Agent Orange effects linger for Vietnam vets

U. BUFFALO (US)—Vietnam War-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange appear to have significantly more Graves’ disease, a thyroid disorder, than veterans with no exposure, a new study shows.

“The autoimmune disorder was three times more prevalent among veterans who encountered the dioxin-containing chemical,” says Ajay Varanasi, an endocrinology fellow at the University at Buffalo and first author on the study. “We also looked at other thyroid diagnoses, but we didn’t find any significant differences in thyroid cancer or nodules.”

Agent Orange is a defoliant that was used in Vietnam to destroy crops and reduce jungle foliage that could shelter enemy combatants. The herbicide contains dioxin, which has chemical properties similar to the thyroid hormones.

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease associated with overactivity of the thyroid gland. This gland releases the hormones that control body metabolism and are critical for regulating mood, weight, and mental and physical energy levels.

Varanasi and colleagues assessed the prevalence of major thyroid diagnoses in the Veterans Administration electronic medical record database for upstate New York veterans born between 1925 and 1953, the age group that would have been eligible for military service during the Vietnam era. They conducted the research at the Buffalo VA Medical Center.

They compared the frequency of diagnoses of thyroid cancer, nodules, hypothyroidism, and Graves’ disease in veterans who identified themselves as being exposed to Agent Orange (23,939) or not exposed to Agent Orange (200,109).

“Analyzing data on thyroid conditions, we found no difference in the prevalence of thyroid nodules or cancers between the exposed and non-exposed groups,” says Varanasi. “Graves’ disease, however, was three times more prevalent in the exposed group.

“Interestingly, hypothyroidism [lower than normal thyroid] was less common in the exposed group.”

Varanasi, who garnered first prize in the oral presentation category for this research at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists annual meeting held in Boston in April, says that in view of the known effects of dioxin on the immune system, further research should be conducted on the increased prevalence of Graves’ disease in Vietnam veterans. His research group is planning to continue this investigation either in vitro or in animal models.

More news from the University at Buffalo:

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  1. chekawa

    According to Senator Webb of VA any effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam Vets is related to old age. If that is so true then how come numerous studies presently and in the past are all wrong. Mr Webb has now become a doctor and a endocrinologists. He is pounding his chest and will now have hearing on the additional three disease’s the secretary of VA has added to the long and growing list. It looks like he has become a wolf in sheep’s clothing and is willing to sit back and watch a nation of vets linger in this cesspool of his creation that nothing is good for the men who took the oath to defend this country. But what does he care he is part of the problem . Go figure Mr Webb you call yourself a brother in arms?

  2. Stephen Carey

    chekawa, thank you for your comment. Senator Webb, is one of my senators, here in VA. I am about 10 minutes outside of DC – I think I always add that line so that people won’t think that I can’t think or that I won’t listen to any other ideas. I guess I still wished I lived in DC.

    Anyway, I am very sorry about my Senator’s belief on this subject. There is so much information, real science information, that confirm that Agent Orange illnesses are still with us. I sometimes think that people would just like the great Viet Nam Vets of our country would just all disappear. Then, they don’t have to face the truth.

    I was a kid during the war, but even then, I knew of some sort of medical issue with the defoliation this country used during that long war. I hold so much love in my heart for these men and women. My father was there, though, I don’t know what he did there, heck, we never knew what he did anywhere. Maybe those on the ground felt that they really needed this to win the war, plus, the military civilians and the upper echelon of the military kept telling those below them that what they were hearing was junk science. We now know it was not.

    Finally, I am beyond tired, make it angry, when I hear that in the 1980s, it was then President Reagan how won the cold war for us. That totally dismisses all of those who died, were injured, served, and those dealing with the Agent Orange issues, didn’t contribute. Those 52,000 men and women did bring the close of the Cold War closer. The fact that the US would take such a tough stand on communism was absolutely in the minds of those at the Kremlin. And, what about the various CIA operations we will never know about, or, the Korean War – did they serve for any other reason than to help end the cold war?

    I thank all of those who served and their families, for it can be so difficult on spouses and children. And, I pray, that those men and women coming home from our current battles find a better health care plan for them and that they will be followed for the rest of their lives.

