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This Months Specials

VetNet Headlines
July 27, 2010
08/13/07 3:13 pm
Van Sanderson
branch: Navy

My name is Vancil Sanderson and in 1966 I was a part of the illegal and
immoral experiments performed on military
personnel on Naval Station Guam, Cocos Island, Guam. A radioactive substance was
being put into our food.
Many years later, 1983, I started having severe health problems. In 1993 I was
forced to apply for SSD and for my service
connection. After 2 years of trying to get my military records, Congresswoman
Barbara Vucanovich assisted me in getting my
records. We found out that the military had purged the records of the experiment on
Cocos Island. Other parts of my records
were also purged. With the purging of my records I was forced to research my
military service to prove my case for disability
compensation and that it is service connected. The following is what I have found
about the island of Guam and it\'s serious
contamination problem.
In 1944 the Battle for Guam was fought. Many men died on both sides. Almost 20,000
people were killed in the battle. About
5,000 US and 15,000 Japanese. The war in the Pacific was coming to a climax. Guam
was a key part on the attack of Japan.
With all the dead on Guam and the war still raging a huge problem arose. Filth Flies
and other disease carrying insects were
multiplying by the billions on all the dead. There weren\'t enough people to do away
with all the bodies to stop the problem. The
answer to the problem was DDT. The island wide use started just after the battle.
The entire island was sprayed by air day
after day, month after month. The use of DDT by air may have gone on for years. DDT
was also used in the disposal of many
of the bodies. The bodies were DDT\'d, wrapped or bagged then DDT\'d, then put in
graves and DDT\'d again. DDT wasn\'t the
only pesticide being used. DDT was used on Guam until it\'s ban.
Herbicides were being used in the building and maintenance of the infrastructure of
Guam. I believe 10 military installations,
both Navy and Airforce, were built right after or during the war. Andersen AFB is
the largest attack base in the world. It was
used in the bombing of Vietnam. There were numerous Navy installations as well, NCS,
Barricada Station, Guam Naval
Complex(6 bases) and Naval Station Guam, Cocos Island. Herbs were used to build
these bases and to maintain them. The
first herbicide used according to WWII veterans was Agent White. Veterans have also
testified to the use of Agent Orange as
early as 1955. Guam was a staging area for Vietnam and was used to store the rainbow
herbs. At least as early as the Korean
war the US was storing the rainbow herbicides on Guam. Agent Purple has been
reported by the DOD as having been stored
there during Korea, for use in Korea. I personnally am in contact with 5 vets who
used AO on Guam in the sixties, the earliest
being 1962 and the latest 1969. Veterans who worked in the storage areas of Guam
have taken pictures of the various
herbicides. They have also written letters in support of the pictures and also
stated they used these herbicides on Guam. It was
even used in aerial spraying according to veterans.
Silvex,2,4,5-TP, another of these herbicides can be found throughout the drinking
water system of Guam, as well as 2,4-D,
2,4,5-T, 2,3,7,8-TCDD. The Northern Guam Lens Aquifer was the sole-source drinking
water aquifer for Guam and is
contaminated by every substance the military had to offer and some. Fena Lake is the
water supply for the Navy and the Fleet
that ported on Guam. The lake is surrounded by the Naval Magazine and is
contaminated. The only way for these substances
to get into the Northern Guam Lens Aquifer and Fena Lake is through military use or
disposal. The aquifer, at the north end of
the island, was contaminated by the 3 bases that sit atop it, Andersen AFB, NCS and
NAS. The first year tested for Silvex in
the aquifer was 1983 at the NCS wells. Silvex, which can contain more dioxin than
Agent Orange, tested high at .21ppm. .05
is the MCL for Silvex.
Dioxin, the main substance of concern in these herbicides, can be found all over the
island. The highest amount in the world
I have been able to find is on Andersen AFB. 19,000ppm in the soil. Higher than
anywhere in Vietnam. This amount
represents, not just dioxin from herbicides, but from the disposal of dioxin forming
substances by burning. Burning substances
like oil, organochlorine pesticides like DDT, fuels, PCB\'s and a host of others.
These burning ponds were on Navy bases as
well. Wind patterns I have looked at for the island of Guam, would have been sending
dioxin all over the island. During
Vietnam and after the amounts must have been astronomical. I know PCB\'s are dioxin
forming when burned and the island of
Guam was not allowed to ship PCB\'s off island until 1993 or 94 per the EPA. What
this means is that for years this substance
and many more were disposed of on Guam. It didn\'t change until the EPA came into
being and it wasn\'t until 1978 the military
complex of Guam found they had a very serious problem with contamination. Especially
in the drinking water.
What I have tried to describe is a very small island with a huge military presence.
Pesticides were used in all facets of the
military, especially on these pacific islands. Insecticides like DDT were used
