(SALEM, OR) – Agent Orange is a deadly and dangerous toxic chemical that has killed and maimed  millions of Americans and Vietnamese.

For those of you who don’t know, Agent Orange is the code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1962 to 1971.

According to Wikipedia, “Agent Orange is a 50:50 mixture of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D, it was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. The herbicides used to produce Agent Orange were later discovered to be contaminated with TCDD, an extremely toxic dioxin compound. It was given its name from the color of the orange-striped 55 US gallons (210 L) barrels in which it was shipped, and was by far the most widely used of the so-called “Rainbow Herbicides”.

Chuck Palazzo,  another El Toro Marine and Vietnam veteran, forwarded the following email from Paul E. Travis, a Vietnam veteran who was exposed to AO in country and fights for his life from the effects of rare cancers from this deadly toxin.  Paul’s letter speaks eloquently for his fight with AO. 

Just in case any of forget, Vietnam veterans still suffer and die.  Please keep Paul in your prayers.

From: Paul E. Travis xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

To: Chuck Palazzo <>
Sent: Wed, September 29, 2010 9:37:07 PM
Subject: RE: Agent Orange Illness’

Hi Chuck,

Please feel free to circulate.

I keep hoping that somehow stories of AO diseases from inside and outside of Vietnam exposures will make make it on national primetime TV coverage by NBC/ABC/CBS/FOX. 
Moe info if you want it.  

Since my last cancer surgery in Mar 2009, another tumor the size of a tennis ball developed by May 2009.  My surgeon told me that he couldn’t do any more surgeries because I didn’t have any more parts left to remove.
Previously, no Oncologist would treat me because of having only 1 kidney left and they were afraid of damaging my remaining kidney, so I just kept on having surgeries..   
By God’s Grace, my surgeon found an Oncologist in Oklahoma City that agreed to treat me.  Dr. Geister was currently treating (along with Oncologists from M.E. Anderson Cancer Center) a Vietnam Vet who had the same type of liposarcoma in the same area of the abdomin.   They were using newer chemo drugs that wasn’t approved by FDA for liposarcoma treatments and having success according to PET scans.
They put me on the same chemo cocktail for 7 months and according to my PET scans, I’m in remission and that tumor is showing not active. 
Unfortunately, I found out last month that PET scans show the other Vet went back to active cancer.  He was back in Houstan to try some newer experimental chemo’s. 
I know how he feels because I have been in and out of remission many times since my 1st cancer surgery in 1999 of that 26 lb tumor (my Oncologist states that it was very slow growing – at least 10 years old in 1999).  
That 1st Surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1999 was the one who connected my liposarcoma with Agent Orange exposure because it’s such a rare cancer.  
My 1st AO cancer VA claim was in 2001 and turned down in 2002, which I never received the turn-down letter requesting futher information from VA.  I found out about it in 2006 and started refiling VA claims. 


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Robert O’Dowd served in the 1st, 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings during 52 months of active duty in the 1960s. While at MCAS El Toro for two years, O'Dowd worked and slept in a Radium 226 contaminated work space in Hangar 296 in MWSG-37, the most industrialized and contaminated acreage on the base. Robert is a two time cancer survivor and disabled veteran. Robert graduated from Temple University in 1973 with a bachelor’s of business administration, majoring in accounting, and worked with a number of federal agencies, including the EPA Office of Inspector General and the Defense Logistics Agency. After retiring from the Department of Defense, he teamed up with Tim King of to write about the environmental contamination at two Marine Corps bases (MCAS El Toro and MCB Camp Lejeune), the use of El Toro to ship weapons to the Contras and cocaine into the US on CIA proprietary aircraft, and the murder of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow and others who were a threat to blow the whistle on the illegal narcotrafficking activity. O'Dowd and King co-authored BETRAYAL: Toxic Exposure of U.S. Marines, Murder and Government Cover-Up. The book is available as a soft cover copy and eBook from See: