Agent Orange’s Toxic Legacy Hits Home
Like many veterans, Foster didn’t connect his health woes to Agent Orange until recent years when news articles reported that the VA kept adding more and more diseases, plus birth defects in children, to a growing list of health effects associated with dioxin exposure. Then he painfully recalled his herbicide-spraying days as a young airman. The VA’s response was to deny Foster’s claim for additional compensation, beyond his 70 percent disability rating for spinal and heart diseases that were deemed service connected, stating that there was no proof Agent Orange was used in Guam.
“What shocked me is when kids contacted me on the Internet and I knew their fathers [on Guam]. I sprayed right past their houses,” Foster said in a recent interview for this article. Now grown, many of these military dependents, he learned, have severe health problems, including birth defects.
“There’s been no movement by anybody to help the kids who were on Guam. I feel bad, because I was there going around spraying that stuff…