Children of Vietnam Vets say Agent Orange Impacts Generations
Veterans and their children shared their stories at a town hall meeting at Elks Lodge in Fargo
FARGO, ND — Tears were shed at a town hall meeting in Fargo about the life changing effects of Agent Orange.
Many children of Vietnam veterans spoke about how exposure to the chemical impacts multiple generations.
Families of survivors are still looking for answers more than four decades after the Vietnam War.
“So it was straight Agent Orange that I was rolling in,” said Glenn, an area veteran. “I found out in March, I have Parkinson’s disease.”
Agent Orange was a heavy dioxin used to flatten vegetation and deprive the Vietkong cover during battles.
To this day, the children of vets exposed to the chemical have health problems unexplained by many doctors.
“We have a granddaughter that is just turning eight,” Glenn’s wife told the crowd. “They never have come up with a diagnosis except that she is severely mentally delayed.”
The children and grandchildren of these vets share conditions like autism, infertility and hip dysplasia.
“Not only do our parents suffer, but we continue to suffer,” one mother said.
Another woman said her father who served was killed by a rare form of cancer four years ago.
“It was directly related to his exposure to Agent Orange,” she said. “We struggle through many years with infertility. Luckily, we were able to have two children.”
“My Joshua was born in 1978,” said Maynard, one of the town hall’s leaders. “They finally came back and said that he has a severe learning disability. Plus he had a dislocated hip which we hear all the time.”
After sharing their stories, many wrote them down to help the VA and researchers learn more about the chemical’s effects.
Many feel they aren’t receiving the help they need from the government.
“We’ve found out it’s going to go three, four, five… maybe even six generations into our grandchildren,” said ND Vietnam Vets Of America President, Dan Stenvold.
Every town hall meeting brings these victims another step closer to finding answers.
There are more Agent Orange town hall meetings throughout the upper Midwest all year round.
For more information, click here.