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"Agent Orange Is Killing My Father"
When my father was serving in Vietnam, his platoon was sprayed with Agent Orange -- a toxic pesticide that can cause cancer, Parkinson's disease, and in my dad's case, liver failure.
Doctors told us that, without a transplant, my dad would die. And Veterans Affairs (VA) told us it would cover it but just needed to send the official paperwork.
That was two years ago, and although doctors are ready to operate, the VA hasn't greenlighted the transplant and my dad still hasn't received a new liver.
My dad's health is getting worse every day, but every time we call the VA, they stall. I started a petition on Change.org calling on the VA to make sure my dad receives a liver transplant immediately.
I know that I could lose my dad before the VA does the right thing. But I started this campaign -- even enlisting lawyers and a member of Congress -- because I know that the lives of other vets like my dad are also hanging in the balance because of the its inaction. Even if I can't save my dad, I want to show that the system is broken and needs to change: this is not how we're supposed to treat the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line for our country, or their families.
I know that public outrage can have an impact. Two years ago, the VA sped up granting disability benefits to a veteran in Texas after a local paper ran a profile on him. If thousands of people sign my petition, I know it will get the VA's attention.