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The Digression Podcast

Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. This is their podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.

Aug 6, 2021

This is the story of a dangerous toxin released on our enemy and our own, all the while being lied to by the government. No, we’re not talking about Covid, we’re talking about Agent Orange.

Much of South Vietnam is covered with very thick, dense jungle vegetation. This dense vegetation was used as cover by the forces opposing the United States and South Vietnamese armies. One means of counteracting this tactic was the use of herbicides to kill and defoliate vegetation.

Agent Orange was a powerful herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to eliminate forest cover and crops for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops. These chemicals were applied by airplanes, helicopters, trucks, riverboats, and individual backpacks. Three million acres of South Vietnam were sprayed with 50,000 tons of Agent Orange and other herbicides, containing over 500 pounds of dioxin. Because herbicides were used in Vietnam to destroy crops and defoliate jungle cover, the military used higher concentrations of herbicide per unit area than most domestic applications, which are primarily used to prevent weed growth. Dioxin is a by-product of herbicide production and is the focus of veterans’ continuing health concerns today because of its deadly toxicity.

And we knew it all along!


Friend of the show Christof Ambroch takes the co-pilot seat in this episode. Regular listeners of this podcast know Christof. He is the producer and host of Tales of Honor, a podcast with a mission to tell every story of every recipient of the Medal of Honor, as well as the Professional American podcast, where he covers it all, from business ownership, to family life, to car stuff, and more!


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