Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Agent Orange Exposure

From my eMail Inbox this morning:

ATTN:  All State Council Presidents

At the Agent Orange & Other Toxic Exposure Cmte meeting and then again at the Govt Affairs Cmte meeting in Silver Spring last week we were presented with extraordinary documents that were once classified and now reveal the federal governments across agency effort to deny any causal relationship between the exposure to Agent Orange (at any level) with veteran illnesses, disabilities, and tragically the impact on the progeny of Vietnam Veterans.

I am forwarding these documents to every State Council President and begging each of you to send these documents to every Vietnam Veteran in your state including all of your chapters, officers, and their families.

If every Vietnam Veteran reads these reports and comes to understand the magnitude of their findings – we can raise our voices once again to Congress, the President, and the VA and Dept of Defense – that we have been systematically and purposefully lied to for decades – and our children have suffered as a result.

We would also like to have this shared with every State Director of Veterans Affairs so that each state is informed and activated.  The medical costs of the disabilities of so many Vietnam Veterans and their progeny are an economic and social impact in every state.  We hope that every State Legislature will take up this cause and pass state resolutions calling for Congress to act.

These documents have been verified and confirmed by others who participated in this work.

We are now on the hunt for additional documents and materials referenced in this report that are essential to our case.

If you have any questions regarding this material, please contact the VVA office and/or Herb Worthington/Chairman of the Agent Orange and Other Toxic Exposures national  cmte for VVA.  He is and will remain the point man on this mission.

We now have DRAFT legislation that we are finalizing that will go to our champions on the Hill.  Once that is ready we will again send this out to every Vietnam Veteran and their families and ask them to immediately contact their members of Congress and insist it be passed and fully implemented.

Ric Davidge, Chairman, Govt Affairs Cmte
907 229 5328


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Clifford Hull

In November, as a remembrance for Veteran's Day, The Augusta Chronicle honored three veterans from Vietnam. One of those Veterans was Clifford Hull who served with the 70th Engineers in 1967-68. Clifford earned a Bronze Star for his service while in Vietnam.


Here's an excerpt from that article about Clifford:

"Clifford Hull: Sergeant’s experience helped him lead
Clifford Hull had earned his sergeant stripes by the time he deployed into combat for the first time. But he very nearly served in war as a private.
Three of his brothers were fighting in Korea by the time Hull was old enough to enlist in 1952, so he wasn’t deployed there. Instead, Hull was sent to Cold War-era Europe, where he joined a garrison of American troops intent on stopping the Soviets. He finally got his shot at combat in 1967, when he deployed to Vietnam with the 70th Engineer Battalion. His promise to his wife and five kids to return home was not made idly. One of his brothers remains missing in action from Korea.
“Being that long in the military, I knew there was a possibility of not coming back,” Hull said. “But I knew if I paid attention to my training and did my duty I would come back.”
“Doing his duty” brought him home and earned him three Bronze Stars – including one for valor – and three Army Commendation Medals. But it wasn’t without risks.
The enemy knew Hull by name.
“Sgt. Hull,” they called over a public address system somewhere in the dense jungle. Then they addressed his troops, harassing them as they labored over the construction of a long steel runway. 
“B Company: You may build it, but we will blow it up.”
It was a hallmark scene of Vietnam. The unseen enemy had spies in every village who knew everything about the U.S. troops, including their leaders’ names. Hull wasn’t fazed by the harassment. He leaned in and told his men in a stage whisper: “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get those” guys.
That was Hull’s first tour, from 1967 to 1968, when he was building combat outposts and sweeping 30 miles of road every day for mines. It was also on his first tour that he earned his first Bronze Star, this one with a “V” device for valor. On Oct. 9, 1967, a radio message was broadcast from a work party under attack about two miles from his position. Hull jumped into a jeep and drove straight to their position, stopping only to alert an armor unit to follow him. He found nine soldiers hugging the ground and out of ammunition in a densely vegetated gully. Hull immediately opened fire with the gun mounted on his jeep, and the enemy responded with a hail of gunfire so fierce that the antenna was stripped off the vehicle.
He matched their attack for a spell, but by the time the armor division arrived, Hull was down to one bullet, his bayonet and a hand grenade.
Nevertheless, “due to the quick reaction, courage and outstanding leadership of Staff Sergeant Hull, no … friendly casualties were sustained,” his commendation reads. For Hull, this was not heroism but duty.
“If I did not go back, it would be on my conscience for the rest of my life,” Hull said. “You had no choice but to go back and help somebody.”
Hull returned home from that tour without a scratch, but the Army wasn’t through with him. After a short stint as a drill sergeant at Fort Gordon, he was to go back to Vietnam, this time as an adviser. "