Agent Orange is a terrible thing and was a terrible thing to use during the Vietnam War. The benefits accrued from its use in that war has been greatly outweighed by the grief and hardships it has loosed on the world. Millions of Vietnamese people died from its use and today many suffer terrible birth defects caused by the deadly dioxin. Some say as much as 10% of the landmass of the area formally known as South Vietnam is permanently contaminated by Agent Orange which will continue the curse of children being borne with grotesque deformities for generations to come. Vietnam Veterans not only endured the onslaught of illness and diseases caused by exposure to Agent Orange but succeeding generations are beginning to suffer Agent Orange caused health problems.
There is much talk about the government’s obligations and responsibilities in respect to what it owes veterans who are suffering as a result of previous actions taken by the government in question. A story from WHO TV Channel 13 of Des Moines, Iowa titled: Iowa Veterans Fight to Stop Government from Defunding Agent Orange Research by Lynn Melling is featured in this episode. It talks about efforts being taken in Iowa to insure funding for further Agent Orange research does not dry up. If that happens, needed research about the effects and treatment for Agent Orange illnesses and diseases will also dry up which will leave many sufferers high and dry.
Melling tells about Vietnam veteran Dan Gannon who is a member of the Iowa Commission on Veterans Affairs and his efforts to gain support for two proposed bills in Congress that will continue funding of the Agent Orange situation. He has found support for bills being considered by Congress from Sen. Chuck Grassley who is a co-sponsor of the Senate version and Congressman David Young a co-sponsor of the House version. Sen. Joni Ernst says she has concerns about the bill and is not committing to it. Iowa’s other House representatives did not respond to Channel 13 about their support of the bill. Here the whole story in the podcast.