House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution designating October 2018 as “Agent Orange Awareness Month”

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – The House of Representatives today unanimously adopted H.R. 1075, designating October 2018 as “Agent Orange Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania, according to the resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny.

Matzie said the resolution is intended to serve as a reminder of the courage and sacrifices of thousands of Pennsylvanians who fought in the Vietnam War, as well as the devastating consequences so many suffered as a result of exposure to Agent Orange.

“Of the more than 170,000 Pennsylvanians who served directly in the Vietnam War, more than 3,000 were killed in action, and many more were listed as missing in action,’’ Matzie said. “Tragically, there was a second, insidious enemy that was invisible to troops but just as deadly – Agent Orange and similar herbicides that were used to clear foliage that provided enemy cover.

“Thousands of Pennsylvanians died from exposure to Agent Orange, while thousands more still live with cancers and other health effects. Worse still, many veterans live with the knowledge that genetic damage resulting from exposure to Agent Orange may be handed down through generations.”

Matzie said the federal government has acknowledged that certain diseases are linked to Agent Orange and federal law provides a presumption that certain diseases are a direct result of exposure to the chemical and similar herbicides used during the Vietnam War.