IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release

May 24, 2002

No. 02-05

(301) 585-4000
Contact:
Mokie Porter

 

VVA Demands Full Disclosure of SHAD and Project 112


(Washington, D.C.) – “Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is encouraged that the Department of Defense has taken one small step toward meeting its responsibility to former servicemembers exposed to chemical and biological agents, harmful stimulants, and disinfectants,” said VVA National President Thomas H. Corey after DoD acknowledged on May 23 that live agents were used in some of the Shipboard Hazard And Defense (SHAD) tests conducted on sailors, Marines, and soldiers in the 1960s.  “DoD must greatly accelerate the pace of declassification of all records from SHAD and related tests to disclose the agents used and servicemen tested.” said Corey.   

It took more than a year to notify the first 600 veterans from just six of the more than one hundred tests. At this rate, it will take 25 years merely to notify the veterans exposed in the SHAD tests.  By that time most of these veterans will have died.  In addition, we know that SHAD was but one small part of an enormous effort known as Project 112.

VVA has been pressing both DoD and the VA since September 2001 to move forward. While the VA top leadership has been open in efforts to get their staff to properly respond, DoD has deliberately withheld information. The VA has largely responded to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), while DoD has only been partially responsive, and the Department of the Army has violated the law and not even acknowledged our request. Corey added, “It is imperative that this issue be resolved. In order to maintain a viable military force, the nation must be committed to caring for its veterans.”

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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