APRIL 10, 2013
Agent Orange Barrels
By John J. Bury, US Navy, Retired, Vietnam War veteran, Media, Pa.
Agent Orange herbicide being lifted off the deck of the USS White Plains (AFS-4) for delivery by an HC-3 helicopter during a 1970 deployment to Vietnam. This is evidence that Blue Water Navy indeed carried and transported barrels of agent orange onboard US Navy commissioned ships to ports in Vietnam. Note the Orange band on the barrels a color code denoting contents.
The Department of the Navy and Department of Defense denies that any tactical herbicides were ever transported onboard any US Naval commissioned ship. The photograph pictured above proves differently.
Accidents do happen onboard ship. Some times barrels such as shown get damaged causing a spill. Sailors then clean up the spill without protective clothing. Hence, they come in contact with the herbicide. They are drenched with the chemical and breath in the fumes. Years later, many come down with agent orange poisoning causing a variety of diseases that are life threatening leading to death and crippling health conditions. Yet, many of these sailors can not get VA benefits, ie, medical and compensation. Why, because they are termed as Blue Water Navy never having boots on ground, Vietnam. Yet, they were there serving their Country in that war. To date, our Congress has refused to give recognition to the Blue Water Navy for presumptive exposure to agent orange dioxin. Over past years, Legislative Bills have been introduced to award VA health and compensation benefits, to no avail as these Bills continue to fail in Congress. It seems our Congress does not care about Navy Vietnam Veterans, we are forgotten. Since the failure of our Congress to pass legislation a new House Bill has been introduced to the 113th Congress HR-543 The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. I ask our Congress, what is a veterans life worth? What legacy do we leave behind for our children and grandchildren? Contact your members of Congress to pass this Bill.