So, all day I've been planning how I will post pictures of us all decorating our Christmas tree on Sunday. The camera's battery had run down (of course), so I went looking for the charger and extra battery which we had taken with us to Thanksgiving. I know the bag it was in came home because the CD's which were in it are where they are supposed to be, but I can't find the battery and charger anywhere. So I can't turn on the camera and I can't post any pictures.
Instead of doing a happy, cheery post about Christmas and family fun, I find myself needing to write about Vietnam and Agent Orange. (I bet you are all hoping I find that battery charger soon, huh?) Our local paper has been running a series looking at the after affects of Agent Orange on both the Vietnamese people and on Vietnam veterans. I found today's article particularly disturbing because it focused on the Vietnamese children, some living in institutions and some with their parents, who were born with significant birth defects. To see a picture of children, who look very much like one's own sons, born with such devastating issues is upsetting to say the least. And then when the map shows that some of the heaviest concentrations of Agent Orange were sprayed in the areas where one's sons were born it begins to be personal. Especially when the boys in question were each born with mild to moderate birth defects. We will never know for sure whether each boy's anomalies were a result of heredity, or poor maternal nutrition, or as a result of Agent Orange...or some cocktail of two or three. But some small part of me can't but help worrying just a little bit. It seems that Agent Orange somehow combines with a person's own genes and becomes a generational problem. As a result we just don't know what their future holds. Of course this is true for all of us, every day. We know it was God who brought these boys into our family and God will lead us through any difficulty which may come our way in the future. But it is a sobering thought to ponder.