31 March 2013

Thank You, Vietnam Veterans of America!

Happy Easter, dear friends.

Thanks are offered to the Vietnam Veterans of America, and their president John Rowan, as well as other national leaders in this outstanding veterans organization. I am the son and cousin of long-time members of VVA, and while a new member myself, it doesn't take long to realize how much this dedicated team has done for America's veterans of all conflicts.

VVA - my thanks, for reason which will be specified later. Please know vets of all generations recognize the burden you've accepted of "No veteran left behind" which is exactly how you've embraced our people of the C-123 Veterans Association. All veterans realize it will be our responsibility to carry forward that spirit of service and dedication to our brothers and sisters in arms following us in later years and in later conflicts.

Trip Report: I had the unexpected opportunity to make a trip to Wright-Patterson AFB again, and was there Thursday through Saturday. Patches looked great, with some work being done by skilled restoration volunteers on the right wing flaps. A recent inspection indicated the interior looked as good as when it flew out of Hagerstown decades ago, however there still was a powerful stench which scientists have attributed to Agent Orange, smelling like the garden weed killer Roundup. While there has been controversy over whether Agent Orange smells at all, a professional having first-hand familiarity with Agent Orange insists the odors are the same...he even compared the smell experienced inside Patches with a container of Roundup and confirmed the similarity. He also reminded me that Roundup has much of the same chemistry as Agent Orange!

There were very interesting videos being shown of Ranch Hand operations on the monitor portion of the Patches exhibit, but I was unable to visit the museum's archives to get copies as they don't permit researchers to access materials without an appointment in advance. Kinda hard to have done that as I didn't know I was going to Dayton until the day before I got there. Anyway, I'll try to recover from the museum as well as Air Force Historical Research Center which has been so helpful in the past.

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