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Waiting For An Army To Die
on September 19, 2010
I should preface my review by saying that I served in north central Vietnam in 1967-68. I served on river patrols while there and was exposed to Agent Orange the whole time I was there in country. I made application and was accepted to receive a part of the chemical company settlement. My first born son has an IQ of about 30 (without speech they can't accurately diagnose an IQ), he is physically incapable of speaking, his eyes were screwed up at birth (corrected with early surgery) his kidneys were displaced (located in areas doctors had never experienced) and he had elasticity of his skin. He's 5 feet four inches tall and 140lbs. Every male in my family, for at least four generations, exceeded 6 feet in height and 200 lbs in weight. My second son is completely "normal" and healthy individual.
So, I read this book to learn about what other vets had experienced. I have always accepted my son's condition and moved forward, never looking back and always trying to make the most of an unfortunate situation. I postponed my marriage because of the possibility of being in a combat theatre and coming home in the infamous plastic bag. When I returned home in one piece, thinking I had dodged the "bullet," we married and started the traditional family. Only to find out later, I hadn't dodged the small particle (Bullets) of Agent Orange which ended up being more devastating than the one you receive a Purple Heart for. A couple months ago, I read where the Agent Orange Compensation Program funded by the chemical companies has been drained. I've had the legs rashes, the skin cancer, kidney problems but never thought it was bad enough to apply for compensation from the Program thinking that when I passed away, whatever my share of the fund was would help take care of my dependent son. That's not going to happen, now.
With that background, onto the review.
As I said before, I purchased the book to learn about the experiences of other Vietnam vets exposed to the Agent Orange. I found the first third of the book informative. The second two thirds when he was addressing the chemical being used in other markets become somewhat uninteresting and boring for me. I think the author was more interested in the government and chemical companies cover up of the use of Agent Orange. While I agree the cover up existed, it wasn't what I was searching for when I read the book. For that reason, I was a little disappointed.