflict over the meaning of the Vietnam War shapes and sometimes even obstructs, their own understanding of this crucial period in American history.

Members of this supposed Generation X, who range in age from 18-22, lack any personal memory of the war, having been born after the war ended. Still the war serves as their opening act; its memory is their legacy, just as World War Two was the Baby Boom generation's. Yet unlike those raised on the "good war" stories of unity and victory, these students have come of age in a dark shadow. From my experience, I have learned that this shadow has two separate origins of equal importance and both in need of confrontation.

First, for many of them, Vietnam is literally a blank spot, bordered only by the most ambiguous understanding of the war's history. When I once asked students, "When did the Vietnam War begin?" I received various responses ranging from "in the sixties" to "sometime in the 1970s." When asked, "Who fought in the war?" One student answered, "It was America versus Vietnam." I could imagine that this student pictured the war as having been fought somewhere on an indefinite field, two forces confront each other and then...fade to black. In asking such questions, I try to illustrate the fact that not only for the students, but even for many, who lived through it, answering even the most seemingly basic queries concerning the war is often problematic. The Nation's own continued debate over the war provides them with a shaky foundation for understanding it. Seen within such a context, their uncertainty concerning the meaning of their immediate past is further complicated. At the beginning of one semester, a student observed, "I don't really know how the Vietnam War affected American society, but I know that I am a product of [it]," while another described how, growing up "I was immersed in a culture which did not discuss the last war we had. When it was discussed, Vietnam was said to be a mistake. I had no idea why it was fought or what the enemy had done."

Aware of their own confusion, many explain that when it came to studying the war in high school, "We didn't get that far" or "We skipped really fast over Vietnam." Clearly, rather than a product of their own ignorance, their lack of information is a direct reflection of the nation's difficulties in confronting the subject of the war in Vietnam as history, in need of being taught in as rational a manner as one might teach another of America’s more controversial events,such as the Civil War.

But instead, the majority of my students tell me that their secondary education all but ignored the subject of Vietnam. Although there are many excellent college-level courses that cover the war, taught by teachers who approach the subject as a necessary and vital part of a student’s education, it appears to me that to wait until college to learn this history denies students a basic opportunity to learn about a critical period that has exercised such force in American society in general, and often in their own lives in particular.

This leads me to the second origin of the shadow concerning Vietnam: When I ask them, "Where have you learned what you do know about the Vietnam War?" most students respond that they have been schooled by Hollywood, their lesson plans comprised of movies such as Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. For many of them, the names William Westmoreland, Lewis Puller, or Ho Chi Minh remain indecipherable hieroglyphics, symbols of a remote past. But they do recognize other names, like Colonel Kurtz and Rambo. This skewed "historical" recognition indicates that our society has tacitly granted Hollywood the primary authority to fill in the blanks concerning the war’s history. To me this rather like letting John Wayne teach students what World War Two was really like.

Indeed, feature films appear to be the single most authoritative means by which students have "learned" about the war. Exercising critical influence overtheir thinking, most of the films they identify as providing them with their ideas about the war, portray in both subtle and overt ways, the notion that Vietnam was a mistake, plain and simple, cut and dry, end of debate. Patriotism? To fight and potentially sacrifice oneself in a war is simply not even a remotely realistic idea. Communism? This concept has little if no meaning, but merely describes a generic enemy of America. (A few of my student have even described how the United States fought against Hitler and communism in World War Two). Military or Diplomatic goals? Well, everyone knows that the war had no "reason" and was fought without any justification. Support for the war? Everyone in the United States opposed it. The soldiers who served? They were "out of control." The result? We lost.

In echoing these statements, some students initially convey the impression that they are eager to put the war behind them, and in effect, willing to dismiss it as a subject in need of no further investigation. Thus as a teacher, the hardest task I have confronted is in persuading the students not only that there is much to be learned from studying the war, but also that viewing it as "without reason" and as "a mistake" is a perspective that itself is a product of a particular historical moment.