  3. Carolyn

    June 26,2010 my husband took his life.He was type II diabetes and high blood pressure.
    He had satted he had no energy and from stated sx. neuropathy.

    He was a Vietnam Vet. can this type and cause produce severe depression/? Although he never said he was and when asked he would say there is nothing wrong.Or could this be related to PTSD.

    Many people have many opinions as to why because he would be the last person in the world to do this!

  4. Manu Ganji

    Chemical warfare has never stopped at serving just the purpose. It always brought with it some side effects. Especially chemicals have a prolonged effect and it takes hell lot of time ( I doubt if it’s ever possible) to gain a complete understanding. It’s been so many years and still we find new effects of Agent Orange. sad.

  5. Dean F Wurgler

    I was in Veit Nam in 1962 and part of 1963 and i came home with very high blood pressure and dead skin on my feet and am still treating both,my blood pressure is so high the dr does not know why i have not had a heart attacke they can not it to come down they change the meds every time i go to the doctor.

  6. Joe Martin

    At age 55 I started having skin problems which was diagnosed as psoriasis by VA at the same time I came down with COPD and had prostrate surgery and still have remaining problems and am recieving treatments on all of them which all are incurable. I made an agent orange claim four years ago and have been denied twice to date and just put in my third appeal. I would like to hear some opinions.

  7. Glenn

    Maybe I am crazy, but I was in Vietnam, special forces, and there are only two of us left, out of our team and I guess I was never there. We were told to never talk about this and the government says they have no record of this

  8. chekawa

    Glenn: The Army knows where they send you. The record keeping when left to a over worked clerk does not always go down in ink or even entered at all. All those records that were made by units more than likely never reached back to the states.When the south fell to the north we all know those records were put over the side or just plain got burned. That’s why their was a big fire in the records center. No records no claim.

    Examples of this: I was in a VA hospital state side while they had me AWOL in country (Nam) I also was listed as being in Laos but not AWOL. So go figure, don’t get distracted by the fact you are to not talk about it.. That means nothing today. Get someone to help you with your case. You had to be somewhere, Right? Go get what you earned. Don’t forget that they know a percentage of people will give up. SO DON’T YOU!

    Joe: I wish I could help you. I’m no expert. After all I know more and more about less and less. Go to the DAV and ask for some help. You don’t have to be a member. They will help you with the claim. If your already doing this then maybe you need some legal help. Go here and ask Jim for some help about your claim. He can direct you down the right path. Better read his file on how to file a claim. Let us know how you make out.

    Good luck Brothers


    i am a 1964-1965 USN Vietnam Veteran. I did’nt know the whole Navy was cut out of VA benefits, along with the Air Force. i guess we were’nt there either! I would love to see those Veterans denied claims, march on Washington. Sit down on the capitol steps, until this is rectified. We were shelling Cambodia, when Pres. Johnson said, “we have no troops deployed to Cambodia”. According to the VA “prove that Agent Orange caused your problems”. KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY! Welcome home!

  10. Linda Means

    My husband was a healthy young man when he was drafted to go to Vietnam. After he returned home, he started developing terrible lung disorders. Thanks to a wonderful private doctor – who kept track of all of his ailments, he was able to get evaluated by the VA. These vets gave everything to serve their country and mine. He continually had health issues. He did come home from Vietnam; but he paid a price in his health after that. He died in 1999 – very suddenly. I can never forget all of the medical issues when he returned home. And he was so healthy when he left. I can never forget that!!!!!

  11. Rick

    Read this——-
    Glenn wrote:
    Aug 16, 2010 11:45
    Maybe I am crazy, but I was in Vietnam, special forces, and there are only two of us left, out of our team and I guess I was never there. We were told to never talk about this and the government says they have no record of this
    Glenn, sorry Dude that line doesn’t get it! Heard it too many times from Wannbe’s in the past! So what can I say but, I bet, You Were Never There!

  12. James Knudsen


    I am sorry to hear about your husband.

