Feedback: Vet To Be Honored After Dying From Agent Orange
Ogdensburg native Lee Hurteau served one year in Vietnam.
In that time, his wife, Linda, says he was directly sprayed with the herbicide known as Agent Orange.
"He and 3 other men were walking through the jungle and a plane went over and sprayed defoliant, and he was hit with some of it, and where it hit, it burned," said Linda.
Lee died of pancreatic cancer last fall.
Linda says doctors at the VA hospital in Syracuse told her the cancer was caused by exposure to Agent Orange.
"I am angry over that because it shortened our time together; 44 years wasn't enough," she said.
On Thursday, Linda and her three daughters will honor Lee at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's In Memory program honors veterans who died as a result of their service in Vietnam, but did not die in the war.
That includes victims of Agent Orange and veterans who suffered from psychological wounds.
"It makes me proud. Proud to know he'll be honored the way he deserves to be," said Lee's daughter Amy Nicorvo.
For Linda, the ceremony will be bittersweet.
“It's the final roll call. I get to call his name so that's going to be emotional, but the wife gets to do the final roll call,” she said.
The Hurteau family hopes to bring attention to the lasting affects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans and their families.
They plan to hold a 5k run in Lee's honor this fall.