Vietnam (The Unseen Struggle Continues)

U.S. troops have fought in jungles since the Spanish American War. Vietnam, however, presented new challenges, as enemy forces used the thick, triple-canopy jungle as a tactical advantage in guerilla  warfare. To counter this advantage, the Americans launched Operation Ranch Hand in 1962, employing Chemical Herbicides and Defolients in enormous quantities to deprive the enemy of places to hide. Agent Orange is the most infamous of these "rainbow herbicides," and it's lingering toxicity continues to effect those exposed on either side of the conflict. The first U.S. combat troops didn't arrive in Vietnam until March 1965, but by then the effort to defoliate the jungle was well under way. The Chemical weapons used were known as the Rainbow Herbicides. Agent White, Agent Purple, Agent Blue, Agent Pink, Agent Green, and Agent Orange-- named for the colored band on their respective storage drums. Between 1962-1971 the U.S. sprayed an estimated 20 million gallons of these herbicides in Vietnam, Eastern Laos, and parts of Cambodia, usually from helicopters or low flying Aircraft, but sometimes from backpacks, boats, and trucks. Agent Orange alone accounted for more than half of the total volume of Herbicides deployed. Many Vietnam Veterans are suffering from the effects of Agent Orange as well as the Vietnamese People. As a Volunteer for Cypress Hospice, I have visited with some Veterans that were suffering from the effects of Agent Orange. They are with God now. 

Robert Stilwell

Retired Mfg Supervisor

Member of the Parma Heights Historical Society

Volunteer for Cypress Hospice

Member of the Parma Area Senior Veterans Group

Also involved in many other Veteran Organizations

Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:15 AM, 04.01.2024