We've had what anyone would call discouraging news from both the VA and AF reviews of C-123 Agent Orange contamination and aircrew exposure. Both reports basically verified the aircraft being contaminated after its Vietnam Operation Ranch Hand missions, yet both reports are flawed in having made unscientific assumptions to construct an argument that we were not exposed while flying the Provider from 1972 to 1982.
We disagree with these reports. Scientists disagree. Other federal agencies disagree. Our doctors disagree. Fortunately, there are leaders in Congress who continue to ask penetrating questions. Fortunately, there are more and more scientists who come to question these two reports. Fortunately, there are responsible military officers and VA officials who are willing to keep an open mind, and who appreciate the impact our exposure to dioxin and other military herbicides.
The benefit of the doubt. That's all we ask for and all we deserve. Secretary Shinseki, ask your rating officers to weigh carefully each of our veterans' individual claims and give merit to the many proofs of our exposure!
Fellow veterans, we seem surrounded, but take heart from a Marine Corps legend: