On today's show, we are honored to welcome Vietnam Veteran Randall Brown. Randall served in Vietnam as a registered mail courier, and flew all over Vietnam multiple times weekly in a C7a Army Caribou. Often these missions were flown in the flight path of the planes responsible for dispersing Agent Orange and other herbicides over the jungle canopy. Randall recalls the smell of the chemicals in the cabin of his plane, but had no idea how they would impact the rest of his life. He served for 13 months, from January 1967 until after the TET Offensive in February, 1968.
In July 1969, Randall was diagnosed with Diabetes, and for the next 10 years, fought with the VA for treatment. Then in 1979, he was finally treated for Diabetes...first with pills, then as the disease progressed, with insulin injections. In 2003, he was classified as totally disabled by the VA. He has had major cancer surgeries, including his hips, knees, shoulder, eyes, and loss of his stomach. Last year, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. All of these conditions have a direct connection to Agent Orange.
After his military service, Randall was on a team which opened the first 150 Red Lobster Restaurants in America. He owned his own business for 22 years. He is now retired, and devotes his time and energy to helping Vietnam Vets affected by Agent Orange. He founded 'Vietnam Veterans with Diabetes', and in connection with Dr. Steven Edelman, founder of 'Taking Control Of Your Diabetes' (TCOYD) Randall assists Vietnam Veterans in finding resources and connections to help with the many complications caused by the exposure to these chemicals.
Randall and his wife, Rita (high school sweethearts) have been married 49 years. They have 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandson, who is 9 years old. In spite of the many challenges Randall has faced over the years, he manages to keep a positive attitude and a sense of humor. Listen and enjoy the show!
-Vietnam Veterans with Diabetes-