1,324,538 poems read


 photo AgentOrange.jpg

I've been in contact with warriors I served with
We were much younger then and fit and so healthy
But these days we all talk about our illnesses

Seems many of us who served at Binh-Thuy are sick
Various illnesses like Diabetes and nerve damage
Some are even suffering now from different cancers

The most common denominator was the Agent Orange
We were all heavily exposed to this deadly toxin
It was suppose to save our lives by killing plants

The VC used the jungle foliage to sneak up on us
It provided them the perfect cover to attack us
And with this miracle spray it would eliminate it

But now more and more veterans are becoming very ill
They're developing Cancers, Diabetes and illnesses
Some like me are slowly becoming crippled as well

Our Agent Orange claims had been denied for years
Only now is the government slowly approving them
As Agent Orange is still seeking out more victims

Terry Sasek - Alwaysawarrior - all rights reserved.

We had been sprayed in Vietnam by this chemical known as Agent
Orange and then later we were betrayed for more than 40 years
by our government who was denying any claims for exposure to
Agent Orange. They'd tell us that our medical issues were not
in any way caused by our exposure to the defoliant spray that
was used by the U.S. government to kill off jungle vegetation
in Vietnam. There are many thousands of us Vietnam Veterans
who to this very day are still trying to prove that exposure
to Agent Orange had caused their suffering and illnesses and
there are thousands more who have given up trying to prove it
to win their own claim for exposure to these chemicals as they
feel the Veterans Administration will never approve it so they
can get their medical treatments or compensation no matter how
much proof they had due to the lack of trust in the VA and they
felt that it didn't really matter to the VA how much that they
were suffering due to their exposure while they had served over
there. But in the last year there has been a complete turn about
in the VA with allot less opposition against claims from Vietnam
Veterans and they've started to finally approve claims from us
veterans for certain illnesses and other medical issues as they
are now considered to have been a direct result of having been
exposed to the dioxins that was part of the mixture that made
Agent Orange. At the same time though Agent Orange claims can
take an average of about four to six years to be processed and
approved and only after many tests to positively prove that any
illnesses you have were traceable back to your past exposure to
Agent Orange and you are given compensation in little bits at a
time over that complete testing cycle and only as long as these
tests prove your claims are valid. There are many veterans who
don't want to go through this long dragged out process to prove
their claims and they simply quit trying to win their appeals of
their previous denials that they received from the VA as to the
amount of exposure that they may of had and to what degree that
they are disabled from any illnesses, diseases or disabilities
that they are currently suffering from as a direct result from
their own exposure. For me the claims that I had filed and were
denied and then we would appeal their decisions took almost six
full years to finally be approved as 100% disabled caused by my
physical and medical issues that were related directly to my own
personal exposure and the VA deemed my compensation claims
for service connected disabilities were valid and were caused by
my own exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. I was
first rated at 30% disabled, then 40% disabled, then I was given
a rating of 60% disabled and had remained at that level for more
than 18 months. After five years of appealing the VA's decisions
in my case and after having to see many independent specialists
who had better methods of evaluating the results of my own levels
of Dioxins still in my body and nervous system, my appeals were
then reviewed once more by the VA at a much higher level by their
own specialist and it was finally determined that I should have a
rating at the 100% level of compensation since the tests results
had proved that the effects on me from my exposure had made
it physically impossible for me to do any type of work at all and
was indeed the reason that my former employer had given to the VA
for having laid me off of my job permanently after 28 years with
one of the best work ethic and performance evaluation records at
the company, they didn't want to face the possibility that they'd
be liable if I'd fallen down and that I could have been seriously
injured by the machinery that I was working on. Since it was more
than obvious to them that my disabilities kept getting worse they
let me go without any possibility of ever being recalled back to
work there again. I have always taken the attitude that I would
never give in and I'd never give up my fight with the Veterans
Administration until I won my case and that's what I tell all of
my veterans buddies as well who are still waiting on their own
claims to go through the appeals process in hopes that they too
will some day finally be approved by the Veterans Administration
and that they will finally be compensated for their own heavy &
debilitating exposure to this very deadly herbicide that was used
in Vietnam during the war in which we all fought in there.


Comment On This Poem ---