2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 28 Jul 2003 15:18:55 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Worker says Agent Orange buried near Tok
Worker says Agent Orange buried near Tok
By Diana Campbell
July 27, 2003

John Erickson said he wondered if he was doing the right thing when he
helped bury six 55-gallon barrels of what he believed to be Agent Orange
in Tok 30 years ago.
At the time, Agent Orange was making the news because of health concerns
by Vietnam War veterans because the herbicide had been used as a jungle
defoliant during that war.

But the Army command at Fort Greely gave orders to the contractor
Erickson worked for to dig a big hole and bury the barrels, he said. So
that's what he and a crew did.

"At the time I thought 'this is kind of stupid,'" Erickson said by phone
from his Hoonah home.

Early this year, Erickson contacted government officials to tell them
what he had done after he read a news story about Agent Orange being
used in Alaska.

Those officials find his story credible and are planning what to do

The problem with Agent Orange is that a manufacturing flaw created a
deadly byproduct called dioxin. The Veterans Administration believes
dioxin to be the source of cancers and Type II diabetes in Vietnam
veterans and birth defects in their children.

The Tok site where the barrels might be buried is a former White Alice
Communication System site. White Alice was a military communications
system developed in the 1950s that linked data from aircraft and missile
early warning systems to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
There were 49 White Alice sites in Alaska.

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