Now a grandfather, Rob's story is a tragedy of generations of health issues, emotional impairments and disabilities caused by toxic exposure, told by his mother.
Rob's father was in Vietnam, and his mother -- whom we'll call Ruth -- was a WAC at Ft. McClellan Alabama, Ft. Sam Houston TX, and Ft. Leavenworth KS before going as a dependent at Ft Gulick and France Field. She was in the Canal Zone for about one year before Rob was concieved. She recalls the buildings at France Field had no central air and were sprayed with pesticides to control a cockroach infestation.
"I have tons of medical issues including multiple chemical sensitivities, thyroid, a heart valve that leaks some, allergies, asthma, spinal issues, and 4 types of arthritis going on at the same time. Psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosis spondylitis, inflammatory arthritis, and now balance issues. I used to have migraines, but also have GERD and diverticulosis. I had to have emergency surgery for a ruptured intestine and septic shock. I have polyneuropathy, pre-diabetes, and pre-glaucoma. I come from a family of 7 kids and I am the only one who has these issues and didn't before [I served in the military]."
"Rob was born July 1972 in Coco Solo Panama CZ. Leading up to his premature birth (7th month), I was having episodes of bleeding. He was [hospitalized] a week after he was born with a tube down him and lost down to 5 pounds. After that when given childhood shots, he would get violently sick with vomiting.
As a child, Rob had a tumor about the size of a quarter close to his spine, which was taken off when an adult. He had bilateral tumors before the age of 10 on both jaws that were removed by a specialist. He had bouts of spinal meningitis one as a child at 5 years old and 3 bouts as an adult at 20 years old. The specialists did every test they could and to date have no idea why he gets meningitis, which placed him in a coma at the time. He had Bell's Palsy at 10 years old and had treatment to get most of his facial muscles back.
Rob started having mental problems while in the Marines training at LeJeune, and was discharged before completing boot camp. He sought help and was given meds that would only work for a short time. One of the last counselors said that his DNA was changed with the meningitis and probably the contaminants. I was told he couldn't be on any medications because they would work the opposite.
Rob also has diverticulitis and pseudo gout, headaches that don't go away, and sometimes glare makes it worse but any stress will make it worse. He should be on social security disability but will go from job to job to support his family and keep up with the bills. He was trained with computers, but because of his meningitis, he can not keep the training in his head and has to constantly look things up again that he should know. When he looks at the computer or cell phone he will not only have a headache but will almost go blind where he can't see anything but a blur.
Each of Rob's five kids has [emotional disorders] and learning disabilities. His grandchildren have ADD and ADHD and are sick all the time.
Rob also has a brother who has anger issues the same as Rob, he has three children and one of them was born with a couple of holes in his heart as an infant and one of them has a malformed palate the same as his father had before headgear for that purpose. Rob's brother works all the time and has anxiety too and was placed on medication for it."
Rob was conceived in the Canal Zone, where toxic herbicides and pesticides had been applied for years.
Ruth's tale illustrates how dangerous herbicides with unknown amounts of TCDD Dioxin, dangerous pesticides, and other contaminants can affect many branches on a family tree.
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