Their endless war : the legacy of agent orange and interpretations of the Vietnam veteran's compensation movement, 1978-1984
Stern, Justin D.
In the late 1970s, some Vietnam veterans accused the US government of dismissing its obligation to provide them financial and medical compensation for injuries they believed were sustained during the Vietnam War. Veterans and their families argued that exposure to Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant sprayed abundantly during the conflict, was responsible for several mysterious illnesses and birth defects. Activist veterans seeking benefits from the government participated in the Agent Orange Compensation movement from 1978-1984. The Movement serves as a historical medium to explore meanings of the Vietnam experience for veterans, their families and America in the decade immediately following the War's ambiguous conclusion. The Agent Orange controversy engaged the nation in a discourse about the legacy of the Vietnam War. The course of this legacy is still not completely charted and will be greatly influenced by the treatment America accords its veterans.