Thursday, June 5, 2014

Visiting the VFW, with all due respect

Binder told me how the crew had been warned not to drink water from the evaporators — the device that turns seawater into freshwater — unless the ship was 10 miles offshore, because of the risk of contamination from Agent Orange, the jungle defoliant.

Binder is pre-diabetic and has other health issues that he reckons stem from his two tours in Vietnam. He's as keenly interested as anyone in getting the VA health system fixed, because his own experience on entering that bureaucracy years ago was a thoroughly unhappy one. To prove himself eligible for benefits he was made to recall details of his service that were best forgotten.

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