Vietnam vets at convention lobby
Democrats for increased benefits
By LORENZO BENET
1 Special to The Daily
NEW YORK - Doug was sitting on the back
of a truck in South Vietnam one afternoon in
1970 when two children - no more than 12 years
old - rode up to him on a bicycle. One boy hop-
ped off the bike, went over to Doug's truck, and
rolled a grenade underneath it. Doug ran for his
life as the truck exploded. The elapsed time bet-
ween the jungle incident in Vietnam and Doug's
arrival home to Massachusetts was only 48
hours. At home, Doug was a nervous wreck. He
kept looking over his shoulder for the enemy,
andfelt guilty about leaving hisfriends behind in
Vietnam. It took Doug six years to get over what
is known as the "Vietnam Stress Syndrome."
This week, Doug (not his real name) and several of
his fellow veterans are telling delegates to the
Democratic National Convention here that years af-
ter the close of the Vietnam era, the plight of veterans
The key needs of veterans today, according to lob-
byist Kevin Kennedy, are: education benefits, read-
justment programs, diagnosis and treatment of
medical problems caused by the defoliant Agent
Orange, and government action to determine what
has happened to the 400 soldiers still listed as missing
KENNEDY, WHO said he is a victim of exposure to
Agent Orange, claimed he has had five tumors
removed from his body since he left the jungles-of
Vietnam in 1972.
"We were told we were spreading a defoliant; we
were given no protective gear; we had no idea what
was being sprayed," he said.
"When it rained," Kennedy continued, the defoliant
"would run into the water, so we ended up drinking it
and washing ourselves with the stuff .'
A REPORT published recently in the American
Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology found
that Agent Orange causes birth defects, although
those findings have been disputed by the government.
Veteran and lobbyist George Driscoll related the
following Agent Orange horror story: "A friend of
mine fathered two healthy babies before he went off
to Vietnam. After being exposed to Agent Orange, he
came back home and had another child. That one was
See VIETNAM, Page 7
The Michigan Daily
Vol. XC, No. 59-S
Ann Arbor, Michigan-Wednesday, August 13, 1980
From AP and UPI
NEW 'YORK -- The Democratic
National Convention shaped a platform
for President Carter's re-election cam-
paign yesterday - with unity con-
cessions to Sen. Edward Kennedy, the
conquered challenger who fought for
planks he couldn't gain by compromise.
Kennedy expressed confidence that
the Democratic Party will reunite and
"together we will march toward a
Democratic victory in 1980."
THAT WAS as close as he came to
formally endorsing President Carter or
urging his supporters to work for the
Carter-Mondale ticket this fall.
In mid-day voting that shaped Car-
ter's re-election platform, Kennedy
forces won convention approval of a
provision pledging the party to the goal
of a guaranteed job for every able-
It decided in Kennedy's favor on a
full-employment plank which declared
the guarantee of a job to be "our single
highest domestic priority." The vote
was 1,763.6 in favor of the Kennedy
plank, 1,390.8 against it.
KENNEDY BACKERS sought a plat-
form pledge of immediate action of
national health insurance, but that was
rejected, 1,573 to 1,349. That kept the
platform in tune with Carter's ap-
proach, which is to phase it in
The text of Kennedy's speech was
filled with rhetoric reminiscent of his
brothers John and Robert.
"Let us pledge that we will neve&
misuse unemployment, high interest
rates and human misery as false
weapons against inflation," he said.
"Let us pledge that employment will be
the first priority of our economic policy.
"THESE ARE not simplistic pledges.
Simply put they are the heart of our-
tradition; they have been the soul of our
party across the genertions."
Time and time again he contrasted
See DEMOCRATS, Page 8
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY wears a smile yesterday as he waves upon
arriving at the apartment of-a relative in New York. In his speech to the con-
vention last night, Kennedy stopped short of formally endorsing President
MORE CONVENTION COVERAGE INSIDE
* New Yorkers react to the convention taking place in their city,
labeling It a headache, an inconvenience, and a money-maker -
" The Democrats voted yesterday to add a far-reaching abortion-
rights plank to their platform - Page 3
" Three Mile Island, Death, and the Statue of Liberty distributed
blood-soaked money at a "No Nukes Die-in" - Page 3
" A host of delegates and media people agree the convention has
become very dull - Page 5