Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 310 and Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, Ann Arbor, will host the Faces of Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 20, at the American Legion William B. Lutz Post 322, 320 W. Michigan Ave., Saline.
This forum will explore and educate the public, health care providers, U.S. government state and federal legislators, Vietnam Veterans and their families of the generational effects of Agent Orange. Speakers will be Sandie Wilson and George Claxton, Members of VVA Agent Orange/Dioxin and Other Toxic Exposures Committee; Martha Cothorn and Elizabeth Allen, Vietnam Veteran Army Nurses; Phil Smith and James Dempsey, Veteran Service Officers.
Many American families are experience the lingering effects of Agent Orange but not entitled to Veterans' health care. Organizers hope to collect stories of how Agent Orange is affecting Vietnam Veterans and their families. The U.S. Government only recognizes Spina Bifida as health condition Agent Orange-related in the children of male veterans. The list of problems of children born to female veterans is longer. Vietnam Veterans believe their children have other conditions such as heart defects, reproductive problems, bone and joint problems, ADHD, learning disabilities, and a host of other problems which should be recognized regardless of whether the problems came from the male or female veteran, according to organizers of the meeting..
Vietnam veterans have been battling for over 40 years to have their government to take responsibility for the results inflicted by the use of Agent Orange and other chemicals used in Vietnam.
Agent Orange, an herbicide chemical containing dioxin, used to defoliate the jungles in Vietnam may have exposed more than 2 million U.S. Military personnel from 1961 to 1970.