Have you ever had a premonition that a 55 gallon drum near you might have Agent Orange in it? It happened to me a lot in SEA. In fact, they all had orange rings around them except for the ones with blue rings. We never used the word Agent though.
Imagine being out in the woods on maneuvers in western Washington and coming across some 55 gallon drums of “something” in 1973. This would be about 3,000 miles away from where any herbicide was used. You would automatically assume it had something to do with herbicides, though. Right? Even if it was lacking the telltale orange stripes. Dang. I wish I had ESP. I’d wouldn’t waste it on that business. I’d head to the casino.
Here, Dick Tracy determines there was definitely a link between those drums, herbicides and his DM2 38 years later. Brilliant.
The Veteran contends that he was exposed to Agent Orange in service. At the Board hearing the Veteran testified that while stationed at Fort McChord in Washington State he was at a meeting at a remote edge of the base. Near the meeting location there were large 55 gallon blue drums with a chain link fence surrounding them. The Veteran testified that he did not know what was in the drums, "what is in those drums I can't honestly tell you", but he contends that it was Agent Orange. He reported that he didn't think it was diesel as they were allowed to smoke. The Veteran testified that he was never told that Agent Orange was in the drums. At the February 2010 local hearing the Veteran also testified that during the meeting he was near blue and white or green and white drums and that he did not know the contents of the drums, nor even whether they were empty or full. The Veteran's contentions that the blue or green 55 gallon drums which he was in proximity to contain Agent Orange are unfounded. The Veteran was never told what was in those specific drums, nor was he told that Agent Orange was stored anywhere on base.The Department of Defense has acknowledged that Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam were tested or stored elsewhere, including some military bases in the United States. However there is no record of any herbicide storage at Fort McChord, Washington. The only recorded storage or use of any herbicides in the state of Washington was in 1950 to 1951 when Agent 2, 4-D was used in water studies in Prosser, Washington.Even assuming arguendo that Agent Orange was in the drums near the Veteran during the meeting, he has not argued that he was actually exposed to Agent Orange. He does not contend that he touched any liquid or inhaled any fumes. The Veteran did not report touching the drums, or touching any liquid near the drums, or that the drums were opened and he breathed in fumes. He does not even contend that areas of the base were being actively sprayed or that the contents of the drums were actively used, never mind that he was present in areas where any sort of spraying had occurred. http://www.va.gov/vetapp11/Files4/1138378.txt