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(82,333 posts)
Sun Jun 19, 2016, 09:53 AM Jun 2016

My fatherís war, my toxic inheritance [View all]

In Vietnam, Agent Orange claimed hundreds of thousands of victims, including my estranged dad. Could I be one too?

SUNDAY, JUN 19, 2016 05:59 AM EDT

The package from my father arrived in 2009, a few months after my latest heart surgery. The yellow envelope contained a two-inch stack of documents: handwritten notes, old photographs, newspaper clippings, medical files and military service records.

Together, they told the story of a man I barely knew. I hadn’t heard from my father, Al Weigel, in more than 20 years.

At first, I didn’t read any of it. Why would I want to rip open that wound? I tossed the envelope onto a shelf in a closet, and there it sat for years, forgotten behind a pile of clothes. I didn’t know it held information that would link my life — and health — to a war waged before my birth.

It wasn’t until 2012, not long after I’d become a father, that I remembered the envelope. I pulled it back out, figuring someday I would want to tell my son where he came from.


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Incredible story. Agnosticsherbet Jun 2016 #1
Makes you wonder about all those who served in areas where Depleted Uranium was used. Ford_Prefect Jun 2016 #2
start by reading anything onethatcares Jun 2016 #3
The V.A. will follow it's mandate as provided by Congress. HereSince1628 Jun 2016 #6
They also needed it for recruiting purposes. bluescribbler Jun 2016 #10
Yes, it's sad, because down the road people forget wounded vets last decades HereSince1628 Jun 2016 #11
And for all of the Republicans' vaunted fiscal responsibility gratuitous Jun 2016 #7
2016: "STFU conspiracist!" MisterP Jun 2016 #16
Research the archives here from BushCheney's era. Also Google for US soldiers' children&wives health Hekate Jun 2016 #20
I think I read where that material was used in places like Kosovo. Anywhere the A-10 was Ford_Prefect Jun 2016 #22
Al is 73. My age. I was drafted but rejected because I was born blind in one eye. Hoppy Jun 2016 #4
Epigenetics. . . . nt Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2016 #5
What a great story! AllyCat Jun 2016 #8
When I went to Vietnam elljay Jun 2016 #9
I work with someone who has traces of Agent Orange in her system lunatica Jun 2016 #12
condolence on your father's death heaven05 Jun 2016 #13
Monsanto and Dow KNEW Agent Orange had these effects, but PatrickforO Jun 2016 #14
Remarkable story PatSeg Jun 2016 #15
Zep said that: "The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath." PatrickforO Jun 2016 #18
Seriously PatSeg Jun 2016 #19
Because they care more about profits than people. PatrickforO Jun 2016 #23
I think it is even more than greed PatSeg Jun 2016 #24
They are increasingly finding that this is also causing blindness now condoleeza Jun 2016 #17
An amazing story malaise Jun 2016 #21
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