(Washington, D.C.)— On November 5, 2011, at 3:00 p.m., Vietnam Veterans of America will hold an Agent Orange Town Hall meeting to discuss the birth defects, cancers, learning disabilities, and other health issues affecting the children and grandchildren of Vietnam veterans. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held the Penn State Beaver Campus, Monaca Auditorium, in Monaca, Pennsylvania.
Hosted by Beaver County VVA Chapter 862 and AVVA Chapter 862, the forum will explore issues surrounding Agent Orange exposure, including scientific information, health effects on the veterans, birth defects in their children and grandchildren, personal stories of exposure and illness, and methods for educating the public and elected representatives about the issues of Vietnam veterans, their children, and their families.
"We cannot be silent about the effects of Agent Orange on our veterans and our children in the face of overwhelming evidence connecting many diseases and birth defects to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam," said Bobby Morris, President of AVVA Chapter 862. "This is one of the last great battles our Vietnam veterans and our families are fighting."
Panelists include Nancy Switzer, National President of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America; Peter and Susie Petrosky, who will be sharing their story about their daughters; Heather Morris Bowser, the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran; George Claxton, nationally renown Agent Orange Expert; and long-time advocate Sandie Wilson, VVA National Board Member and in-country nurse. The panel will be moderated by Mokie Pratt Porter, VVA's Director of Communications. An open forum will follow the remarks of the panelists, who will hear from those in attendance with concerns about the health impacts of Agent Orange.
"The goal of the town hall meeting is to bring attention to the hidden cost of our service, to encourage our government to investigate the generational toll of toxic chemicals on our children and grandchildren, to assist our doctors in discovering ways to diagnose and treat them, and to provide for their care and treatment," said Pete Petrosky, Vice President of VVA Chapter 862. Veterans of all wars are subjected to many contaminates, and most are unaware of what was being used or what long-term health effects these may have on the health of those exposed and their offspring. Said Morris, "Our children and grandchildren are innocent victims of our war and need the help of our government to cope with these problems. We worry, who will be there to take care of them when we are gone."