against the disease carrying insects. Herbicides like
Agent Orange, Silvex and 2,4-D were used against the plant life. This is the way the
military did things. Guam is just the worst
case scenario.
Next I found, starting with the Nuclear Weapons testing in the Pacific, Operation
Crossroads, that Guam was used as a
staging area. Guam between 1946 and the end of the testing, 1963, was a part of the
radiation zone for the testing in the
Pacific. It was also being used as a decontamination site for the ships of the
testing. Apra Harbor and Cocos Lagoon were the
areas I found that were being used. (Cocos Island and lagoon tests high for
pcb\'s,265 times allowed and for Sr89 and 90 at
4121ppm on the base).Guam was also a storage area for contaminated munitions from
the testing. Guam would have been
receiving radiation from the bomb testing by way of water, air and contaminants from
the storage and decontamination. I would
like to take a quote from the \"Blue Ribbon Panel Committee Action Report\" on
Guam.\"What was perpetrated against this
region was the largest ecological disaster in human history. This disaster was no
less than the detonation of over 108,000
kilotons of nuclear explosive directly up jet stream of Guam. The amount of
contamination was 42 times the approximately 150
million curiesreleased as a result of testing in the United States of America.\" The
report indicates that significant amounts of
fallout from the testing existed until about 1974. I know the US Government had the
Univ. of Washington testing the food
supply, water and some vegetation from 1954 to about 1979. They have some of the
samples archived. Other ways for
radioactive contamination would have also come from the decontamination of planes.
As I have said Guam was a part of the
radiation zone and planes monitoring the bomb blasts followed and measured the
fallout. The planes got pretty hot and some
times the planes had to sit on the runway area to cool down before decontamination.
This runoff from the planes was ending up
in the aquifer as well. Radiation contamination was a fact on Guam and it had many
Next is the contamination to the aquifer by way of military procedures or the way
things were done for the time. The
number one contamination problem for the military on Guam may have been TCE. Or it
would be better stated that the
synergistic effect of all the substances may be the big problem. Whatever way you
look at it, it adds up to a lot of
contamination of the most toxic substances the military uses. And it was running off
unabated into the water supply for Guam
and the fleet for at least 34 years. Feb. 1978 Andersen AFB, Guam, the airforce
finds it has a serious problem with TCE
contamination to the water supply. The 11 wells of the Marbo Complex are
contaminated, some severely. TCE continued to
be a serious problem for the aquifer even after the discovery. The military\'s only
way to combat the problem was to dilute the
wells. Take the water from less contaminated wells and mix with the severely
contaminated wells before consumption. Levels
even then were high. Dilution isn\'t a an efficient way to clean drinking water. At
best it\'s a bandaid solution, if that. It wasn\'t until
about 1995 that the technology was developed and installed on Guam. This technology
was developed for the military at
McClelland AFB, Calif in the late 80\'s.
While stationed on NCS, Guam in 1966 and 67 I could taste, see and smell what
appeared to be a solvent in the drinking
water. According to ATSDR the level of TCE would have to have been at least
1,000,000ppb. What this means is that all the
levels of contaminants in the drinking water would have been much higher than
indicated by the DOD. With my personal
knowledge and hearings held before congress in Nov. 1987, this shows the
contamination was extrememly high.(Page 84 of
the Mike Synar hearings before congress explains that all the readings released by
the airforce for Andersen AFB were diluted
figures and didn\'t represent the true contamination levels of the aquifer)GAO
reports for Guam support the dilution and when it
started. In the GAO April and May 1987 reports it is stated that base commanders
immediately started dilution upon the
discovery of the contamination. It was discovered in Feb. 1978 and all readings
after this time, Mar. 1978 on, were diluted.
What this means is that there was a lot of contamination going into the aquifer and
ultimately being consumed by military and
civilian personnel.The TCE levels were a huge problem because of all the types of
uses and how the military did things during
Vietnam and before. TCE was the solvent of choice and used to washdown planes after
each flight. It was a mixture of TCE
and water. Andersen AFB was the largest attack base in the world and all flights for
B-52\'s attacking Vietnam originated and
ended on Guam in 1965, 66 and into 67. This represents 1000\'s of flights just for
the B-52\'s. After each sortie the planes are
washed down with the TCE mixture. The mixture then went into the drainage system and
into the aquifer. Andersen\'s drainage
system and numerous dumby wells (Dumby wells were punched all over Andersen for
better recharge of the aquifer. May be
as many as 200 of these wells) carried all the contamination directly to the
aquifer. Any contamination that didn\'t make it to the
drainage systems would have been runoff by the heavy rainfalls by way of the many