    I am a Vietnam combat veteran who has experienced clinical depression, insomnia, and neuropathy for several decades, and approximately five years ago, the VA’s docotors diagnosed that I have PTSD. Now I am taking medications which help to somewhat manage my illnesses.
    My wife abandoned me after a twenty-year marraige.

  13. Katie

    My dad served over in vietnam in 1970-1971 and has been recently diagnosed with lung cancer and lymphnod cancer he will be turning 61 at the end of this month when we go to the dr all they wanna hear is that he was a smoker not that he was exposed to agent orange casue there is no correct test to prove that u r they say there is a blood test out there but every time it comes back negative (done research) so how can u tell the difference i know if we go to the va with this they are going to say it was due to smoking not the exposure…….

  14. James Knudsen

    Veterans’ Diseases Associated with Agent Orange Exposure
    Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits for diseases that VA has recognized as associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides.

    Surviving spouses, children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and died as the result of diseases associated with Agent Orange may be eligible for survivors’ benefits.

    ■Acute and Subacute Peripheral Neuropathy
    A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to herbicides and resolve within 2 years after the date it began.
    ■AL Amyloidosis
    A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs.
    ■Chloracne (or Similar Acneform Disease)
    A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA’s rating regulations, chloracne (or other acneform disease similar to chloracne) must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to herbicides.
    ■Chronic B-cell Leukemias
    A type of cancer which affects white blood cells. VA’s regulation recognizing all chronic B-cell leukemias as related to exposure to herbicides took effect on October 30, 2010.
    ■Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)
    A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin.
    ■Hodgkin’s Disease
    A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia.
    ■Ischemic Heart Disease
    A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart, that leads to chest pain. VA’s regulation recognizing ischemic heart disease as related to exposure to herbicides took effect on October 30, 2010.
    ■Multiple Myeloma
    A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow.
    ■Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue.
    ■Parkinson’s Disease
    A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement. VA’s regulation recognizing Parkinson’s disease as related to exposure to herbicides took effect on October 30, 2010.
    ■Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
    A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to herbicides.
    ■Prostate Cancer
    Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men.
    ■Respiratory Cancers
    Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus.
    ■Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or Mesothelioma)
    A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues.

  15. james f malott

    HI my husbeen was there at the time the Agent Orange was flown Over where he and his groop where at at the time , i have been trying for years to get someone anyone to help us to get help for him to be dianosed by an doctor we do not have the money’s requred to do the testing ,if anyone reading this could you PLEASE, e/mail us on how OR who maybe able to help us he has been sick alot and we have no medical insurerace to cover him and i have been dealing w/ skin issues and so has my kids and other issues as well thank you .please HELP mrs MALOTT 1/21/2011

  16. chekawa

    James F Malott

    Call your local DAV, VFW and tell them your husband needs to file a Agent Orange claim. You do not need to be a member. They will assist you and him in filling out the necessary paperwork to do so. You also can do a search on the internet and find hundreds of web sites that will also direct you in the proper direction.
    Good Luck

    Here is a good place to start:

  17. Kate

    My Father served in Vietnam 1970-1971 USMC he was a sniper special forces. When he was 35 he developed DM. Growing up I always remember him having skin problems he said it was jungle rot. He had severe peripheral neuropathy in 2003 he had his first heart attack, he had his second in 2008. It was also at the onset of a rare dementia FTD, Parkinson’s like dementia he had the re onset of PTSD. At that time was the first time I heard my Dad talk about Vietnam, he never did. It broke my heart to hear the memories he talked about. It was hell to get him help with hard work prayer and after 18 months he got benefits from service connected illness from the VA. The check came in 2 weeks before his death. Normal dementia doesn’t kill you in less than two years he had lost 50 lbs and looked emaciated was losing his speech and very weak. He died peacefully in his sleep cause of death was his final heart attack, on the death certificate. I believe Agent Orange killed my father. My best friend growing up lost her Dad too, another Vietnam era Marine to lung cancer 3 months ago. Our Vet’s are dying too soon, Father’s, Husbands, Brother’s, Son’s. Thank you for serving our country, I hope to hell you all get the right treatment

