- By Pacific island Times News Staff
Agent Orange survivors seeking to fly back to Guam
Guam veterans are seeking travel assistance to fly to Guam and direct federal investigators to the actual spots where they said Agent Orange were sprayed.
Brian Moyer, one of the Agent Orange survivors, wrote to Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, requesting to find the appropriate funding to bring several Guam veterans and support staff back to the island “to show the soil collection contractors where to collect soil samples where Agent Orange and related herbicides were sprayed on Andersen AFB and Navy Base Guam during the Vietnam War and post war era.”
The Government Accountability Office is currently conducting a comprehensive study regarding alleged Agent Orange use, storage, or transshipment on Guam.
The GAO has already sent investigators to Guam and conducted several on-island interviews.
GAO also continues to identify and review shipping logs for vessels that transported Agent Orange between the mainland United States and
Vietnam to determine if such vessels made port calls on Guam.
Moyer’s request came on the heels of report that initial sampling found no conclusive evidence of the presence of Agent Orange.
“We will be glad to assist in this effort to help guide the contractors to those specified areas where we know spraying took place,” Moyer wrote. “We find it rather odd that that the military contracted lab results show no Agent Orange results in their test results while the US EPA has confirmed what we have been saying for some time. That Agent Orange was used on Guam even at this current state of degradation.”
Moyer said inspectors ignored the areas reported to the GAO, including all Naval properties, the "Pipeline Road", the old NCS, Marbo Barracks, Polaris Point at Apra Harbor, the old NAS Agana, the old Naval Weapons Magazine in the Santa Rita district, as well as the water wells that tested positive for herbicides around various locations on Guam.
“We hope your office can assist us so we can get the justice we all so richly deserve for all the Chamorro/Guamanian population and the veterans who served on Guam and have disease rates that are parallel to those ‘boots on the ground’ Vietnam veterans,” Moyer said.
He noted that two more Guam veterans’ claims for benefits have been approved for direct exposure to Agent Orange on Guam in the past three months, indicating acknowledgment that the herbicide was used on island.
Bordallo continues to pressure the U.S. military and federal government to take responsibility for any verified Agent Orange use on Guam, particularly any during the Vietnam War era.
The GAO is expected to finalize its report, required by provision in the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, by late fall this year.
“The EPA should always have tested for Agent Orange island-wide and not just on military installations. I am encouraged that they will now examine off-base and non-military sites for potential traces of Agent Orange,” Bordallo said. “I continue working in Congress to ensure that the word of Guam residents and veterans who recounted spraying on Guam decades ago is taken seriously.”