sinkholes and dumby wells on the island.
These sinkholes provided rapid transfer of contaminants from the surface to the
aquifer, per the GAO, and were all over the
island. The military was using some of these sinkholes as dumps. Some drainage
systems were tied directly to the sinkholes and
dumby wells. I would venture to say over 100,000 flights of B-52\'s tookoff from
Andersen. Add in all the other types aircraft
stationed, serviced and overhauled on Andersen and you could have had over a
1,000,000 planes done at Andersen just
during Vietnam. Veterans who worked on the flightline also have told me after the
B-52\'s left on a sortie, the bunkers, where all
the prep work for the B-52\'s was done, were sprayed with the TCE mixture. Every
bunker had a drainage system tied to the
main drain for the flightline. TCE was the most widely used solvent for all airforce
The way the military handled it\'s toxic waste for years, was by dumping or burning
and that was how it was done until the
80\'s. On Guam you have 3 military installations over the Northern Guam Lens
drinking water aquifer. One is Andersen AFB
which is an NPL site. The amount of contamination generated by Andersen during
Vietnam would have been the highest in the
world. All of this had rapid transfer to the aquifer. This is substantiated by the
PHA and bioenvironmental engineering well
reports for Andersen. The PHA shows how high dioxin and other toxics are on
Andersen, the highest amount being
19,000ppm of TCDD in the soil. The bioenvironmental reports show the array of
chemicals. There are many other sites with
high amounts of dioxin. Site No. 31, Chemical Storage No. 4(CS-4), had dioxin rates
as high as 130ppm. This site is
up-aquifer from NCS wells 1 and 1a(are now NCS A and B) The herbicide silvex is in
high amounts in the NCS wells,
.21ppm per GEPA in 1983. Dioxin(2,3,7,8-TCDD), 2,4,-D, 2,4,5-T and many more
pesticides and chemicals can be found in
the NCS wells, still today. There can be no drift, because the north end of this
island is all military all the time. Just ocean and
military. And the military is the only one using most of these substances.
The naval installations were also contaminating the aquifer, just not to the extent
of Andersen. NCS and the NAS are
superfund sites. Quite possibly NAS should have been an NPL site. They did things
the same way as Andersen, dump and
burn. Same types of toxic waste. Same washdown procedures that contaminated the
environment. Same creation of dioxin by
burning. Used the same types of insectides and herbicides, for the most part.
Applied and stored them the same. The Navy
was handling the toxic waste just as the airforce was, that was for the times. This
is just the north end of the island and the
contamination to the sole-source drinking water aquifer.
The south end consists of the Guam Naval Complex, less the NAS. The Naval Magazine
surrounds the drinking water
supply, Fena Lake, for the navy and the ships that ported on Guam. The magazine is a
superfund site. All of the insecticides
and herbicides(pesticides) were used in the same manner as other military
installations. The base contaminated the environment
around it including the lake. This lake, during and after WWII, would have been
sprayed with DDT for control of disease
carrying insects. Herbicides were used as well for control of weeds in and around
the lake.
In all, the military is responsible for, and I believe this number is growing, there
are 207 contaminated sites, 28 or more
superfund sites and 2 NPL sites on Guam. The island of Guam is about 30 miles long
by an average of 8 and 1/2 miles wide.
Massive amounts of pesticides were used in the military buildup and maintenance of
the military complex on Guam. After the
complex was built it was expanded and the military controlled about 2/3\'s of the
island at the pinnacle.
There are health problems that coincide with the military buildup, neurodegenerative
disease. It has many names but is best
described by ALS/PDC. Neurodegenerative disease got to epidemic proportions between
WWII and the middle 50\'s for
Guam natives, the Chamorro people. I know the DVA is studying this disease in
military personnel, stationed on Guam, at the
VA center in Reno, Nevada. Same time frame. The study has been slowed due to a high
response by veterans stationed on
Guam. The problem with the study is that it doesn\'t cover a broad enough time
period. The Board of Veterans Appeals(BVA)
has found cases of Guam ALS in military personnel, who were stationed on Guam, as
late as the early 70\'s. These aren\'t the
only health problems associated with Guam. According to David B. Cohen in 2004,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior
for Insular Affairs, about Guam, \"We see alarmingly high rates of diabetes,
hypertension, obesity and many types of cancer
and other diseases\". I know in the Mike Synar hearings in 1987 the congress was
initiating studies or already had of cancer, for
a base or bases on Guam. I am or have been in contact with maybe as many as 100
veterans, and or family members, and or
friends of these veterans who have these catastrophic illnesses. I have been
contacted by some of the Chamorro people of
Guam who are having numerous health problems. Whole families can be affected with
What we have is a small island that was strategic to the military buildup during and
