A Taiwanese News Channel comes to the Las Vegas Veterans Community Part 2

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By: Megan Way | Photos by: Su Phelps and Lawrence Oravetz
Alfie Huang and Aaron Wang from Sanlih E-Television, a news channel from Taiwan, came to Las Vegas to interview Su Phelps, Publisher/Owner of Veterans Reporter News on being a Female Taiwanese Business owner in the US. On their trip in Nevada, Su Phelps introduced them to many people in the veterans’ community including Director of Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) Katherine Miller, State Commander of Purple Heart Len Yelinek, Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 10047 Dan Myers, Former State Commander of Purple Heart Dr. Smalls, Representative of Jacky Rosen Blake Boles, Host of Veterans Talk and Founder of Veterans Transition Center Jim Lyntner, Commander of VVA Chapter 1076 Neil Johnson and Founder of Veterans Village Dr. Arnold Stalk. Below is their interview with Neil Johnson from the Veterans Legislative Summit.
Neil Johnson: So you tell me where you want me to- you want me to go ahead and start from the top here?
Alfie Huang: Yeah.
Neil Johnson: I was in various areas that were heavily concentrated with Agent Orange. Agent Orange was a defoliant to knock down junk cause it was so dense. They knew it was detrimental to our health. So here we are years later suffering with symptoms going everywhere from high blood pressure, diabetes, neuropathy, tumors, cancers, and a whole host of symptoms that result of a category 18. Each year it grows a little more and now I’m looking at my kidneys are being affected by it. But the good thing they haven’t really addressed to this day is other children. It’s cancer from generation to generation. We’re finding it even in our grandchildren and the government I don’t feel has done all that they could. There are still a lot of our veterans that are suffering. The upside’s that they’re giving them recognition even though they may be in their 60’s and 70’s. Because it’s really taking a toll, the older we get. The younger we are, our bodies are a little bit more resilient.
Alfie Huang: Yeah, just like you said, not only actually for the illness, I mean Medicare we also get I think it’s mentally like now, nowadays people talk about-
Neil Johnson: PTSD
Alfie Huang: Yeah, Orange toxic chemicals, they’re trying to understand these and as your role as U.S. Army, sometimes maybe people will think of you in the evil way because this is what you use. But you are not on purposely using that, so you still feel the struggle and you must have a lot of pressure on the mental psyche. Can you talk about in this way not only for illness?
Neil Johnson: Psychologically it affects you, because you don’t know what’s gonna happen next. I was shot and was hit by shrapnel, and booby traps and you know that has one type of psychological effect because it deals with war, combat with the enemy. Trying to protect your buddies that you serve with, so that they don’t get hurt, or any other service member doesn’t run into a problem that you have run into and exposed. PSTD is usually the results from that, but toxic chemicals are just as traumatic as well because you don’t know how long your life is. When you have a new symptom that comes up, you don’t know if it’s Agent Orange related. Trying to get the doctors to confirm or deny it’s a challenge in itself. It’s almost like you have to go out of your way to be a pest, be the squeaky wheel so you can get the oil and make the squeak go away. Because if you aren’t persistent it doesn’t get taken care of as well as if you were. What we’re trying to do is make sure that those veterans understand that you have a right to ask for more.
Alfie Huang: Thank you so much I appreciate it.
Neil Johnson: Thank you, appreciate the opportunity.