LZ Orange: Honoring the Hidden Casualties of War
LZ Orange is a memorial to the dozen Vietnam veterans from my hometown, and the surrounding communities, who suffered and died from the effects of Agent Orange.
Agent Orange was a powerful defoliant sprayed to reduce the thick vegetation that concealed enemy forces. It was later revealed to cause serious health issues among returning veterans. The memorial, the only one of its kind, is the latest addition to the LZ Peace Memorial, built by the local Vietnam Veteran's Honor Society to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. LZ Orange is a living memorial, of sorts, due to the fact that many veterans continue to suffer from its effects. Unfortunately, the list is expected to grow.
I can relate to the lingering effects of war. My grandfather, Sgt. Andrew James Keho, was gassed in the trenches during World War I. My father recalls him vomiting into a bucket next to the bed as he awoke each morning.