after WWII. Guam is still strategic to the
US. Government document after government document supports the massive contamination
to this island. The military pesticide
manual explains totally how to use these substances and for what. All military
installations on Guam followed the manual. The
rainbow herbs, silvex and DDT were all used or stored on Guam. Veterans confirm the
use of herbs like Agent White, during
and after WWII. Agent Purple was stored on Guam for use in Korea. Agent Orange was
used maybe as early as 1955, but I
know veterans who used AO during the 60\'s and as early as 1962. I saw these
herbicides being used in 1966 and 67. Many
other veterans witnessed the use or used them. Veterans have pictures of the herbs
and the naval yard where they were stored.
DDT was passed out like condoms. If you need it use it. All our forays into the
jungle, we had to use the DDT. Whenever the
bug problem started to pick up, DDT was used on the perimeters and some distance
into the jungle. Pesticides were used
regularly around the barracks.
We have a wide array of pesticides, VOC\'s, Benzene, Toulene, PAH\'s, SVOC\'s,
radionuclide and many other of the most
toxic substances the military uses and all of this contamination was ending up in
the drinking water. Of course there was contact
through the skin and through inhallation upon the disposal and use of these toxics
as well. Then you take and add in the Nuclear
Weapons Testing from 1946 through 1963 and the use of Guam as a staging area for the
testing and it was used for the
decontamination of ships and storage for radiation contaminated munitions and
equipment. You add all this up and there is a
huge contamination problem. The health problems of the people of Guam and military
personnel prove this. The hearings before
Congress prove it. The EPA and GEPA documents prove it. The many GAO reports prove
it. ATSDR proves it. The DOE
and DOD proves it. And last and most importantly veterans and there sworn testimony
prove it.
To support all the documents and all the statements made by me, A professor Luis
Szyfres from the University of Gaum has
come forward and blown the whistle to all the contamination on gaum. Every document
he presents is peer-reviewed. Many of
the documents are the same as in my case. ATSDR, GAO, DOE, DNA and many others. He
is a highly respected scientist in
his field and his field is contamination, at least one of them. His credentials are
impeccable and he\'s studying the contamination
to Guam. He says that civilian and military personnel would have been exposed by the
air that they breathe, the food and the
drinking water. Much of the work he\'s done is for the US Government.
What Guam has is a huge contamination problem with substances like insecticides,
herbicides, vocs, svocs, pcbs, pahs,
other pesticides, solvents, fuels, various radioactive substances like cesium and
strontium 90. All of this was ending up in the
sole-source drinking water aquifer under Andersen AFB, NAS and NCS. All drew their
water from this aquifer. 75% of the
islands water supply is drawn from the aquifer under these bases. Studies have been
done on the cancer rates to military
personnel on Guam, per GAO and Congress. Page 52 of the Mike Synar hearings points
this fact out. Guam was the major
staging area for WWII, Korea, Nuclear Weapons and Viet Nam.
That means the Viet Nam era herbicides were stored and used there. This is supported
by the veterans that used them,
scientists, well reports, GAO, GEPA and EPA reports. The burnsite on Andersen that
has dioxin in soil at 19,000ppm was
used to dispose of pesticides. Herbicides are a pesticide. This is per the 2002
ATSDR report for the site. Although this report
is a Public Health Assessment, it shows what the military was being exposed to on a
daily basis. Dioxin is everywhere on the
base. It was and still is in the drinking water of Guam. I have contacted ATSDR and
they have told me their information only
goes back to about 1989. Most of the contamination already had happened. And before
1978 there was no effort to stop the
contamination because the military says they didn\'t know about it. All of this
supports the fact that military personnel, stationed
on Guam, were contaminated with a wide array of contaminants and sometimes in
massive amounts such as the DDT, radiation
and rainbow herbicides.
Thankyou for your time.
Vancil I. Sanderson
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Visitor Comments
Hello I am Becky Cunningham, my husband was stationed in Guam 1980 to 1981 he was a healthy young man at the time he joined the Navy took no medication or anything. He started having pancreatitis while he was there and the military said it was due to alcohol but he later ended up with type 2 diabetes hbp and in 2009 was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and passed away at the age of 48 the millitary has denied his disabilty. If you should have anymore informnation on people with pancreatic cancer that was sataioned in Guam please either email me at or call me at 8034824474. Thank you
did you ever win your claim with the VA?
I was stationed on Guam in 66-67-68 and 69 two times I worked in the bomb dumps and one on the flight line. I remember the I dead foliage espically around the flight line. I also remember the taste of the water was terrible. Lived on base and off, Marboro.

