Framing The Agent Orange Argument
Interim Agent Orange Editor
Ed Note: Chuck Palazzo is a fellow VVAW member, from here in Florida, and a fellow combat Marine, who served in-country RVN, during the same period as myself. He also, recently, moved his business to Danang, Vietnam. Chuck's windmill is Agent Orange. He has been involved in the fight on that front, for awhile. While in Vietnam, he began making contact with the Vietnamese victims groups, who were petitioning the US Government for the right to join a lawsuit, affixing responsibility and damages.
Through this work, Chuck "met" Rena Kopy, our VetSpeak Agent Orange Editor, who had recently presented to an International Commission, in Paris, France, calling for support of the Vietnamese Agent Orange Settlement lawsuit, and had done a piece on her experience, here on VetSpeak. Sadly, since that time, Rena has suffered a personal family tragedy. As a result, she is unable to focus her attention on anything but her family for awhile, and it would be unfair for us to ask her to do so. She has assured me, that she will let me know when she is ready to hoist the banner, once more.
Consequently; I have asked Chuck to be our Interim VetSpeak Agent Orange Editor, until such time as Rena's recent broken heart is well on it's way to mending. Thanks, Brother; Together Then... Together Again... WH
Shots Across The Bow...
There has been a more than usual series of articles in the press lately about Agent Orange and its possible link to Parkinson’s disease. The study that these articles reference was commissioned by the VA, in accordance with a mandate from the US Congress, to review every two years evidence about the effects of Agent Orange exposure. In my opinion, beyond the Congressional mandate, the VA is either opening their minds further to the possible link to additional disease and afflictions caused by Agent Orange and its most insidious ingredient, Dioxin, or, they are trying to nail the door shut on existing and future claims as they relate to Agent Orange and Parkinson’s. All of the articles emphasized, and rightfully so, the need to further study the possible link. There is nothing conclusive yet, but the VA did in fact upgrade Parkinson’s from the status of “inadequate or insufficient evidence” to the status of “limited or suggestive evidence of an association…” This, in my opinion, is progress.
There are many of you that are on various mailing lists that might have been following my debate, which was joined by Willie Hager as well, with a person or an organization of some kind located in the UK by the name of “Viartis”. I state it that way, because they/he/she refuses to identify who they really are, or the qualifications they claim to have. Their self proclamation is that they are experts in the field of study – cause and effect – of Parkinson’s. The reason I challenged them immediately after reading all the press, was because there’s was the only article that was entitled “Agent Orange Wrongly Linked to Parkinson's”. This raised curiosity as well as a deep concern for all of us that may have been exposed to AO and could result in being afflicted with Parkinson’s at a much earlier age than what is typical.
My debate with them was civil, asking several pointed questions, but they refused to give any information beyond one specific database that they rely on for their information. They further went on to say that it was impossible for Parkinson’s to develop after so many years since exposure to Dioxin because of some kind of biochemical mumbo jumbo. I, admit that I am not a medical or a biochemical professional. I have no clue what they are talking about. But I do have an open mind and have enough sense to know that regardless of past research, new research could result in a new conclusion. With conclusive, supporting evidence – that there is indeed a link between Parkinson’s and AO. My only point and I continue and will continue to stand by it, is “True, the facts are not all in, true, the link to Parkinson's is not yet confirmed. But the possibility DOES exist.”
For those of you that don’t have the email thread that includes Viartis, Willie, and me, I will be glad to share it with you. Just send me an email at email@example.com and you can read the debate for yourself.
The more important point is this – we cannot allow people/organizations like Viartis to discourage us. We must continue our fight and seek the truth, and obtain the benefits we are entitled to. If there are any of our readers that are in the health and/or research professions and have supportive evidence – either for or against this argument, please send it to me.