  18. Brandon

    When did we find effects on people from Agent Orange i’m doing a project on the Vietnam war and I wanted to know when we first found effects please email me at ASAP its due monday April 25th

  19. apueb

    Where can I go for information about. Grave’s Disease VA ratings, non related to Agent Orange?? Thanks

  20. Leon Mcknight

    If you want to know what i know about the va. e-mail me or how to get over drop me a question on how too? daroseman

  21. Don McCarty

    good Vietnam Buddy of mine Lamar Gilmore got the word from his VA in new york and help me in Newark Ohio when l got the news that l had Prostate Cancer. I had never been to a VA and could not beleive that l would get any help at all, well l did and 11 months now and thank GOD things our working out. D McCarty

  22. Judy Marlar

    My husband was in Vietnam in 67- 68 . He also helped clear jungle with heavy equip. and can remember feeling the cool mist from the spraying kill the jungle growth . I met and married him in 1970 and noticed how his hands shook the first time I met him. Many nights of being woke up from him jerking, yelling and waking up from a flashback was so sad. In spite of the hard life I lived with him ,we are still together .. he was a wreck from the start when I met him. In 1983 he had a spell of dizziness and staggering and though it lasted only a day or so, he decided to go and was seen at the V.A. medical center and no cause was found. In 2000 he was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and was recently diagnosed with Blastomycosis and in my understanding is a fungus that is also found in soil contaminated with dioxins. He is totally disabled and only wonders if he could have got this fungus from Vietnam ;since he could have carried it in him for years, the doctors say , and only showing up now.

  23. Leon Mcknight

    3 / 5th Cav. 9th / 1967 Div My agent orange the Dixons in the cells can and do last for years and years and breakdown over time. Mine started out on my back and my feet as jungle fungus, it move to my groin and then the back of my hands and between my fingers, the acme pimple and puss bumps type, then the itching behind my ears, this stuff is no joke. Remember the connection from school between plant life and humans, if it kills life it kills everything else. Some of my best defects come from problems with Agent Orange remember it starts with the thyroid gland.

  24. alvin e thomas


  25. chekawa

    alvin e thomas

    Call your local DAV, VFW service officer and ask to make a appointment with them and explain your case. I know they can be a huge resource for you on getting you claim and processing going in the right direction. For years I walked away from asking for any help from anyone. What a fool I was. Don’t make the same mistake and GIVE UP! They can open doors that are closed.
    Three tours in the Delta and greatly damaged by Orange.


  26. Robin Smith

    My father was in Vietnam I believe from 67 to late 69. He was always a very strong man until the last several years and his health has done nothing but decline!! He has had quad heart by pass, enlarged liver, kidney disease, anemia, pstd and severe depression! He has just found out about the anemia, given 3 pints of blood and a 3 day iron infusion and still not better. Now they are talking about checking bone marrow!! I’m so pissed off at the way the vietnam vets have been treated!! My father has terrible night terrors now, has had to retire from his job and the VA is steady giving him the run around!! He also has shrapnel in his left foot which has caused him so many problems. This ordeal has been going on since 1982!! Regular drs say its agent orange and VA claims other wise!!

  27. Alex

    The fact that the US would take such a tough stand on communism was absolutely in the minds of those at the Kremlin. And, what about the various CIA operations we will never know about, or, the Korean War – did they serve for any other reason than to help end the cold war?

