Winter Park Vietnam War veteran, who died from Agent Orange effects, to be honored in Washington, D.C.
By MARTIN E. COMAS
JUN 13, 2019
Just months after Robert Earl Hanson graduated from Colonial High School in 1966, the outgoing young man known as “Bobby” found himself thrust into the jungles of Vietnam as an Army private carrying a teletype machine and a rifle.
Patricia Hanson holds an old photo of her and her late husband, Robert Earl Hanson, who died in June 2018 of cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange. (Martin E. Comas / Orlando Sentinel)
At the time, U.S. military planes were spraying millions of gallons of the defoliant Agent Orange across the Vietnamese countryside to expose enemy soldiers during the Vietnam War.
Hanson, like millions of other American and Vietnamese soldiers, was exposed to the dangerous herbicide. It led to Hanson’s malignant lung cancer decades later and ultimately caused his death on June 29, 2018, at the age of 69, according to doctors.
On Saturday, Hanson will be among 536 deceased veterans — including 13 from Florida — who will be inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s “In Memory Program” as part of an annual three-day ceremony held every June in Washington, D.C.
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