Veterans exposed to toxins
I read with interest the Budgeteer story, Veteran deals with aftereffects of Gulf War (Jan. 31). John Marshall was the Captain of the Honor Guard at the Jan. 30 memorial service for my father, David Surges. Between seven children, Mom and the funeral organizers (close friends of our family), we somehow forgot a flag for the honor ceremony! Mr. Marshall saved the day by providing a flag and the military honors were absolutely beautiful.
My dad had been sick for 12 years with illnesses brought on by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He died unexpectedly on Jan. 26 of aspiration pneumonia and Parkinson's dementia. Mr. Marshall served with the honor guard at two separate funerals on Saturday, both at the same church, both gentlemen the same age, both victims of Agent Orange.
My mother, who was my dad's sole 24-hour caregiver for the last four years of his life, has made it her new life mission to educate people about illnesses brought on by exposure to toxins while serving in combat. She is a fierce advocate and has been saying for years that she cannot wait to testify before Congress about the government's abhorrent treatment of veterans, particularly the bureaucratic red tape involved with receiving care from the Veterans Administration.
The writer is a former Duluth resident.
I really liked the inclusion of so many student pieces in the paper (Jan. 31), both the opinion pieces and the letters.
I don't agree with all they say but they presented their viewpoints very well, which is what matters.
Congratulations to them and “well done” to you.