  28. Colin

    Old age? At 20 right after getting out I had urinary problems and prostrate problems. At thirty I had high blood pressure and developed ashma (sp), rashes including Psorisis (sp), and arterial problems along with peronies and ED. At 50 2 heart stints and kidney stint and have two kidneys funcitoning as one. Prostristis and thyroid calcification. And right after discharge and since removal of lumps all over my body. I have three bad heart valves diagnoised at 30 and arythmia as well as cholesterol problems since late 30’s. Diabetic, type II at thirty along with stomach problems since discharge which is uncontroled with meds. IBS in my 20’s along with fatique and depression. Diagnosed PTSD by VA and jogged on the perimeter of base in Thailand where the Chico report showed they used AO to control vegitation since mowing was impossible and area inward was mined. Used there up to 1975 even after they stopped using it in Vietnam of which I was there too. VA now admits use of it in Thailand to 75. Now have cyst in bladder and showdow in prostrate yet to be taken care of by the VA since they are working on the thyroid calcification. Have had to use Cpap since 30’s and I was not obese then.
    Now tell me that its all due to aging. I am 59 now and have had most of the problems from early twenties to early forties. None runs in my family who many have lived into mid 80’s’ to 103. And where in great health with exception of mother who died of alcoholism.
    To say thyroid is not presumptive? well studies could not find why all vets who served foreign and domestic are high for MS? So if all vets are high for may other things such as thyroid then we have to look at that as well as peronies. Thyroid is largely undiagnosed unless you are looking for it and most vets will not tell about peronies or ED. A list is need for those exposed who have any health problems.
    Not to mention the DDT sprayed every night with kerosine for bugs. Most old oil men died young of heart problems from getting heating oil and kerosene on them them when they delivered it in the 30’s and 40’s. How about us who were sprayed daily for all the time we were in SEA

  29. Ken Napier

    I am sick to my stomach with what I have read and found out on here and other sites. First let me begine with the spinabifda disease they keep talking about with offsprings. This IS THE LEAST LIKLY DISEASE OF THEM ALL !!!!!! I have read the entire list of medical issues pertaining to vets themselves (not offsprings) and I have almost every damn one of them and Im an offspring. 7 other brothers and sisters and we are all sick with a ton of these issues. I just now got dx’ed with stroke of the brain and optic neuritis and have had diabetes for a long time on insulin and neuropathy of hands feet and parathasias. My spine is a mess and hips and all my other joints are covered in what is known as arthritis. My docs have given me the dx of firbromyalgia for the time being and now sending me to another cardiologist and hematologist cause my blood work keeps coming back with weird numbers across the entire board. I as an offspring want to sit in front of these jerk wad congressmen and tell them they are full of shit. I mean totally full of shit. My medical records have me being an 80 year old man and Im only 40.

    Someone send me a lawyer that will fight for the offsprings either with the VA or the mosantos. I dont care which one.

    Email me and lets get this moving Im falling apart here. And my daughters both have been dx’ed with thyroid disease now. I am very serious email me if you know of any lawyer thats willign to take on the va or monsanto. here is my addy

  30. choya umberger

    i am a vietnam vet have agent orange type 2, peripaial neuroaphathy. skin disorder, e.d. i am 100% for these things. i am 61 last year i started to get real bad fatigue in both of my legs. i walk real slow and not for very far. could that be a start of parkinsons dease.and also. in the last three weeks have gotten anal warts real bad. and seeing a va doctor they call it HPV. i have checked on it and so has my wife. i have found out the agent orange attacks your immune system an caused anal warts.what de you vets thank you had my email help give me some answers thanks to all our vets

  31. Pat

    My husband was also in special forces and had missions to VN and is ill and did not talk about this until recently. He and 2 others from his unit are ill. Glenn’s words could be my husband’s. No help because from the VA because of no record until declassified when Nixon’s are.

  32. Chekawa

    Glen and Pat

    First and foremost If you were in Vietnam a record must be recorder someplace. Please go to the DAV or VFW, VVA and speak to a service officer. Don’t waste time as much has been wasted already. File a claim and let the services figure it out. The service officers will not let you down, this is what they do. Also you may go to your regional VA office and speak to a person at the desk after signing in they will also assist you. Don’t think for a minute that anyone can cover up the service you provided to your country. So Please, please don’t waste anytime getting this done. It will take some time, maybe up to a year or more just to get into the system. Don’t forget that many other Vet’s can be of help as well. Information from them is a primary source for you. Speak up ask for help.
    Good Luck to you and yours start TODAY!

  33. Pat

    Don’t think for a minute that Mike – and the others like him – haven’t contacted the VA. The VOS that assisted my husband told him that his records are coded but he named the missions he went on and also stated that he would die before getting an aspirin from the VA. You take a number and get in line to be assessed – a year long wait. The VOS is also the one that told him two others from the unit were sick with the same thing. He remembers being sprayed by the planes and how it burned. He has 14 of 17 symptoms from agent orange. And, again, his records are classified and will be declassified when the Nixon records are – if not destroyed before then. You cannot ask that they be declassified in order to prove he was there. That being the key – prove you were there.

