09 November 2013

24th SOW Veteran Checks in - needs help with Agent Orange disabled daughter

Received yesterday from an active-duty veteran of the 24th at Howard Air Base Panama. If you have information for children of exposed veterans, kindly forward it to me and I'll provide to Sergeant Dunn as well as forward it to the Agent Orange Legacy Organization which supports vet's children.
I wish to thank The C-123 Veterans Association for the tons of information on your website, I can see many days and sleepless nights compiling the info. 
I am a Viet Nam Vet  66-67 and on disability (70%) from the VA, having said  that, I am working on a claim for my ex-wife and daughter for direct exposure to AO, my daughter was born there in the Canal Zone and we lived in base housing. Your web site and the wealth of information on AO, has been a god send. 
I was stationed with the 24th SOW, Howard AFB Canal Zone, 69 thru 73, and my wife and daughter was with me. In 69 the 24th SOW started getting C-123's directly from Viet Nam, they were a damn mess. Five of the birds were ex-Ranch Hand, 54-607, 54-656, 54-658, 55-4532 and 55-4571. From all of the correspondence on your website I know you recognize 54-607...I worked on it  some. I worked primarily on 54-656  and your web site has been the only place that I have found any information saying that  54-656 was even a Ranch Hand bird I knew it was but couldn't prove it. There is very little info on it. 
As I said, the birds were a mess inside and out the anti skid flooring was  pealing up and missing in the fuselage  the walls all stained troop seats filthy. My job was crew chief,  cleaning  the walls striping the floor new anti skid as much as I could even to taking all the troop seats home for home laundering this is all documented on my performance report by tail number. We  did  not know the danger, all the work was done in regular fatigues and boots no rubber gloves, no rubber boots or hazmat coveralls. I would go home and pick up my daughter and play with her wash her clothes in the same washer and drier as doing the troop seats and my fatigues, she would crawl all around on the floor where I had been walking in boots that just minutes before had been walking around in the ex-Ranch Hand birds. 
Thank you;
                 James Dunn MSgt (USAF Ret)

1 comment:

  1. I was there same time and without a doubt worked with MSgt Dunn. My heart goes out to him and his daughter. I worked in the Avionics shop and spent a lot of time in the birds and crawling in and under them and they were a mess. My boss and I worked on wiring issues regularly and he'd go home at lunch and change his fatigues. We really need to share these experience, I'm in the appeals phase of my laim and doubt I'll live to see success. Would love to hear from anyone else in the same circumstances.


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