Tom Konieczko
I was married to a Marine and was at Camp Pendleton the year it was declared a Superfund site in 1978, the year I gave birth to our daughter at NRMC. I became very ill during the ptrgnancy. Silvex, PCBs, VOCs, metals were found there. High levels of lead in the drinking water also. I now have A neuroendocrine cancer with inoperable right ovarian tumor (Carcinoid cancer), A blood cancer, was CIN 1 cervical cancer, prediabetic, heart problems, migraines, asthma and other medical issues.
My dad was stationed on Guam from about 1958 or 59 until 1961 or 62. The ritual, almost every day, was to get home from school and wait for the misquito truck - every kid on base rode their bike behind it and then went to the chiefs club for a soda - I have always wondered what long term effects this might have on me - Jack
I was stationed at Naval Communications Station Finegayan(sp), Guam from 1965-67. This was my last duty station before retiring after 20 years of service. I am now approaching 80 years of age and have had numerous health issues over the years, including Diabetes, Melanoma, 3 bouts of bladder cancer and other maladies which I think are related to my tour of duty on Guam.
hi my name Walt i was on guam for a month in 1976 for iwas in the navy aboard a navy ship. Because I got diabetes Mellitus, type 2 i,ve known it about it since 1985 I was diagnosed then.
My Dad had boils all over his body while serving in Guam in World War II. At least that is what he thought they were and they lasted for 5 days. It was not written much in his records, but he wtrote my mom and told her. We still have those letters. Half of his records are missing and he has an S on his records and The VA wants to know what he did he the War to have them sealed. We know it is against the law, but we have been having a hard time. He is still living and he has cold sweats and is out of it at times. He was in the 3rd Marine Division and the second wave that entered Guam late 1942 or very early 1943. He was one of the few that survived his platoon. All this is very scary and I wonder if that is the reason he has so many problems.
Sandy Balkin
i would like to know how much rainbow agents where use on NCS as I was station there from 65 to67 and stood post on the base I know they spray around thee barracks and it smell awful for three or four day and nothing grew
I was stationed at Andersen Air Force Base Guam for 18 months in the 1972-73 time frame. I lived in one of the barracks in the Marbo annex and drank the water on a daily basis. In 2004 I was diagnosed with end stage liver disease. Later I lost my kidneys as a result. In 2007 I got a liver and kidney transplant. Do you know if there could be a correlation ?
My Dad was in Japan from \'46-\'47 as part of the occupying force. and then in Japan for R&R or other duties (prisoner escort etc) while fighting in Korea 51-52. He passed away 9 Mar 2008. We are going through the grueling task of getting DIC for his wife (stepmom). He was declared 100% disabled but VA in their wisdom can\'t see a connection to his disability and his death.

