POOLING SHAD INFO
Thank you for your very
informative article on SHAD in the February/March issue. In
1964, while aboard the U.S.S. Isle Royale, the crew
was ordered to man their battle stations with long-sleeve
shirts although the weather was warm. We were not told it
was a test. We were led to believe that we were possibly
being attacked. Most of the crew was issued gas masks, but
some, including myself, were not. Sounds like the SHAD tests
Within weeks I became very
ill. I was admitted into the ship's hospital where I went
for about two weeks without food or IV. The corpsmen
extracted nine tubes of blood twice a day. I remember waking
up and vomiting a dark green substance. At the end of the
two weeks I had lost 50 pounds. I began to have health
problems just three days after I was released from active
duty in January 1966.
In 2000 I became increasingly
suspicious that the multitude of illnesses I suffered from
might be service connected. I submitted a request for my
medical records in December. I still have not heard
anything. In November 2001 I decided to file a formal VA
claim although I still did not have my medical records from
the service. That claim is now pending.
If it would be helpful, I
could provide more details about all this. I am hopeful that
if I -along with other veterans - who were possibly involved
in SHAD pool their information it may help other veterans
with their VA claims.
Raymond H. Veitmeier
SECRET HOMELAND WARFARE?
I served in the Navy from 1965-71 and was on
several ships on the East Coast. I served for two years
aboard the U.S.S. Howard W. Gilmore. Does anyone have
any information on ships in Charleston, S.C., that may have
been involved in the SHAD tests or if any such testing was
done in Washington, D.C., where I was awaiting orders? I
have many of the symptoms mentioned in the article on SHAD
in the February/March issue. While I was in D.C., another
seaman and I were taken to do a three-or-four-day test in a
closed room to see if an untrained person could work the
radar. I didn't buy it then and still don't.
I just came across an online copy of your publication and
was greatly interested in the article by John Prados on
Operation Masher in the February/March issue. I found it
especially interesting because Mr. Prados describes an An
Lao Valley incident in which I was an active participant.
While generally true, Mr. Prados' description of what
happened to the Delta recon teams in the An Lao Valley
contains an error in regard to Maj. Charlie Beckwith. The
statement that "The survivors held on long enough for
extraction by Beckwith, himself wounded aboard his command
helicopter,'' is not accurate. I know because I was sitting
next to Maj. Beckwith when we were both wounded before we
even got into the An Lao Valley and our mission was aborted.
I was the crew chief of a UH1-B slick, piloted by Maj.
Kevin Murphy. On the morning of January 29, 1966, the other
Hueys were just returning to Bong Son from missions to
refuel, so my aircraft with Maj. Beckwith and two or three
other Delta members took off to orbit the area over the
trapped team and coordinate the pickup. Because the weather
was bad, we were forced to fly at about 150 feet. As we
broke into a rice paddy area, we took fire from the tree
Beckwith and I were hit by a .30 caliber round. I was hit
in the right hand and wrist, Beckwith was gut-shot, and our
flight detoured back to Bong Son. We were both off-loaded,
pumped full of morphine, and medevaced to a hospital in Qui
Nhon. The 145th ALP then re-entered the Valley and extracted
the survivors of the trapped team. I hope this information
clears up this small error in an otherwise interesting
BESIDE THE BUGLER
I was a Marine assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines
in Vietnam, between 1965 and 1966. There is a picture on
page 19 of the February/March issue of two Marines. One has
a bugle. Iím positive that the second person in that picture
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Paul Suttonís article on the
Ranch Hand Study in the April/May issue indicates that the
U.S.A.F. has knowingly withheld information on Agent Orange
and its ability to cause far more damage to human life than
anyone in authority is willing to admit. I believe it is
because of the cost of providing for birth defects and other
diseases and that the manufacturers knew their chemicals
caused those diseases in South Vietnam. I believe that more
information will come out after our generation has passed on
and no one is left to apply for any more Agent Orange
My question is: "What can we
do since our government sold us out to the chemical
companies to protect them?" I think VVA and AVVA need to get
together with other VSOs and through our numbers force our
government to come forward with truthful and complete
information on what Agent Orange can and does cause. We need
to reopen the terms of the settlement to make up for the
less-than-minimal treatment it offered to so few veterans
and families because of the fraudulent and misrepresented
information that the case was settled with.
James M. Egyud, Sr.
Daniel Ellsberg commented
that the Vietnam War was "winnable" (June/July 2002).
That's nonsense. The U.S. won every battle, and we could
have - and would have -won the war, too, had the American
people supported it. More importantly, wars such as Korea
and Vietnam may now be seen as agonizing parts of America's
overall victory in the Cold War.
John J. Forbes, Ph.D.