We finish out our special three-part series on Long Island’s Vietnam veterans by looking at a second battle they faced in the years after the war: the effects of Agent Orange. By the late 1970s the effects of this chemical defoliant were becoming known and veterans began to mobilize.
In Stamford, Connecticut former helicopter door gunner Paul Reuterschan, himself dying of cancer, teamed up with fellow vets Jimmy Sparrow and Frank McCarthy to form Agent Orange Victims International (now the HonorBound foundation). Paul’s media advocacy and the group’s persistence brought the matter to the public. And to Victor Yannacone.
From his home/law office in Patchogue, Victor had built a name for himself by litigating against the use of DDT in New York State. In the process, he defined the field of environmental law. But in 1979, another David and Goliath fight against the establishment was the last thing on his mind.
Join us and Christopher Verga as we tell the story of how this seminal trial came to be on Long Island, using Christopher’s oral history interviews with Victor and Jimmy.
You can listen to the podcast here.
The Long Island History Project is an independent podcast featuring stories and interviews with people passionate about Long Island history. It is co-hosted by academic librarian Chris Kretz and local historian and preservationist Connie Currie.
For a full list of this week’s New York Almanack podcasts announcements click HERE.