Vietnam veteran looks to help those affected by Agent Orange
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- At the Vietnam Veterans of America Museum in Elmira, Gerry Wright from Connecticut shares his story about his time in war with his fellow brothers. It's been nearly 50 years since he served in Vietnam, but he still suffers physically from his deployment decades later.
"Agent Orange is a toxin, a poison that was sprayed on us in Vietnam by our own government," said U.S. Army Retired First Sergeant and Agent Orange victim, Gerry Wright. "It is a defoliant that is designed to kill the food supply and the canopy covers and the jungle grass so we could better see the enemy."
According to Wright, under VA regulations, conditions related to Agent Orange must be at least 10% disabling within 1-year of contact with the herbicide. What he's working toward is getting coverage and treatments through the VA for veterans affected by Agent Orange who missed the 1-year deadline.
"We need to eliminate those onset dates," said Wright. "The onset dates cover Chloracne, skin rash, Neuropathy, and muscle loss and weakness."
Wright has been going around the country talking to veterans and spreading the word of House Bill 566 and Senate Bill 332. These two pieces of legislation look to right the wrongs of the past, and help veterans affected by Agent Orange receive the care and benefits they desperately need.
"Call your congressman and call your senators," said Wright. "Call them and ask them to get on board with the House Bill 566 and the Senate Bill 332 as co-sponsors. We need this to be done this year. If not, everything we've done for the last year is for nothing."
For more information about wright's cause, you can visit his Facebook page here.