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Agent Orange

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NEWS
November 10, 1986 | By Lee Winfrey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Unnatural Causes is a scrupulous and piercing telemovie about a scientific nightmare called Agent Orange. If you were never touched by Agent Orange, a notorious herbicide no longer in use, this show will make you glad you weren't. Several thousand veterans believe they became ill, in some cases with fatal cancers, as a result of being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971. The manufacturers of Agent Orange and the Veterans Administration do not agree. Despite a much-publicized lawsuit, this legal question has not been settled with finality.
NEWS
September 24, 1986 | By Matthew Purdy, Inquirer Washington Bureau
For Albert "Corky" Hall, the time he spent in Vietnam wasn't nearly the nightmare of the years that followed. Back home in Philadelphia, he fathered two girls. One had two brain tumors removed before she was 11 years old, and the other was born with a heart defect that required surgery when she was 5. Privately, doctors and nurses told him it was possible that his daughters' problems had been caused by his exposure in Vietnam to Agent Orange, the defoliant sprayed by U.S. forces to leave the enemy without the cover of vegetation.
NEWS
September 16, 1987 | By Matthew Purdy, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Ten members of Congress yesterday criticized the Reagan administration for what they called deliberate delays in determining the long-term health effects of the defoliant Agent Orange on U.S. military personnel who served in Vietnam. In a letter to Thomas K. Turnage, the head of the Veterans Administration, the members expressed "deep concern" over a VA study that showed Marines who served in areas of Vietnam where Agent Orange was sprayed had a grossly higher rate of cancer deaths than did Marines serving outside of Vietnam.
NEWS
July 12, 1989 | By Christopher Scanlan, Inquirer Washington Bureau
It was to be the study that finally settled the debate over Agent Orange, the herbicide that transformed lush Asian jungles into wastelands and two decades later still haunts thousands of Vietnam veterans who believe it poisoned them and their unborn children. But the study to assess the herbicide's health consequences - conducted and abruptly canceled nearly two years ago by the federal Centers for Disease Control - never had a chance, members of a House panel contended yesterday.
NEWS
August 9, 2012 | By Mike Ives, Associated Press
DANANG, Vietnam - For the first time since the Vietnam War, the United States will begin cleaning up dioxin left from the defoliant Agent Orange at a former U.S. air base. A U.S. Embassy official said the $43 million joint U.S.-Vietnamese project would begin Thursday at Danang airport, site of the former base in central Vietnam. U.S. planes sprayed Agent Orange during the Vietnam War to eliminate enemy jungle cover. Dioxin lingers in soil and watersheds for generations and has been linked to cancer, birth defects, and other disabilities.
NEWS
November 11, 1988 | By Matthew Purdy, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Vietnam veterans who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange are more likely to have developed benign tumors and a range of skin diseases than veterans who were not exposed to the herbicide, according to a study of thousands of Vietnam veterans scheduled for release today. The five-year study of 6,810 veterans, sponsored by the American Legion, also found that Vietnam veterans are more likely to suffer from an array of physical and psychological problems than are veterans who did not serve in Southeast Asia.
NEWS
September 1, 1987 | Daily News Wire Services
Federal health officials say they can't find enough Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange to do a scientifically valid study of the defoliant's effects on humans. Dr. Vernon Houk, director of the Center of Environmental Health at the national Centers for Disease Control, said findings from preliminary studies would make it impossible "to identify who is exposed and who is not exposed. " "We looked at three different kinds of exposure: short-term, long-term, and exposure from being in an area of Vietnam where the herbicide was used," Houk said.
NEWS
May 19, 1989
Saying that Vietnam veterans should not be required to prove what science cannot, a U.S. district court judge in California has ruled that the federal government cannot demand incontrovertible evidence that Agent Orange caused injuries before granting disability benefits. In his opinion, Judge Thelton E. Henderson noted that veterans' laws have always given veterans the benefit of the doubt when weighing whether an ailment is related to military service. In the case of Agent Orange, however, the federal government tilted the scales and required vets to show conclusive proof that the exposure produced injuries.
NEWS
October 12, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
The smoke sometimes turned from black to green, like the olive drab of an old military uniform, as it rose from a pit of smoldering trash. The color depended on what was burning. There was refuse from chow halls and latrines at Camp Al Taqaddum in Iraq. But contractors also bulldozed in broken computers, wrecked humvees, and medical waste. Chris Lang, a Marine from Doylestown, slept in a tent downwind from the inferno. "We always joked about it," he said of the Olympic-pool-size burn pit. "Like, we're going to live through this [war]
NEWS
January 6, 2012
AS A LIFELONG African-American resident of Philadelphia, I, too, am concerned about violence, but I have never once felt under siege, in any of the communities I have lived in, by the lawless elements perceived in Signe Wilkinson's "Occupy Black Philadelphia" cartoon. I know that some areas are worse than others in terms of crime, and I know that random shootings and murders are out of control. But to create a cartoon with the intent to graphically display that the entire black Philadelphia community is under siege is not only inaccurate, but also unfair and irresponsible.
