Veterans, Bomb Scientist to Discuss Fallout from Atomic Testing

Veterans, Bomb Scientist to Discuss Fallout from Atomic Testing

Veterans, Bomb Scientist to Discuss Fallout from Atomic Testing

About 260 troops were stationed six miles from the detonation of a nuclear weapon in Nevada on April 15, 1955, as part of Operation Teapot. Photo courtesy the Defense Nuclear Test Personnel Review.

About 260 troops were stationed six miles from the detonation of a nuclear weapon in Nevada on April 15, 1955, as part of Operation Teapot. Photo courtesy the Defense Nuclear Test Personnel Review.

On Wednesday, May 31, Garry DuFour, a former staff member of the US Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and reporter for Stars and Stripes, will present a most compelling event on the use of our military forces as guinea pigs in the tests of atomic and hydrogen bomb tests from 1945 to 62. The talk will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Manchester Community Library (MCL). DuFour, who is filming atomic veterans for his documentary, ‘Atomic Veterans Speak,’ copied veterans letters sent to the Committee and government reports and hearings in the late 70s to early 80s, and put them away for 33 years. He is now making them public to shed light on atomic veterans. Two atomic veterans will be present at the talk, to talk about their experiences at nuclear tests, the resulting illnesses from exposure to radiation, and their subsequent problems in obtaining health care from the Veterans’ Administration  to treat their afflictions. DuFour will explain how and when health legislation was first passed by the Committee he worked on. He will be joined by 88-year-old Edward Kohn and 81-year-old Hank Bolden, as well as Dr. Kenneth Ford, scientist and member of the team that created and built the first hydrogen bomb in secret for the US government, now an ardent opponent of it. The government tried to stop the publication of his book, ‘Building the H Bomb: a Personal History.’ MCL is located at 138 Cemetery Avenue in Manchester Center.

Poppy Day

The American Legion Family will launch National Poppy Day on Friday, May 26, as a way to honor US servicemembers, from the battlefields of France in WWI a century ago to today’s global war on terrorism. The poppy became a symbol of the sacrifices made by Americans and allied service members during WWI. Soldiers  brought them home in memory of the barren landscape of Flanders fields, transformed by the sudden growth of wild red poppies among the newly dug graves.

National Poppy Day broadens a tradition that dates back to the American Legion Auxiliary’s first National Convention in the early 1920s, when the red poppy was adopted as the American Legion’s memorial flower. Today, it remains an iconic symbol of honor for the sacrifice of our veterans. ALA members distribute millions of poppies annually across the country in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities. If you are interested in joining the American Legion Auxiliary, call 802-375-6157. American Legion Post 69 is located in Arlington.

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