There’s something in my eye…

My Dad has been corresponding with a journalist at a political news organization regarding his time spent in Vietnam and his suspicion that agent orange caused my health issues, as well as my brother’s.  He shared his story with them and was featured in their “Children of Agent Orange” series.  A woman came to their house last week to photograph him and do an audio interview, then a slideshow video was created using the photos and audio clips.  The series is a collaboration between ProPublica and the Virginian-Pilot.  They’ve collected massive amounts of data from people like my Dad, and while not scientific, the information does raise questions that deserve to be answered.

The video and article links were emailed to my Dad when they went live and he demanded that Mom and I watch the video with him.  He talked about my brother for all of 30 seconds, then rattles on about me for a bit and closes with “…I would like to see my daughter taken care of…she can’t fight for herself anymore.”  And then, something ahem, falls into my eyes and they start to water.  That’s some good production value.  I assume people who don’t know us and watch his video, as well as all of the other videos that were published telling similar tales, would have the same reaction.  Maybe not tears, but definite uneasiness.

I shared the links on my Facebook page and got a +1 from a classmate whose father served during Vietnam, and she has an autoimmune disease as well.  The VA didn’t agree to give her father disability coverage for a very rare form of cancer that he was diagnosed with until shortly before he passed away.  I vividly remember when her father died and how it stole the light from her eyes.  I was a senior in high school and she was a junior.

In 2004, the government mandated that all active duty service members who deploy to foreign countries near a warzone must get a series of anthrax vaccinations.  The initial formula given experimentally prior to 2004 had to be changed, as service members would become severely ill, some permanently.  We’ve only got 35-40 years to go until we find out if there’s a link between MC’s aneurysm and the anthrax vaccination.  What we do know, is that 2/3’s of people who receive them do get sick with severe flu-like symptoms, often for two or three months.

I’ve touched on the topic of agent orange a few times and I’m not quite sure where I stand, but it’s clear that if the government uses its people as guinea pigs without consent, there is a price to pay.  I’m glad more people are speaking up about it.  It’s difficult to ignore something that thousands of people are shouting from the rooftops (or from their keyboards).

14 thoughts on “There’s something in my eye…

  1. Wow, Kara, that’s heavy. To hear your story told from your dad’s point of view, like, to the world at large. It’s a touching window into the guy who seems to mostly vie with Homer for off-the-mark comments….he must be carrying a lot of heavy stuff in his heart, not the least of which is the guilt that parents have for foisting off bad genes on their children in a moment of passion. I’ve done that. The reward for that is to watch your kids grow up and suffer. I think that’s a well-known torture technique, isn’t it? Enough to drive a person to drink or whatever. Main thing is, the dude loves you a whole lot. I hope he likes the hat and scarf he’s going to get 🎅👽👿🎄🎁

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mostly he’s a noxious asshole who I’d like to pop in the troll nose for being nasty. It’d almost be easier if we hated each other because being around him is so difficult. I think that’s his defense mechanism. Anger is easier for him than sadness. But, we love each other, so I get to run interference when he’s being a turd. At least he talks more, even about the uncomfortable stuff, since he started seeing a counselor again at the VA. I think it helps. In the 17 years I lived at home, he only talked about Vietnam with me once while I was doing a research paper on the Tet Offensive.


  2. Hey gurl!!!…
    This was so powerful to read and you all are going thru all this…
    I hope to see an answer to this…for you and all that suffer…
    I thought I was going to cry with what your dad said about you gurl…very touching to say the least…
    Hang in there gurl
    Huggggs n ♥ to you and your family

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw that and shared it. You should hear my mom’s reactions to me doing more and more research!

    Related to the anthrax shots, P got them too. Or started to, but didn’t finish the series because he had such a bad reaction to it. That was back in 2000-2001. They use these poor servicemen like their personal lab monkeys.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Does she think there’s something to it? Most doctors I’ve mentioned it to look at me like I’m a crazy person. If you can get your Dad’s service records, you can submit a claim to the VA. It will be denied, but they’ll have it on file to use for the new research study.

      It seems backwards that service members are treated as subhumans. MC was sick for two months after he got his shots to go to Korea. He’s convinced his heart problem is a result of the anthrax shots, but I’m not so sure. His energy has been declining over the past five years, but who knows.


      • She really does. Because she says she met him at his coming-home party from Vietnam. I was able to get a hold of his service records. He was there for 2 years, was infantry/helos, and was more decorated that I ever knew! (Bronze Star!!)

        The military is either a social experiment or their own little government property lab monkeys. P has GI issues he thinks may be related to going to Africa/mandatory meds while in Africa. We’re still working on that one. The anthrax shots were baaaaad juju. I’ve never seen a reaction like P’s. He wasn’t able to finish the series, and he spent the rest of his career trying to duck extra vaccines. It usually worked. 😉


  4. Holy Hell … that is some extremely heavy shit! I agree its as fishy A.F! … and I’m no expert on it .. My mama has been researching this sort of thing for a while now … she has auto-immune stuff going on and can pin it to a vaccination she received before she went overseas years ago and spraying they were doing at the time, in the country she went to. Docs tend not to believe her, but she went from a seriously healthy woman one minute … sick as a dog the next. She’s researched the agent orange debate and looked at the chemicals used in their concoctions … apparently they’re similar to what they put in our pesticides … which have been banned in other countries! … Its an out of it topic … freaking interesting though … my brain tends not to store all the pertinent bits of info though, so soz if its not 100% credible 😉 (I’ll have to check with mama)
    I hope you guys get some answers … and can collectively kick someones ass ASAP!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate the way govs deny absolutely that there’s any connection. When anyone denies anything so totally, be suspicious. It’s like the connection between the radioactive nature of Irish soil (not all of it) and Cancer. It’s an on-going joke in the Irish ex-pat community. We count the amount of relatives that get cancer on both hands. And we say ‘well, I’m just waiting to get cancer’. I’m second gen and I do the same thing. But, funnily enough, I don’t know anyone in this community who’s been offered the genetic tests for Breast cancer – because everyone in the family gets a different one – if your gran and mum get breast cancer, you get checked. But if your gran gets lung, your aunt lymph, your mum ovarian and lung… you get nothing. Nada. This is the story all over the Irish-in-England etc. community.

    Liked by 1 person

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