942 – The ugly backside of Agent Orange

Kris Roberts, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Former Marine lieutenant colonel Kris Roberts and dozens of men under his command came into contact with more than 100 leaking barrels that were unearthed at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, in 1981. Roberts believes this was the cause of a slew of medical issues that have long plagued him and his family. A doctor who examined Roberts said he was most likely exposed to Agent Orange. COURTESY OF KRIS ROBERTS

Episode number 942 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will delve into the heavy burden a US Marine Corps officer is carrying in relation to the cruel Agent Orange saga. Kris E. Roberts is that Marine and he made a statement about a discovery he made while serving on the island of Okinawa in 1981. His statement appeared in The Japan Times and it was titled: Deafening silence from U.S. government as Okinawa defoliants quietly destroy children’s futures. 

Kris Roberts, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

US Marine lieutenant colonel Kris Roberts of Keene, New Hampshire

In 1981, Lt. Col. Kris E. Roberts, then head of maintenance at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa discovered a cache fifty five gallon drums buried on the air station. The barrels contained a suspicious chemical feared to be the dreaded Agent Orange defoliant widely used in the Vietnam War.

He stated his feelings about being a Marine officer in this quote: “As a young officer I was taught that effective leadership means doing the right thing at the right time. You do that by asking three important questions: “Is it legal, is it moral and is it ethical?” If any of the answers is “No,” you do not do it.”

Roberts was a high principled young Marine officer at the time and was mortified when he became aware that at least three senior officers engaged in a cover-up and decided to place their careers over the welfare of the men and women he was responsible for.

Today he is willing to whatever he can to help in the investigation of the prescience of Agent Orange on Okinawa. He stated with regret: I know that no matter how much help I can provide, I have to admit to myself I failed to protect the men and women who placed their trust in me.

In addition to harming many with physical ailments, Agent Orange also apparently caused many to compromise their sacred honor. They did this by engaging in cover ups to protect careers to the detriment of those harmed by the misguided policy of the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam and other places. That is the ugly backside of the Agent Orange story.

Here more about Kris Roberts’ Agent Orange conundrum at episode 942 of the podcast Vietnam Veteran News.

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