In a recent episode I interviewed Marvin Desselle who had recently established a new chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America in Highlands County, Florida. That became Chapter #1097. In this episode I share an article by Mitch Hotts written for the Macomb Daily. The article described how VVA Chapter #154 of Macomb County, Michigan was celebrating its 30th anniversary at Freedom Hill County Park. Chapter #154 is the largest in the State of Michigan and fourth largest in the Nation. It is devoted to both assisting veterans of all wars and to having a good time for its members. At the celebration they talked about future projects including a town meeting about Agent Orange.
In this episode we give kudos to Donna Hayes, Publisher of the Voice of The Valley in Maple Valley, Washington. She published an article about the Vietnam Traveling Wall going to Maple Valley. There will be three days of ceremonies honoring both living and dead Vietnam Veterans. Numerous outstanding speakers are lined up for the event including: retired Air Force Lt. Col. Travis Wofford, a rescue helicopter pilot awarded the Air Force Cross Citation, Army Special Forces Major John Plaster, author of six books, New York Times-bestselling mystery author J.A. Jance, Michael A. Reagan who has created more than 3,700 portraits of veterans lost in combat, retired Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Stan Baker and retired Army Col. Ron H. Averill.
When a similar event was held in 2007 more than 10,000 people attended. If you are in the vicinity later this month you are encouraged to go and honor the veterans and enjoy the event.
In this episode, Marvin Desselle of Lake Placid, Florida will tell us about the Vietnam Veterans Association and how he started the local Highlands Chapter. All Vietnam Veterans are encouraged to join the organization because of the benefits it provides veterans. It has over 600,000 members worldwide and it operates at the national level lobbying Congress for veteran’s issues and it also provides help to veterans at the local level with counseling and living assistance for those veterans in need.
Marvin urges all Vietnam Veterans to join up or start a new chapter. Membership only costs $20 per year. He will be glad to provide assistance to any veteran wishing to join or start a new chapter. He can be reached at 863-214-0601 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Petzold posted an article in the Tuscola County Advertiser about a “reach out” event for Vietnam Veterans in Eastern Michigan. State Senator Mike Green and Dr. Richard Horsch hosted a hunting event for veterans with disabilities on the doctor’s property near Mayville. The “Reach Out to Veterans” event will be from 5 to 8 p.m., at the North Branch American Legion Post No. 457, 407 South Huron St. in North Branch.
Wes Carter is a retired Air Force veteran who today is an advocate for veterans rights with a special emphasis on the C123 personnel who worked with those aircraft after the Vietnam War that had been used to spray the herbicide Agent Orange. Those veterans are suffering high rates of Agent Orange related illnesses and are being ignored by the VA. Carter tells about the work he is doing to get the VA to obey the laws passed by Congress that states all veterans regardless of service locations must be afforded care for Agent Orange related illnesses.
Carter also describes the activities of an advocate for the other side. Dr. Alvin Young has served as a consultant for numerous government agencies including the VA. He has been instrumental in restricting the services VA will offer veterans. Among other things Carter divulges that Dr. Young has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the VA in consulting fees so it is doubtful that the doctor is an objective voice on the subject but you can decide for yourself after you listen to Wes Carter tell his story in this episode.
In this episode we take a look at an article by Bill O’Reilly that appeared on the website – bernardgoldberg.com. O’Reilly takes a look at three Americans who went the other way from most. Bill Ayers and Jane Fonda are unrepentant anti-Vietnam War proponents and Tokyo Rose did her thing in World War II riling up US servicemen and women in the Pacific Theater of that war. I share O’Reilly’s condemnation of the trio and realize it takes all kinds to make up a world. Hope you enjoy my post script comments about the lovely and gracious Jane Fonda.
This episode features a story from WSFA-TV of Montgomery, Alabama written by Bryan Henry. It is about Vietnam Veteran Bennie Bell receiving his high school diploma after a 50 year delay. Bell was encouraged by James Washington who is the head of the National Association for Black Veterans. He was taking advantage of a program passed by the Alabama legislature known as the ‘High School Diplomas for World War Two, Korean War and Vietnam War Veterans,’ House Bill 74.
We salute Bennie Bell for his service to his country and his determination to finally achieve his dream of a high school diploma.
In this episode I hope to end the urban myth that Vietnam Vets were spat upon as they returned from fighting in the Vietnam War. Jerry Davich who writes for the Post-Tribune a Chicago Sun Times Publication adds support to my theory that Vietnam Vets were not spit on when they returned. All these years since the war I would hear and see comments about that happening and I was skeptical. Davich too wondered after he wrote interviewed several Vietnam Vets and now he believes as I do it was all made up to discredit the protesters.
Recently I spoke to the Highlands Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. This episode will feature the portion of the speech that covered the relationship of Agent Orange to the Vietnam War. I talk about how it got started, how it was used and its distasteful aftermath.
In this country the primary concerns about Agent Orange is its effects on Vietnam Veterans. It is a terrible thing that has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families. The darker legacy of Agent Orange is its effects on the country of Vietnam and its people which is often ignored. But ignorance cannot hide the fact that Vietnam is suffering greatly because of something the USA did to that little country. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that the guilty party in this case for the most part disavows any responsibility for the damage it caused.
In this episode we will take a look at some of the victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam.