Orange in the title refers to “Agent Orange” and the Heart encompasses two subjects, “Having a Kind Heart,” or an affinity with the “Purple Heart Medal” awarded to injured active service military. Having a kind heart I will do what I can to help the person with the Purple Heart. Noticing that the heart is actually orange, it is easy to remember that Veterans live with ongoing consequences from their exposure to Agent Orange.
Irrefutable evidence has been uncovered, of a scheme to conceal the known effects of Agent Orange exposure to our troops in Vietnam. Years of research, in-depth interviews and relentless investigation have revealed reports and documents that were hidden by the Government in an effort to limit their liabilities. Our Government continued the usage of a harmful substance after knowing what it would do.
For decades, post-Vietnam Vets have been victims of a cover up about the known harmful effects from Agent Orange.
Many were told that the symptoms they were experiencing were not real.
The Government and the Office of Veteran’s Affairs, though fully aware of the problems caused by Agent Orange, systematically covered their tracks by manipulating scientific data or simply classifying reports out of view.
The public was not allowed to see the reports until they were declassified decades later.
Many symptoms from Agent Orange were not addressed when the Veterans came back home. For many this resulted in:
• Denial of care for injuries
• Life-long suffering
• Greatly shortened life expectancies
The fact that exposure to this toxic chemical during military service harmed our Veterans is plain to see, but it also has affected their DNA.
When you look at the high percentage of their children that are chronically sick or were born with deformities and birth defects the light goes on. Veteran Services Transparency (VST), an organization, administers the Orange Heart Fund campaign and they have published an in depth booklet entitled “FORGOTTEN” available on their website. It tells a tragic story of how hundreds of thousands of children, born and yet to be born, became innocent victims of AGENT ORANGE. This booklet was published after 6 years of research and it is a story that has been covered up for over 45 years. It is hoped that awareness of what has happened will assist in raising funds and participation to change the outcome for veterans of past conflicts and hopefully prevent this from occurring again in future.
VST’s goal is to:
• Raise awareness of this tragedy
• Conduct the Epidemiological Studies of Vietnam Veterans that Congress has ordered 3 times and the Department of Veteran Affairs has refused to complete.
• Raise the funds needed to help these Veteran families care for their deformed and ill children
• Conduct scientific research to either reverse or block the impact of Agent Orange on a parent’s DNA.
• Independent scientists with independent funds must conduct these studies.
Many local groups have become involved along with companies and caring community members in the Inland Pacific Northwest in a true grassroots effort. We are banding together to sponsor events raising funds required and helping to promote public awareness of this cause. It is inspiring to see the wide range of diverse experience and background of the volunteers and supporters. Watch for public announcements about ways to participate in the upcoming campaigns.