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Vet Dies of Agent Orange Poisoning: Vietnam Vet Wins Disability Before Death
Reprinted from the the Winter 1978/1979 (Volume 9, Number 1) issue of The Veteran.
Paul Reutersham, Vietnam veteran from Stamford, Connecticut, died on December 14th from abdominal cancer at the age of 28. Though seriously weakened by disease, he continued through his final days to fight the government for recognition that he was a victim of Agent Orange poisoning. Reutersham's quote, "I was killed in Vietnam and didn't even know it," has been used many times by veterans who, like him, are fighting to get testing, treatment and disability compensation for the effects of exposure to the deadly chemical spray.
On Reutersham's behalf, a New York attorney, in early January, filed a class action suit directed at several chemical companies to force these manufacturers of the defoliant to create a fund which would pay the costs of those who are sick as a result of their exposure to Agent Orange.
As a result of his tireless struggle Reutersham finally won his 100% disability rating from the VA a few days before his death. Through his victory came too late to help him, it is a tribute to his struggle which will be long remembered by veterans everywhere.