Agent Orange News

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

There's new news about Agent Orange. James McDonough, director of the NYS Division of Veterans' Affairs, explains the expansion of veterans' benefits for Agent Orange related illnesses while Trinh Bui-Kokkoris, Agent Orange/dioxin victim advocate, discusses the lasting effects of Agent Orange on people in Vietnam.


Trinh Bui-Kokkoris and James McDonough

Comments [22]

Albert Reichard from Leola, PA

I have two children with cleft tongue. Had to have surgery to correct the condition. When i went back to base camp it went into the base camp and into the field. The location was at Zion and i was over in Vietnam for 1 year and 6 months.

Nov. 21 2010 12:41 PM
Francine from Phoenix, Arizona

My husband William Kramer Jr. served in Vietnam. he was one of the agent orange victims. In 1974 my husband got admitted into to the V.A. hospital. He couldn't move, and he had a blood test to see if it was from agent orange. In 1974 all the V.A, hospital could do was take a blood sample and freeze his blood. My husband has blood somewhere and I was wondering if they could find his blood results after all these years. My husband passed away Jan. 15,2000 from a heart attack at the very young age of 49. From the time my husband received his treatment in 1974 he knew it was agent orange related bu there was nothing he could do about it. My husband was a very sick man all of our married life. He told me before his death to keep looking into this for some help for his family. Now he is gone and my children are all adults now but I have a daughter who is suffering from pancriatitise and she is not a drinker, She also had acute lyphoblastic leukemia at the very young age of three years old. I am sure glad that the goverment is finally going to compensate vets. and their families for the suffering that these men had while fighting for their country.

Sep. 19 2010 11:20 AM

My husband was stationed in Don Muang Thailand in1967. He was NCOIC of the engine shop. He was frequently sent on VOC to VN to work on the C-123 engines to get them back to Thailand for maintainance. There are no records or TDY records anywhere. I have written the officers that signed his APR with no luck. He got that skin diease his second month there and right after his first trip to VN. He repaired the engines and picked up several
crew members dead in the field and returned then to Saigon. He went to Clark for treatment. The VA says I have to prove. He died of AO lung cancer at age 64.

Apr. 20 2010 05:51 PM
Joseph Bushi, Thailand 1966 to 1968 from Medina, Ohio

As you may know, many flights originated from USAF Royal Thai air bases in Thailand to spray AO throughout SEA including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
The VA uses a criteria of, "Boots on the ground - Vietnam" to qualify a claimant to even discuss the AO issue. Yet, the VA has approved claims for vets stationed in Thailand. They have "cherry picked" vets who they will discuss AO issues. The exclusion of the remaining Thai vets from the AO issue is not right by any stretch of the imagination.

Bang Pla and Bang Ping, Thailand were two locations that housed large communication sites. Dioxin containing herbicides were used to keep foliage in-check at these antennae farms located at these sites and other sites in Thailand. It is thought that water treatment (dirnking water) issues existed at that time causing AO problems in the US-Thai-vet population circa 1966-68.

Does anyone out there have information that can help the Thailand veterans get relief from our government?

Apr. 19 2010 03:35 PM
Trinh Bui-Kokkoris from NYC

Dear all,

I wanted to thank the Brian Lehrer Show/WNYC for showing compassion for Agent Orange/dioxin sufferers. Just to answer Brian's question thoroughly as to whether or not the chemical companies knew about the dioxin during the spraying--YES, Dow, Monsanto and the other chemical companies knew that it was harmful to humans and animals, but they withheld that information from the US government. When the US govt found out about the poisonous effects, they were not really concerned because it was being used on the "enemy". Either way, AO/dioxin continues to be harmful and children are still being born with birth defects, affecting 3rd generation in Vietnam and Vietnam Veterans all over the world are developing cancers and suffering due to their service in VN.

Apr. 05 2010 11:59 AM
MSgt Roy Foster, USAF, Retired from Westfield, NY

The VA was very kind to me yesterday providing a wheelchair for me as I become less and less able to walk from the degenerating affects of TCDD DIOXIN IN ME. Americans do not understand what it is doing to us who were exposed to AO in the theater of operations Thailand, Guam, Okinawa, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Blue Water Navy, and other places not directly involved with mission bombing, shelling, strafing, etc. The cost of this war was partially paid and America let those who served comeback dishonored, left to live with dioxin in our blood, left to watch our children and grandchildren be born with severe malformations, birth defects, diseases, etc, and they say stop it would cost to much but lets give zillions away to the banks, to the car companies, to other countries who were are enemies, instead of taking care of those who STOOD UP FOR AMERICA in the LAST DRAFT. Many ran to Canada and to England, many ran to private colleges and universities because they were above the call to duty and all because they were rich, rich from the working poor, rich from the working middle class, rich and greedy and they call themselves Americans. I THINK NOT. THEY GIVE YOU A CHOICE TO VOTE FOR THEIR CLASS AND THEY MAKE UP THE LAWS FOR THEM NOT YOU. YOU HAVE NOTHING INCOMMON WITH A MILLIONAIRE AND YET THEY REPRESENT YOU IN CONGRESS AND IN THE WHITEHOUSE.

Apr. 02 2010 09:29 AM
MSgt Roy Foster, USAF, Retired from Westfield, NY

PLEASE Continue the topic of Agent Orange and invite CONGRESSMAN JOHN HALL D NY chairman of the subcomittee on mortuary affairs and disabilities where HR 2254 the Agent Orange equity act of 2009 is being held and also invite Senator Kirtin Gillibrand D NY who introduce S 1939 AGENT ORANGE EQUITY ACT OF 2009 IN THE SENATE and S 1940 Agent Orange research for the children and grand children of Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange. my email is to contact me for further comment.