Your article is very interesting!! My husband was stationed in Guam during the Vietnam War. He is now 61 years old and having numerous heath problems; skin irritations(sores), digestive and hypertension problem and his liver profiles usually come back abnormal. He filed a claim for VA compensation after hearing about herbicides and pesticides being stored in Guam. His claimed was denied for the following reason; There was no reason in the available evidence of records to establish service connection for his illnesses and that most of his problems occurred 35 years after discharge. He did have problems earlier on but we just didn\'t know until recently they could be caused by the chemicals used in Guam. We plan to appeal the VA\'s denial of his claim. Do you have any suggestions as to how we can prove to the VA that even though he has been out of the service for 30+ years, that his health problems could indeed be service related? Thanks for your help and your very enlighting article.

Dear Vancil,
My name is Sandra Smudzin, born Oct 15 1946, daughter of EMC Walter Stanley Smudzin USN born september 30, 1918 and Theresa Catherine Smudzin, born Oct 31 1925. My father was on Guam in the mid 1950\'s for about one year before my mom and I joined to live with him in a metal building. I remember being sprayed everynight by \"Smokey Joe\" we called him. My dad spent the entire war in the Pacific then on to retire from the Navy after 21 years.
After returning from Guam my mother had to enter a mental hosipital and I began having anxiety problems. I have fibromyalga and other ailments. Loss of energy has been experienced by both my parents and myself. Our dear friend, who lived by us on Guam died of cancer at age 62.Her daughter now 50 has lupis. My mother developed precancerous condition in her throat and was operated on in the early 1960\'s. They also suffer from hypertension, high cholesterol, and mom and I are pre diabetic among other ailments.

The nervous disorders that I have experienced all my life since leaving Guam makes me wonder if they haven\'t something to do with the atomic bomb fall out and poisons. A man on the destroyer the Fletcher saw the bomb(Bravo) near the bikini Island explode from the ship. I believe I was on Guam at the time.

I am so sorry for all the peoples of Guam. The native Islanders were always very kind to us children. They would climb coconut trees and cut the husk and give the juice and meat to us. They would weave us hats to wear. They do not deserve what is happening to them. I have a friend who was exposed to massive ammounts of DDT and it is now DDE in her body. She has no immune system. I have a poor immune system.

I am glad this problem is being brought to light. I was urged to look into it by my Doctor who was a research scientist studing these things.
I am most devistated by what has happened to the native populations in Guam and the area.
Anyone I can help or wants to text me my e-mail is
Thank you,
Sandy Smudzin
Hello, Am VietNam Vet having served @Tahkli thailand 12/66 - 12/67. Trying to service connect DMII due to direct exposure to herbicides since 2001. Denied at RO, BVA, and is now remanded from Court of Appeals for Veterans. Was in 4252 Strat Wg, (SAC) with HQ at Andersen AFB, Guam. Had occasion to visit Guam during an extensive telecommunications outage. Wondering if I should have approached the claim from this standpoint. Immediately went on medication for Thyroid, cholesterol, and HBP, within a few months of retirement (Aug 1987). Would like to hear from you, if you wouldn\'t mind sharing current info, etc. email: Thanks.
Dear Vancil,
We once had an activist, former Senator Angel Santos fighting for our rights that the military stole our land and alot of contaminants in our soil. This explains WHY alot of folks being diabetic 2 and other illness. Cancer is a growing problem on our island. I\'ve seen people dying slowly because they can\'t afford the medical cost. It\'ll be nice if the military will offer some assistance towards the medical cost for those who are affected.

Thank you for your comments and I will pass this message to my friends.

Mr. Sanderson,

This is a very interesting document. I worked for the Navy for over 35 years and served as Safety Specialist/Manager at the Ship Repair Facility, Naval Air Station, Naval Supply Depot, Naval Magazine, Naval Hospital Okinawa Japan, returned and worked at ComNavMar at Naval Station after 1965. I will print it out, highlight some areas that I feel are very important for me and my family.

I came from a family of sixteen (16) children and we have history of diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.