  34. Chekawa

    It’s about time for you to call your congressmen/senator in the sate that your in, I can’t help think for the life of me why you should have to take this form of abuse. Declassified means nothing after 45 tears, you need help now. Go here (Listed below) and ask for assistance and be very thorough in you case with them. I will bet you that these people can help you. By the way the VSO has no right in telling you what the VA will give your husband. Isn’t that nice that the VSO can also tell you about the other members of your husbands unit are sick also and with the same thing. That is very odd!

  35. Chekawa

    DOD discovers 8,000 missing records Posted from email received from Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL “Colonel Dan”

    Hello Everyone:

    For public release and widest possible re-post, forward and re-publication for the benefit of Veterans and their families. Pass it forward, folks!

    This post is for those Veterans and families who have been effected by VA denials or have been following the ongoing battle over missing military service records.

    Through the insider network (arms-length sources inside DOD/WA DC) involved in those discovery activities I have just received unreleased inside information that another approximate 8,000+ sets of “previously unknown” records were “discovered”.

    NO, these are not the same warehoused records of which you may have heard several months ago. These were not warehoused, they were secretly “stashed”!


    A secret US joint operations CIA/Army unit code named “Ghost Walkers” served in both Korea and Vietnam. There were many similar units.

    “Ghost Walkers” is/was a joint operations CIA/Army group that conducted clandestine ops during Korea and Vietnam and both the name of the group and it’s operations remain EXTREMELY classified. We are talking ABOVE NEED TO KNOW classification.

    By the name, anyone with an understanding of military operations can develop a reasonably accurate guess as to the activities of the “Ghost Walkers”.

    Operations so classified that records of the Veterans were not warehoused, rather they were “stashed” in holds that remained under the sole control of the

    separate “alphabet agencies” and were not subjected to the laws regarding release for VA claim use and declassification after term of years.


    The Ghost Walkers’ extremely classified activities were such that even now the records of those military Veterans who served in it are classified.


    Even under VA service connected disability claims laws, NOTHING will be released relating to those Veterans’ service in Korea and/or Vietnam, not even a generic letter of service and exposure to the medical disability precursor.

    These Veterans have been illegally denied VA service connected disability compensation for decades because their records are that tightly classified.

    The basic reason for the denials is that the units were assigned under various violations of treaties and world law,

    therefore; the units/groups and the Veterans’ records were totally classified and release of anything in those records, even for VA service connected disability claim processing, was prohibited.

    Many disabled Veterans have been told for decades that there are no records of their service in Korea and therefore they are not eligible for service connection for disabilities caused by toxic chemical exposure and other issues sustained during that Korea service.


    Those Veterans and their families began talking and communicating over the last few years and have sparked official military branch and DOD investigations, Congressional investigation committees, special offices/liaisons, and finally the beginning of a special (now forming) Veterans Administration office to deal with the “alphabet” national security agencies to find and open such records in “due diligence and duty to assist” for claiming Veterans.

    These Veterans and families have been working under very careful effort to not violate nondisclosure agreements and to avoid politically embarrassment to and international court claims for damages against the USA.

    However, to date, their efforts to remain patriotic and sympathetic to the secrecy and national security needs of the USA have been met with extreme lethargy

    and dilatory tactics by the government officials, double talk, unfulfilled promises, “one step forward and two steps backward” progress, and unfulfilled government lawfully mandated obligations to provide for those disabled Veterans of honorable service to our nation.

    In short, as usual, and with extreme dishonor to it’s Veterans of honorable service, the USA has turned a blind eye and provided NO RELIEF to these long-suffering, patriotic Veterans. Instead, the USA/DOD/Congresspersons/VA/alphabet agencies/ect. wait for these Veterans to die without the fulfillment of the promises made for their military service.

    THE BREACH OF NATIONAL SECURITY HEREIN: is minor – the reference to a code name “Ghost Walkers” – which will shock those in authority but cause no damage in and of itself.

