Vietnam vets learn about harmful effects of Agent Orange

Posted at 8:24 PM, Aug 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-07 00:48:30-04

Vietnam vets have face battles long after returning from war. 

"We all went through a lot of things over there," said David Grossman, a Vietnam veteran from Hortonville.

It doesn't bother Grossman to talk about it, but for some of his friends, it's difficult.

"We talked about going to visit people, or going to visit it, Vietnam, but he said he would never," Grossman explained. "He could remember the smells is what he said, and would never, never go back."

Unfortunately for veterans, it's not just the memories of war that stick with them. Exposure to chemicals in Vietnam and other places can have lasting, dangerous effects.

Vietnam Veterans for America spoke to veterans in Appleton Saturday to talk about those effects, and how veterans can seek help.

"We let them know that their health is not their fault, it was something that was done to them," said Joseph Eiting, a member of Vietnam Veterans of America in Appleton.

During the educational meeting, veterans shared their own stories about exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange. They believe it was the cause for birth defects and learning disabilities in their children.

The meeting also discussed the risk for Hepatitis C from mass immunizations during the war.

The discussion helped veterans understand where their health problems may come from.

"It's like reading a story, but you read different chapters at different times, but now all of a sudden all the chapters fit together," said Eiting. 

The event provided veterans and their families with resources, and advice, for seeking testing and treatment for various health problems related to their time in Vietnam.

Vietnam Veterans of America does educational events across the state.