A Legacy Of Illness : The Healing Process Is Far From Done By Amanda Spake

A Legacy Of Illness : The Healing Process Is Far From Done By Amanda Spake

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In the article, “A Legacy of Illness: The Healing Process Is Far From Done” by Amanda Spake, the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War is shown to be detrimental to Vietnam War veterans’ mental and physical health. The aftermath and effects of the agent did not and still does not receive the acknowledgment it deserves. The depth of the mental and physical distress of Vietnam veterans exposed to the agent is dismissed by the Veteran Administration, Department of Veteran Affairs and the general public. It is from this lack of awareness for the hardships of the veterans of the Vietnam War endangered by Agent Orange that their psychological and physical struggles stem.
The suffering of American veterans of the Vietnam War exposed to the herbicide, Agent Orange, is thoroughly expressed in Spake’s article. Within her article, Spake argues that the Department of Veteran Affairs refused to accept illnesses caused by Agent Orange as service related injuries until nearly 20 years after the last American soldiers left Vietnam. To support, her argument of neglect for Vietnam Veterans, Spake notes the life of Perry Buck, an American Vietnam veteran that was exposed to Agent Orange. She states, due to exposure from Agent Orange, “Once home, Buck’s right lung collapsed. His chest and back were covered with rashes. Then in 1992, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer” (Spake, 2000). Once listing the effects of Agent Orange on Perry Buck, Spake notes that the Department of Veteran Affairs failed to connect the illnesses to the aftermath of the use of the herbicide. She also argues Vietnam veterans suffered psychologically from harsh backlash from American citizens, as well as suffering from a lack of self-esteem. Soldiers returning...


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... consistent and the VA makes its decisions without sufficient transparency” (Samet et al., 2010). The last supporting article, “PTSD and Agent Orange: Implication for a Sociology of Veteran Affairs” also supports both my and Spake’s claim of Veteran Affairs failure to acknowledge the mental and physical health of Vietnam veterans. Within the article, author Wilbur Scott, states, “Many in the VA simply viewed the Agent Orange claims “as a big hoax, like witchcraft” (Scott, 1992). Much of the evidence in one supporting article reappeared in the other two supporting articles. The same facts reappearing in each article made the articles easier to believe and accept as truth. The evidence found in the supporting articles also supported much of Spake’s article. The articles gave great insight on the depth of the claim created from Spake’s work and the truth behind it.

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