    The benefit in the release of the name is in the fact that it is known and now referred in a limited public manner, outside the supposedly limited circle of knowledge.

    The additional benefit to the Veterans of such service remains in what is not stated – but could be released to the world.

    There were other such units.

    The USA needs to IMMEDIATELY resolve it’s issues with those Veterans and their survivors: issue the required VA disabilities, medical care, benefits, and compensations
    for the decades of the unconstitutional deprivation of these Veterans and families civil and Veterans rights!


  36. Pat

    Thanks for the update. I printed the directive for my husband begging him to list his locations/times so that his family could follow-up with this if he is unable to. He is reluctant. Understand. But, from reading the 2009 directive, the VA should have filled this form out and submitted it when he visited them. I am not giving up!

  37. Michael H. Kwas

    the VA has been wonderful, I am rated at 100% due to Agent Orange exposure at Cam Ranh Bay in 1965, I cannot ask for better treatment

  38. Michele

    My name is Michele and I am only 21 years old. My grandfather was in WW2 and my dad was in the Vietnam war. He was a paratrooper that jumped out of airplanes into the jungles of Vietnam. He died when I was only 8 years old. My mother and grandparents died later on when I was in my first year of highschool. My dad is from half way across the US and I never knew his side of the family or anything about him. I know that because he went to war in Vietnam, I am able to go to college paid by the VA because of him. My older sisters remember alot more about my dad than I do. They say he had extreme PTSD and many psychological problems and flashbacks. He left my mom after my younger brother was born because he was abusive from the trauma. Now I am pretty much on my own, I am double majoring in Art Educatoon and Fine Arts to become a teacher. I have my whole life ahead of me to live.
    I found this article because I just recently found a large hard lump coming out from the inside of my neck. I just made an appointment to see my doctor. Even though I am so young I have always seemed to have health problems. From ear infections when I was an infant, fraud shows I had an extra rib in my back and I was diagnosed with insomnia and depression in 6th grade. I was never diagnosed with athsma but I always worried about my pain I feel in my heart and cheats every few months. Until only a few days ago I didn’t know what agent orange was or how I could be affected by it. From reading other people’s stories of their dads who where also in Vietnam I know fear that I too am effected by this. Now that I have read and understood everyone’s problem here I need to tell my doctor that my dad was exposed to agent orange. I hope if there is a god that maybe i am free of any illness. I worry that my future will be full of bad health. I even wonder if I shouldn’t have any kids. I have always dreamed of having children, but is it wrong for me to bring anyone else into this world with my sick genetics. I fear for my little brother who shares the same dad as me. We are both going though life with deceased parents. I have health insurance only until I finish college and then I am on my own. I don’t know what to do if I start showing signs of agent orange after i loose my health insurance. I really can’t believe no one in my family told me about this. I have to discover this terrible secret agent orange on my own. I am worried this large lump on my neck may be connected to my dads exposure to agent orange in Vietnam. I always thought I was healthy and would have a good life but I doubt that now. During the time of war in vietnam before I was born there was some kind of Hitler in our goverment. Some sick, fucked up (excuse my language) person that created Agent Orange. Because of them my whole life and the life of my kids will never be the same. I may be young bow but as I get older I know I will be burdened by illness that I had no fucking control over. I had a plan for my life, to be an artist and a teacher to inspire kids and make thir lives better. I don’t know what to think of my future now. I am very afraid.

  39. Chekawa


    Please see your doctor first. The lump your are talking about could be something other than from agent orange. Myself and other Vietnam Vet’s can understand your fear and maybe the issues you might have to face. But you must first see your Doctor. Please don’t do a disservice to yourself by projecting a outcome of this health issue. It does not help you and only brings harm to your mental health. You hit the nail on the head when you said ” you discover this terrible secret”. Thousands of vet’s have faced this issue as well. I’m very sorry if your health conditions are from agent orange and sincerely apologize for the US Government and it’s actions to your father. Please let us know how you are doing in the future.