Thus, in my class we examine not only the war’s history, but also the manner by which attitudes toward it have been shaped, including analysis of how their own perspectives have come to be defined. With a focus on the ways the media has covered the war in print, film and photographs, as well as the ways the war has been portrayed in scholarly arguments and academic history, we explore how the war’s representations have changed over time. After having spent the first section of the class examining representations of World War Two, students are encouraged to compare the ways in which the style of a war’s presentation may serve just as much as its politics and military strategies to lead people to conclude that one war was "clear" while another "chaotic"--in effect, the class pits Ernie Pyle against Michael Herr. Further, asking the students to critically engage the historical evidence--debate it, probe it, and critique it--I encourage them to trace the war’s meaning in their lives today.

In order to take advantage of the students’ own important relationship to such recent history, I attempt to bring the war into the class room. Adrian Cronauer’s visit to our class spurred many students to remark how history seemed to come alive as they listened to his engaging talk and asked him questions. Other veterans who have visited the class have similarly allowed students to engage in discussion and draw connections between their own lives and the past. One speaker, a Marine Corps veteran, brought with a photograph of himself as a nineteen-year old soldier, while another showed slides from his year at Bien Hoa air base.

In encouraging students to confront the war personally and to make use of their status as postwar generation, I also ask them to go out into the world and see for themselves the presence of the war’s memory in their midst. Whether they choose to interview a veteran, visit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, or another museum exhibit, they often return from such journeys with a renewed vigor in relation to the way they now view the war’s relevance. One student described how the interview "got me away from articles and books…It was the real thing." And another reflected: "After completion of this interview, I realized that there are so many stories that are left untold." Some students have taken advantage of the assignment to interview a parent or family member who served in the war. Several recounted afterwards that they previously had never discussed the war with, for instance their own fathers and had no idea what they had done in the war. In recording these "untold" stories, student not only add to their understanding of the nation’s history but often their family history.

Combining historical and cultural analysis of the war, the class, I feel, succeeds in addressing two important aspects of history--both that of the war itself and that of our own day and its current struggle over the war’s memory. While Generation X more often than not gets a bad rap, stereotyped as a group of wayward and listless kids, I find that most of my students, as representatives of that generation, are eager and insightful, willing, if given opportunity, to learn about their legacy and to confront even the most controversial past with an informed perspective. Indeed, after learning about the war for themselves, some have marveled at what they then view as the nation’s difficulty to teach this history. One student described her reaction to a museum exhibit on the war, a display, she felt, which did not succeed in instructing visitors by neglecting to answer basic questions concerning its history. She wrote: "I began to feel like the victim of some huge conspiracy. My overall feeling was [that] the American government was attempting to sweep Vietnam under the rug and erase it from the minds of everyone by not giving the war proper coverage."

In a final paper, another student observed: "It would be a tragedy for my generation to ignore or even feel ashamed of our country’s past." This statement typified the lesson the students teach me everyday: History is made anew by each generation. If we are to realize a future in which the past may be confronted and understood, instead of dismissed, stereotyped, or "Hollywoodized", we must allow this generation access to its history. It is never too early, for soon it will be their turn to write it for the next generation.

  • As a PhD candidate in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, Jenny Thompson is currently teaching a class called "American Culture and The Vietnam War."

 

 

The Vietnam Veterans Institute

Since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, its veterans have struggled to come to grips with their experience, and society in turn has struggled to come to terms with them and with its involvement in the war. These struggles have been compounded by an enormous amount of misunderstanding about the war, those who fought it, and the reaction to it.

Organization - Founded in 1981, the Vietnam Veterans Institute is an incorporated, tax exempt, not-for-profit organization governed by the active Board of Directors and Trustees. It is an independent Education, Research and Public Policy Institution.

Mission - To develop and foster legislative, public policy and educational initiatives that positively address issues of importance to Vietnam Veterans and veterans, per se, and the standing American Military. As a "think tank" the Institute serves as a scholarly resource to academe, the United States Congress and the public at large.

Goals - To foster economic parity for American veterans with their non-veteran peers, to address issues of national security as it pertains to American military personnel, and to assure a positive and accurate historical record of the Vietnam War and sacrifices of Vietnam and all American veterans.

Educational Programs - VVI develops symposia in conjunction with universities and other institutions, utilizing - VVI Directors and Trustees as faculty and keynote speakers.

Publication - The American Veterans Journal: Journal of the Vietnam Veterans Institute (Published annually since 1992).

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