Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange

By Fred A. Wilcox | Go to book overview

8
CASUALTY REPORT

Until a former Green Beret walked into his office complaining of symptoms that physicians call "exotic," Dr. Ronald A. Codario had never heard of Agent Orange. "I don't know how common my experience was," says Codario, "but I went all through medical school and my training in internal medicine without ever hearing the word dioxin." The veteran told Codario that since his return from Vietnam he had spent many hours each week practicing martial arts, becoming highly skilled in using vigorous physical exercises and meditation to control his emotions. But recently, he said, he had been losing the dexterity and speed that had taken him many long years of discipline and practice to develop. His muscular power seemed to decrease almost daily, and he suffered from headaches and numbness and was easily fatigued. But most bewildering, the self-discipline that had enabled him to survive Vietnam and the years following his discharge from the Special Forces seemed to be slipping away; he was afraid he was losing control. Although his training in martial arts helped to lessen his fear and enabled him at times to regain his poise, he was disturbed because there seemed to be absolutely no reason for what was happening.

Dr. Codario listened patiently for nearly three hours but, he confesses, not without a considerable amount of skepticism. As a doctor he had been trained to perceive that certain causes produce

-114-

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Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - Ketchup and Water 3
  • 2 - The Doomed Platoon 16
  • 3 - Seals and River Rats 31
  • 4 - A Maimed Generation 44
  • 5 - Dying Down Under 59
  • 6 - Stonewall 79
  • 7 - When You Can't Sue the Government that Kills You 98
  • 8 - Casualty Report 114
  • 9 - Humans, Rats, and Lesser Beings 126
  • 10 - The Vietnamization of America 147
  • 11 - Vietnam Veterans are America's Future 175
  • Appendix 183
  • Bibliography 207
  • Notes 208
  • Index 215
  • About the Author 223
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