  40. Michele

    Thankyou for responding Chekawa,
    I have an appointment with my doctor is two days. When I posted the first comment I was in a bit of a shock since I was just learning about agent orange. My heart goes out to all the veterans and their families. Stay strong and try to keep a positive mind.
    -sincerely, Michele

  41. Michael H. Kwas

    if it is AO the VA will take care of it, get checked by a VA doctor, using Dad’s military info, good luck, may take months

  42. Michael H. Kwas

    the gift that keeps on giving.. so true, every health, vision and hearing problem are accredited to AO, learn to live with is oftem the answer, 100%ers get great help as much as they can, but they still don’t know all the answers, it’s only been over 50 years!

  43. Michael H. Kwas

    awaiting reinstation of The Order of The Silver Rose!! we need it back

  44. Michael H. Kwas


  45. Michele

    Hey Chekawa,
    I went to my doctor and took x-rays about the lump in my neck. It turns out I have multiple xray ribs, well only two so far, but that is weird enough for me. I guess the problem with my neck is that one of these extra ribs is twisted up into my neck. My doctor says they are old bones so it’s not cancerous, but the reason it is sticking out is because it was recently broken. It happened a few months ago when I slipped and fell at work.I felt something snap but I didnt know what it was I went to the hospital and they only treated my cuts on my hands. I was in so much pain in my neck and side that I went back to the hospital the next day after work. they took x-rays but told me nothing was broken and that I had a rib contusion. I could barley lift my arm for a month. The doctor I saw last week told me that I should be ok. I am kind of worried because he told me it causes swelling in my neck which I already knew because i can’t really sleep on that side without feeling uncomfterble. I am very happy that it is not serious. Before I went to the doctor I was getting ready to face the possibility of cancer or a tumor. I feel so releaved knowing I will be just fine after all.
    I recently brought up the subject of AO to my family and I was surprised to find out that they too were aware and concerned about it. My oldest sister even knew about some of the possible conditions that the VA has linked to AO in women.

  46. Chekawa


    I’m sure glad you you put yourself in the Doctors hands. This is very good news and much to the attention of the other readers we are and have been concerned about your original post. Good news Michelle, thank you for the up dates and I do hope your present status improves and gives you comfort.

    Be well and worry free!

  47. Michele

    Thankyou! It was nice to actually talk about everything I was so worried about. Talking about it face to face with my friends and family can feel akward because some ppl don’t believe or even know what it is.. When I read everyone’s stories and found others just as concerned, I felt like I could finally just let out the fear I had that I was just bottling inside me. I feel so much more positive and I’m actually thankful that this bone sticking out is just fine! Thank you Chekawa for reading, responding and concern.

  48. Alan Reigle

    Surreal the VA merrygoround I’ve been on. They wanted to do a massive cervical reconstruction literally plating, screwing and rodding it it top to bottom, front and back, due to spinal stenosis, they said, the reason they denied my very severe peripheral neuropathy claim. Asked and got a second opinion at another VA system, by a very prominent neuro doctors, who stated I had absolutely no need for any cervical surgery, my conditions were diagnosed as symptomatic of both severe peripheral neuropathy and Parkinson’s Disease, of which I was also denied compensation. I was told my extremely swollen legs were just “cosmetic” by my primary care doctor, no sweat, fortunately my hematologist took the time to see me the next day and had me hospitalized with pulmonary embolisms in my heart and lungs. Been told to go home and take an Aleve for undiagnosed hiatal, umbilical hernias and Gerd. Have had a procedure done while taking medicine that shouldn’t have been in my system and wasn’t notified. Been demanded to go into a public swimming pool with open wounds on my legs as part of VR&E therapy. I could go on and on with this crap. I wonder how many others have died or are needlessly suffering. Old, depressed, pissed off and unable to work due to all my sc conditions. All I can say is thank you to all the fine professional staff at the VA who have helped me by doing their job and the rest can kiss my ass!

  49. Richard Larrabee

    I have lumps all over. Heart Trouble. Skin rash. Skin rots. Nerve damage. I’m weak. Can’t sleep. PSTD. And the VA doesn’t help me. I got lifeve. My grandkids need ms. Can. Someone help me

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