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NEWS
November 10, 2015 | BY JOE BRANDT, Daily News Staff Writer brandtj@phillynews.com, 215-854-4890
ROBERT SHEDRICK returned from Vietnam in 1972 shaken and confused. He doesn't like talking about a tour there with the Marines when he lost several of his comrades, or about how he became homeless in 1995, or how he later lost his legs years after drinking water polluted with dry-cleaning fluid and benzene at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. "It was hell in Vietnam," Shedrick, 68, said yesterday across from Independence Hall, where he watched participants arrive at the end of Philly's first Veterans Day parade.
NEWS
November 10, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Serafin Natal had trouble walking in Philadelphia's first Veterans Day Parade on Sunday. But he would not stop. The 65-year-old Navy man had beaten renal cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Doctors took a kidney out of him 10 years ago - only for diabetes to come along, knocking some of the feeling out of his feet. But the retired Juniata Park factory worker was on a mission Sunday. His colonial city was making history, if more than two centuries late.
NEWS
October 12, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
The smoke sometimes turned from black to green, like the olive drab of an old military uniform, as it rose from a pit of smoldering trash. The color depended on what was burning. There was refuse from chow halls and latrines at Camp Al Taqaddum in Iraq. But contractors also bulldozed in broken computers, wrecked humvees, and medical waste. Chris Lang, a Marine from Doylestown, slept in a tent downwind from the inferno. "We always joked about it," he said of the Olympic-pool-size burn pit. "Like, we're going to live through this [war]
NEWS
September 12, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Ed Sasinowski came home from Vietnam, he quickly left the war behind. He jumped so swiftly into civilian life - selling office supplies to some of Philadelphia's largest employers - that he didn't bother to collect a Bronze Star for courage or a Purple Heart for a shrapnel wound. He was busy. He married Deborah Smith, who said they were "soul mates," and had three children. They moved to Huntingdon Valley and then to Maple Glen. And he cofounded the firm Xtec, providing office copiers to a client base of people who had become his friends.
NEWS
December 23, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Jerry Byrd, 67, of Sewell, a former editor and reporter at The Inquirer, died Saturday, Dec. 20, at home after a long illness. Mr. Byrd, a native of Pittsburgh, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer about a year ago and had recently been in hospice, said his wife, Terry. "He was a fine writer and an excellent editor that inspired reporters," said Acel Moore, associate editor emeritus at The Inquirer. Moore said Mr. Byrd was "a good friend and a man who stood up for the right things.
NEWS
November 13, 2014 | BY STEPHANIE FARR & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writers farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
BILL COSBY looked out at the veterans and civilians gathered at the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and asked those who've already given so much for just one more thing. "I want you to go deep in your heart right now and I want you to . . . call out the name of someone who left their life for us over there or died coming back here," Cosby said. "Do it!" And the crowd of hundreds shouted hundreds of names. Each name was different.
NEWS
September 13, 2013
ONCE AGAIN, America's double standard rears its ugly head. All this outrage about Syria's use of chemical weapons, but when the U.S. was spraying Agent Orange all over Vietnam and Cambodia, nothing was said. Where was the outrage then? There are vets still suffering the effects of this defoliant and still being ignored by the VA. How much time and money did the U.S. spend trying to convince the American public that Agent Orange was not the cause of their health problems? Yes, I am now and always have been an Obama supporter, but I cannot go along with this plan to use military strikes against Syria.
NEWS
June 21, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
WHEN ROBERT Jackson was a kid growing up near 52nd and Race streets in West Philadelphia, he saw it as one of his missions to take care of the elderly. "He'd be out shoveling their snow, taking out their trash," said Lumpkin Williams, a neighbor growing up with Robert on Wilton Street near Race. "He would shovel eight houses while I was doing one. He was a good-hearted person, always there for you. " Robert's grandmother called him "Nature Boy" when he was born - because "he was a fine specimen of a boy," his family said.
NEWS
April 25, 2013
Bob Edgar represented Pennsylvania for six terms in Congress, but his influence in the region and the country well exceeded his time in office. Edgar, who died of a heart attack Tuesday at the age of 69, was a man of seemingly endless energy, enthusiasm, and compassion. He headed the good-government group Common Cause, and earlier had served as president of the Claremont School of Theology in California, as secretary-general of the National Council of Churches, and as a Methodist minister.
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