I\'d like to communicate/get back to you soon.

Vicky Taitano, Piti, Guam (671) 888-5064

I am currently 45 yrs young. I\'m local & very concerned about these contamination issues. I live in the southern side of the island. I\'ve always thought that we were in the cleaner(contaminant wise) side. Now we understand that the whole lagoon is and has been contaminated for many many years. Just to give you and anyone a quick lesson in the eating habits of the chamorro people when it comes to fish; parrotfish is also eaten raw cooked in lemon juice and salt, unicorn fish, internals eaten after fry or barbeque. These are just a couple ways and examples and the local people have been eating these fish from contaminated waters for years. It is my hope that these issues are brought to light as well and that some type of health test program started and compensation provided to people still alive today, of course all paid by the fedgov\'t because it\'s their mess. I would really like to know the contamination area resulting from the Cocos Island. I see below that the whole lagoon is identified but what data is that based on? I wonder if it is much larger and was spread much more inland due to all the typoons throughout all those years.
I was a sailor and civilian on Guam in the mid sixties, late sixties and again in the late seventies. I haven\'t heard of the problem. It doesn\'t surprise me though. With the cost of waste disposal the military would have taken the cheapest route they could. I have experienced health problems in my later years myself. However, these are not associated with the problems described herein. I know Guam is made from coral and is very porus. It will absorb like a dry sponge.
I have heard about all this contaminants in Guam, Guam have the most cancer, and dibectic for the size of the island. I know lots of local people die from cancer, very young. In fact my brother is only 50 years old die from cancer.
...and here\'s the federalis blaming the brown tree snake for decimating our island\'s bird population. - poo poo!! Is that why a lot of our people are dying at a young age - 55 - 65? My co-worker who passed away 2004, remembered running behind, along with her village friends in Sinajana, a military jeep that was spraying DDT!!! She died from pancreatic cancer.

HERE COMES THE \"MILITARY BUILDUP\" with their anti-environment construction and disposal of all sorts of waste! God bless our Island of Guam and its people!

Si Yu\'os Ma\'ase\'.
Hang in there and don\'t give up; my prayers are with you and all others affected.
I am from Guam and have lived there since 1943-1962, then was back there again in 1972-73. Many of my sibblings have developed thyroid, hypertension, and other ailments. Would these contaminants have contributed to our problems.

B. Santos
Hi Vancil,
Do you know if they had remainder of agent orange in Korea between 1971-1973.

You may email me at
Hi Vancil,
I read your column and it\'s very interesting. I\'m from Guam and alot of the native islanders\' are suffering from diabetic and cancer. I don\'t understand why the military cannot provide those affected on those dates with full medical coverage. Right now their\'s a serious problem about medical coverage on our island. Old folks can\'t afford the premium so they die slowly because our island is too expensive.

4 years ago, my niece and I were walking and touring and enjoying the little shops on Coronado Island, San Diego. My granddaughter caught the attention of a resident and he asked where we were from. I had told him I was visiting from Guam and he just gave me a very peculiar look, he told me he was on Guam during the 50\'s and 60\'s. Moments into our conversation
he told me that he hasn\'t forgotten about his mission out in the Pacific and that he often wondered about the impact of that mission on the nearby islands which included Guam. He said that they were doing tests on the Bikini Islands
which has been proven to be very harmful and that those tests would have affected the air and the surrounding locations. He has carried that on his concience all those years and he asked that I contact the local media on Guam to research this. I mentioned to him that my mother, Grandfather and many of my relatives had died of cancer but didn\'t know what connection it would have to this incident. He sounded so sure that it had some bearing on the tests that were done in the 50\'s and 60\'s. This person retired from the military and lived on Coronado Island. I never got his name although he was so persistent that I bring awareness to this particular military activity. It doesn\'t seem like he would be making this up ..for what? Now that I think abut it, people always comment that we lived on paradise; fresh air, no pollution, no smog, nice sunshine and tropical climate, all the requirements for good health. But where did all this lytico and bodig, and the high rates of cancer and diabetes are coming from? Alot of our food is blamed but chamorro food is so similar to Thai food. I\'m wondering if the Thai and Indonesian people have the same health problems. If not, then this definitely is something to look into. P. June Terlaje