Marker honors Vietnam Veterans affected by Agent Orange
(TOWN OF UNION, NY) – A monument honoring local Vietnam Veterans was unveiled Friday, a day ahead of Armed Forces Day, at its permanent location. The Silver Rose Monument is a tribute to servicemen and women affected by the chemical Agent Orange in Vietnam. The new memorial was dedicated at Post 1700 in West Endicott.
During the war, more than 22.5 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed, affecting more than 300,000 service men and women who served during the conflict. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that Agent Orange exposure is connected to more than 40 cancers and sicknesses. The Silver Rose not only serves as a way to these honor veterans, but also as an advocacy tool as many Vietnam service members are unaware of the scope of Agent Orange’s effects.
“Too many veterans have already died from illnesses related to Agent Orange exposure,” said Sue Holdredge of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 896. “There are thousands more that are still unaware of the effects this chemical can have on their health. We appreciate the help of Assemblywoman Lupardo and County Executive Garnar to raise awareness.”
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo helped raise part of the funding for the new monument through a fundraiser in October. Broome County Executive Jason Garnar’s Office was able to provide the remainder of the funding through the County’s Veterans Fund.
“The best way we can honor our veterans is by doing all that we can to help them,” said Lupardo. “If we help even one veteran take care of an Agent Orange-related disease before it becomes a problem, then this monument has done its job.”
“Agent Orange exposure is still affecting thousands of veterans across the country,” said Garnar. “It’s important for us to help them understand the health risks associated with it. I’m glad to have been able to play a role in raising this awareness.”