Recently in the great State of Florida in the city of Lakeland three entities came together and produced something hopeful. The story about this interesting coming together is described in a story on WFLA News Channel 8 of Tampa, Florida titled: Lakeland veteran fights to get out the truth, honored by Congressman and was submitted by Channel 8 Investigative Reporter Steve Andrews.
Party of the first part was retired Air Force Master Sgt. Leroy Foster. For thirty years he has been trying and fighting to expose the truth about the ravages of Agent Orange, the infamous herbicide that was used extensively during the Vietnam War. Today Foster is beset with five cancers and 28 auto-immune diseases that are suspiciously similar to those caused by exposure to the dioxin found in Agent Orange. The problem for the Air Force retiree is that he served at Andersen AFB on Guam during the Vietnam War so he is excluded from receiving Agent Orange benefits. He did not have “boots on the ground” and in addition to that the VA asserts the dastardly herbicide was never used in Guam. The problem is that Foster helped apply thousands of gallons of a weed killer that came packaged in 55 gallon drums with orange stripes and was labeled herbicides by Dow Chemical. In other words it appears the VA is lying about the subject of the use and presence of Agent Orange in Guam during the Vietnam War, to Foster’s detriment.
Party of the second part to this story is WFLA TV’s Target 8 Program. In January reporter Steve Andrews interviewed Foster and brought his story to light. Foster said this about the WFLA reporter: “You guys are giving people with no voice, a voice, and you’re giving them hope that they’re being heard.” Andrews reporting for Target 8 led to the EPA launching an investigation.
The third party to this story is Congressman Ross. After hearing Foster’s story he was moved to file a bill in Congress he calls the “Foster Act.” Specifically it is known as HR-809 and its purpose is to expand Agent Orange treatment and benefits to veterans who served in certain areas of Thailand, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and for good measure he is including the Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans into the mix.