Jim Hackbarth was a helicopter door gunner in the Vietnam War.
“Some people asked me one time, ‘Were you ever in contact with Agent Orange?’ ” he said. “I said, funny you mentioned that. We landed in it, we breathed it, we got sprayed with it.”
“I’ve seen forests of dead trees,” said Hackbarth, of West Bend, Wis. “On guard duty at night, we’d be on the perimeter and there would be no vegetation for 200 yards out beyond the perimeter. You ever ask the question why?”
Hackbarth has diabetes.