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A Veteran’s Right to Know

By: John Waltz

Special Assignment Writer

Firebase Network

Our veterans and service members have the right to know all of the hazards that would pertain to any warfare testing or experiments. Through out the history of our country we have ran tests to study the effectiveness of weaponry but little consideration has been put into the effects it has on the individual. Properly informing the individual involved, they are afforded their basic human right to know all of the side effects and potential hazards associated with the testing.

In the interest of our veterans there has been a bill introduced in the House of Representatives entitled: H.R. 4259, ‘Veterans’ Right to Know Act’. This initiative will set up a committee to investigate chemical warfare test or projects, and in particular they are looking into any projects in the years of 1954 to 1973. This will hopefully expose the truths about Agent Orange which has taken many lives of our veterans’ and also is affecting their children. Looking in the future the hope will be to also help our future service members from being senselessly subjected to the same horrors.

In another example of why this bill is vital is that in the early 1960’s and early 1970’s several thousand service members were subjected to toxic chemicals during a cycle of testing identified as: Seaboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD). This has adversely affected many veterans’ lives permanently.

The committee is going to compile a list of names of all individuals who have participated in any warfare testing or projects. This list is to be derived from the Department of Defense (DoD) and provided to the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure no service members are left out.

A final report is to be given that will include the committee’s findings and conclusions. This will also include any recommendations for any measures that need to be put in place. There must be a push to ensure this bill does get enacted to protect many of our service members and veterans.

Contact your Senator and/or Congressmen to let them know you care about veterans and service members health and that you support this initiative.



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