LUTZ, Fla. – “It floored me! It floored me when I found out about it that day. It did, it floored me,” recalled Bob Wood.
When Wood suffered a heart attack two years ago, doctors at the Haley VA Hospital told him his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam contributed to his heart disease.
“This is unbelievable,” Wood thought at the time.
Wood served at Air Force bases in Thailand during the war and said that agent orange, an herbicide and defoliant was used around the perimeter of the base for security.
“I felt like for decades that we were exposed to agent orange,” said Wood.
It was after the heart attack that he learned of the Agent Orange Registry.
“The message I would like to get out there today, is to get all veterans of the Vietnam War, signed up and do the Agent Orange Registry exam,” Wood explained.
Available through the VA, the exam is not tied to current benefits; and is an opportunity for vets who have not shown signs of exposure to Agent Orange.
“Their benefits, their health is at stake,” said Wood.
Wood was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and wants to use his time to bring awareness. He says all you have to do to find out more is contact Veterans affairs.
“The earlier the detection, prostate cancer, ischemic heart disease and the other ailments, they’ll be able to meet these medical situations sooner; and can be cured in a lot of cases,” Wood said.
One veteran looking out for others on a day when we honor them all.