Hello and welcome to Agent Orange Speaker,
Thank you for visiting my site. I am the Child of a deceased Vietnam Veteran and an Agent Orange Victim. I am working to get the word out about how Agent Orange is continuing to hurt the offspring of Vietnam Veterans and the Children of Vietnam. If you have any questions please feel free to email me through the "Contact Heather" page on the bottom left. Again, thank you for visiting.
Photo by Reuters
"I will keep fighting until all descendants of Agent Orange Find Justice"- Heather Bowser
My family's journey started when my father was drafted into the Army. He served in Vietnam in 1968 in Long Binh and Bien Hoa, 1st logistical command. He first worked as a fork lift operator then as a company armorer. We are unsure exactly when my father was exposed to Agent Orange. Agent Orange was sprayed around the bases, it was stored on the base, it was plentiful and everywhere. Once he helped battle a chemical fire without any protection.
When my Father came home from Vietnam he and my Mother wanted to move on with their life and start a family. My Mother had two miscarriages then in 1972, I was born two months premature. I weighed three pounds, four ounces and had multiple birth defects. I was born without my right leg below the knee, the big toe on my left foot and several of my fingers. The doctors were unsure of my prognosis. They warned my parents I could have cognitive problems, be mentally retarded, have heart defects or even die. The Lutheran pastor came to the hospital and baptized me.
My name is Heather Bowser. I am a 38 year old American Mom and wife. I am also a second generation victim of the chemical Agent Orange.
What is Agent Orange? Agent Orange is the chemical defoliant that was sprayed heavily in Vietnam by the US military during the Vietnam war. It was sprayed by plane, helicopter, and hand to deny the enemy cover.
Agent Orange is often in the news now due to the diseases and premature deaths of our country's Vietnam veterans. My Father passed away in 1998 at the age of fifty. He had five bypasses on his heart at the age of 38. Help for our veterans has been painfully slow in coming, but did you know the children of Vietnam Veterans are also suffering the negative effects of the dioxins used during the Vietnam war?
I am not the only victim. There are many of us all around the globe. American Children of Vietnam Veterans affected by Agent Orange like myself, have been told our illnesses, diseases, or birth defects have no known cause and they have no connection to Agent Orange. However, our Fathers are dying at a young ages and their diseases are being linked to their exposure to Agent Orange. Most, like my father's death, are being considered service connected.
I recently returned from a trip to Vietnam. I traveled to Vietnam to meet Agent Orange victims there. I saw birth defects so disturbingly similar to mine it was overwhelming. Other birth defects were much more devastating. The hard truth is that in Vietnam, and in the United States we are seeing third generation victims. The US has not acknowledged second generation victims in Vietnam or the United States.
My hand and a Twelve Year Old Boy's hand. I Met him at Tu Du hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Below is a Video put together by the Plain Dealer Newspaper. Click on the picture below to watch the three minute video.
Photo By Lisa DeJong: Plain Dealer
Click on the Photo above to see a short film where I talk about the responsibilty of Agent Orange