Florida veteran claims 40-year cover-up by Air Force
WFLA Staff Reports
Published: December 22, 2016
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A former U.S. Air Force pilot called it the great betrayal.
Scott Nelms claims a 40-year cover-up by the Air Force may have cost veterans and their families dearly. Nelms said the USAF sprayed significant amounts of the toxic defoliant Agent Orange at bases in Thailand.
The Pinellas County veteran has accused the Department of Veterans Affairs of stonewalling veterans who served in Thailand and ignoring facts about what and when they suffered exposure.
Nelms points to a now-declassified 1973 report that said significant use of defoliants occurred on U.S. bases in Thailand. The Project CHECO Southeast Asia report “Base Defense in Thailand” also stated the defoliants were used inside the perimeter of bases.
Nelms flew about 100 missions out of Thailand, refueling fighter jets and bombers during the Vietnam War. His new mission is getting out the word that U.S. veterans who served in Thailand were exposed to significant amounts of Agent Orange.
Nelms was stationed at U-Tapeo Air Force Base. “I had no idea they were spraying Agent Orange in Thailand,” he said.
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