Press Releases
Aug 8, 2012 - Press Release: Three Generations of Agent Orange Survivors to Travel to Japan, Okinawa and Vietnam for Special International Program.
Three Generations of Agent Orange Survivors from the USA and Canada will travel to Japan to join a Special International Program visiting Okinawa and Vietnam
A pre-departure press conference will be held at Yokohama port on August 24th, 2012.

On August 24, 2012 Heather Bowser, a second generation American Agent Orange survivor, will travel to Japan for a special program that aims to raise awareness of the international scale and continuing effects today of Agent Orange. Ms. Bowser was featured in the documentary "Living the Silent Spring" by award-winning filmmaker Masako Sakata, which highlighted the exchange between Vietnam and American Agent Orange survivors.

Ms. Bowser will be joined by Kenneth H. Young, a Canadian veteran and first generation Agent Orange survivor and Jenna Mack, an 18-year old third generation American survivor and teen beauty pageant queen. The three survivors will travel onboard Peace Boat from Yokohama to Da Nang, Vietnam, where they will meet with Vietnamese survivors of Agent Orange and the U.S. Ambassador in Vietnam. This is the first documented case of three generations of survivors from the U.S. and Canada traveling to Vietnam to build ties with Vietnamese survivors and to raise awareness of the global scale of the Agent Orange legacy.

From August 20-23, Heather Bowser will travel to Okinawa, where it has recently come to light that Agent Orange was stored, sprayed and buried during the Vietnam war. Accompanied by Jon Mitchell, the writer at the forefront of investigations into Agent Orange in Okinawa, Ms. Bowser will meet with local residents and hold discussions about the long term legacy of these poisons.

Members of the press are invited to listen to the statements and hold in-depth interviews with the three members of this special project on the morning of August 24th in Yokohama shortly before their departure on Peace Boat's 77th Global Voyage for Peace in the afternoon that same day. Please see their full profiles below.

Date: August 24, 2012 (Friday)
Place: Yokohama Port Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal
Time: 11:00-13:00 (Please reserve in advance)
Language: In English, with Japanese interpretation available.

To arrange an interview time and/or photography shoot with Heather Bowser, Kenneth Young or Jenna Mack, please contact in advance.

Contact:
Yuko Omura, Peace Boat (Japanese/English)
3-13-1-B1 Takadanobaba Shinjuku Tokyo 169-0075
TEL 03-3363-7561 / FAX 03-3363-7562
http://www.peaceboat.org
y_c_omura(a)peaceboat.gr.jp
Contact on August 24: Yuko Omura, 080-3844-8703 (Peace Boat)


Heather BOWSER (Yokohama - Da Nang)
Agent Orange Awareness Activist


Heather Bowser of the United States was born with multiple birth defects as a result of her fathers exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin during the Vietnam War. As a child, she and her parents struggled greatly with the psychological and physical effects of Agent Orange on their lives. Her parents became involved in the Agent Orange awareness movement, and Heather continued her father's work after he passed away at the age of 50 of Agent Orange complications. Heather became the first documented dioxin affected child of an American Vietnam veteran to travel to Vietnam to meet with Vietnamese who have also been greatly affected by Agent Orange. Heather aims for people suffering from the effects of Agent Orange worldwide to be acknowledged, and for global awareness to grow about the effects of war on second and third generations.

Jenna MACK (Yokohama - Da Nang)
Miss Teen California, Agent Orange Awareness Activist


Jenna Mack is an 18-year old American third generation Agent Orange survivor. She is also the current reigning Royal International Miss Teen California of 2012-2013, and the National Miss Heart of the USA Supreme Beauty. Jenna uses pageants and her titles as a platform from which to speak about Agent Orange and the fight for the rights of second generation victims. This issue is very close to her heart, and her goal is to see second generation victims get the help that they so desperately need. "These victims did not fight in the war, yet they are paying for it with their health and sometimes even with their lives," she explains. Jenna's mother is a second generation Agent Orange victim, and was born with severe hip dysplasia. Jenna's mother also suffers from lupus, and developed an extremely rare form of cancer five years ago. Genetic testing revealed a mutation in her PTCH1 gene that can only be inherited or caused by damage to the DNA from environmental agents such as nuclear radiation, herbicides and pesticides. Her family has no history of these diseases, and oncologists concluded the mutation came from Jenna's grandfather's exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam from 1968-1970.

Kenneth H. YOUNG (Yokohama - Da Nang)
Agent Orange Awareness Activist


Kenneth Young was born in Quebec Canada, and spent 12 years in the Canadian Armed Forces with both UN Peacekeeping and NATO Europe postings until he was medically released in 1977. Today he is the Director and spokesperson for Agent Orange and other Chemical Defoliants for the Canadian Veterans Advocacy, Our Duty, the Agent Orange Association of Canada and other veterans organizations. He was named the voice and face of Agent Orange in Canada by the First Canadian Veterans Ombudsman, and has since expanded his work to include all of the rainbow chemicals, depleted uranium, burn pits and the world's nuclear veterans. He is also helping British veterans and US National Guard veterans who became sick due to exposure to chemical defoliants at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, Canada. Mr. Young was a speaker at the Second International Conference of Agent Orange/Dioxin held in Hanoi, Vietnam in August 2011, and a guest of The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA). Onboard, he will speak about the Canadian government's use of Agent Orange in Canada and Canada's part in producing and supplying the U.S. military with the chemicals used in Vietnam.