Apr. 01 2010 05:41 AM
MSgt Roy Foster, USAF, Retired from Westfield, NY

I prepared, mixed and sprayed Agent Orange herbicides on Andersen AFB Guam and off base from Sept 1968 through June 1988. I have ischemic heart disease, sterility, immune problems, and many more diseases. I have been contacted by buddies that found me forty years later with the same diseases and more. The IOM Agent Orange commission has contacted me to get my files Dr Mary Paxton. My daughter is afflicted with diseases and now her daughter born March 15 2010 in JAMESTOWN NY WCA HOSPITAL was born with multiple birth defects and heart disease.

Apr. 01 2010 05:29 AM

great and clarifying comments, thanks all

Mar. 31 2010 03:29 PM
Lailah Bragin from Brooklyn, NY

Vietnam Agent Orange Victims Relief and Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC) is an ongoing effort involving American Vietnam veterans to achieve justice for the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.
We are pushing for corporate accountability from companies including Monsanto and Dow, who developed Agent Orange and yet refuse to clean up the land and water that remain contaminated, causing continued problems (so much for Dow's clean water campaign...)
We are also involved in a long term effort to get Congress to fund a significant program of care and compensation for Vietnamese people affected by Agent Orange.

Check out the website:

Mar. 31 2010 02:34 PM
Richard Musto from Clark, NJ

I am a Vietnam vet who a newborn in 1980 due to two large holes in her heart, and then a daughter was born in 1982 with multiple birth defects. We recently read that some of her defects are now accepted as Agent Orange related, and that she can receive compensation. She completed the forms, but the VA told her that ONLY proof of a mother having been in Vietnam is accepted. There was no mention of this in any of the paperwork.

Mar. 31 2010 11:18 AM
Susan Hammond from Chester, VT

The lawsuit for the Vietnamese that was in the Brooklyn court was dismissed by the US courts. The lawyers for the Vietnamese submitted a petition for the US Supreme Court to hear the case but the court denied the petition. See for details.

As for the case by veterans against the chemical companies in the 1980s it was settled out of court for $180 million an the eve of the case going to trail. The settlement was distributed to about 52,000 veterans who were part of the class action suit, they received an average settlement of $3800.

Other veterans who became ill after 1984 have tried to sue the chemical companies but their cases were also dismissed because the courts ruled that the chemical companies as government contractors has the same immunity the US government has from lawsuits.

Mar. 31 2010 11:13 AM
Dick Hughes

Brian -

Dick Hughes. THANKS for doing AO. If you can get it in today; Met with US Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse last year & he committed to raising 30 million for AO relief. If your listeners want to do something, contacting his office is a great idea, seconding his idea. [He was in VN in the late 60s for 6 months & visited or streetkids project. His dad was a former US Dep. Amb. to VN]. - dh

Mar. 31 2010 11:06 AM
RCT from NYC

Thank you. A close friend of our family, a Vietnam vet, died on New Year's Eve 2009 of leukemia. He knew that he had been exposed to Agent Orange while in Viet Nam -- he told my cousin that he and the other men in his unit had been brushing it off their clothing. The doctors told him that Agent Orange exposure was the most likely cause of his illness. I will pass a link to this program on to his family.

Mar. 31 2010 11:01 AM


2005 Brooklyn Lawsuit against Agent Orange makers:

Mar. 31 2010 11:00 AM
Jeff from NYC

My father was able to secure benefits for my late brother's wife by documenting his service working with the Army records people. An excellent result for a courageous woman who cared for my brother to the bitter end. Thanks.

Mar. 31 2010 10:59 AM
Siouxie from Bronx

Back in approximately 1986, I was appalled to discover that my boss was an attorney was part of a litigation team defending Uniroyal Corporation, the manufacturer of Agent Orange. I don't remember what happened w/ the litigation, but I deeply resented being a part of the process.

Mar. 31 2010 10:58 AM
micaelady from Brooklyn

I was in Ho Chi Minh City last February and photographed children in an orphanage (Go Vap Orphanage), many many of whom had birth defects.

It was believed that a lot of these defects were caused by agent orange, but no one seemed to have a clear sense of which defects were caused by this chemical.

Thank you for discussing this issue as it still profoundly affects the lives of people both here and there.

Mar. 31 2010 10:54 AM
Matt from Manhattan

Maybe somebody should tap Kissinger & Associates to some (if not all) the cost.

Mar. 31 2010 10:51 AM

Truly powerful photo essay on today's Vietnamese child victims of agent orange by Jim Natchwey.

Hey, I hope they bring up that 2005 Brooklyn legal action brought by the Vietnamese against those Agent Orange makers

Mar. 31 2010 10:50 AM
Jane from Manhattan, upper west side

Back in the sixties and seventies, my father, a chemical engineer at Monsanto in Texas, helped develop their ubiquitous herbicide Roundup. It is, he always told me, the same chemical as Agent Orange, just a commercial version. Since those days, Monsanto has modified Roundup a tiny bit, so that now it is one-off the chemical structure of Agent Orange. But through Roundup, Agent Orange is still very much with us--on our lawns and in our food.

Mar. 31 2010 10:14 AM

summary of us legal actions by vnese against us makers of agent orange, taking place in brooklyn
(from official vn site)

Mar. 31 2010 08:09 AM

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