To Vietnam veterans and their families:
The new Agent Orange/PTSD Official History is out.
THIS is the story of our troubled homecoming told accurately, compassionately, and eloquently by historian Peter Yule.
Some of the story is told through the eyes of over 100 veterans Peter Yule and his team interviewed. Some of the story is a rollicking yarn about veterans’ conflict with the bureaucracy and government And some of the story is the technical review of studies, written so we all can understand, on the health of veterans and their families.
Peter Yule delves deeply into the tragedy of the traumatic effects of the war on so many of those who fought it and on their families. He delves deeply too into the controversy over whether veterans were harmed by their exposure to a variety of herbicides and insecticides. On this exposure issue, there are two parts.
One is the purely scientific question of how toxic were these chemical agents including the most recognised, Agent Orange.
The second part is that which was pursued by the Vietnam veteran movement and, indeed, was the reason for their activism. It stemmed from the veterans’ belief that the Department of Veterans Affairs was unfairly rejecting compensation claims based on chemical exposure. The unfairness resulted, the veterans’ argued, from the Department not giving veterans the ‘benefit of the doubt’ prescribed under Repatriation law.
It tells the whole story and is recommended for those who would like to know and understand the whole picture.
Cheers, Graham Walker
Peter Yule is a Research Fellow of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has published over 20 books on Australian military, medical, and economic history, including histories of the Collins Class submarine project, Australian National Airways, and the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.