Hack's Crusade


Having said our farewells to Colonel David Hackworth, it's worth noting another cause the soldiers' advocate was always steamed about. He was a ceaseless activist on the issue of Agent Orange effects, and on the less-publicized effects of the herbicide Agent Blue. (This obit mentions Agent Blue exposure as a possible cause of Hack's own fatal illness.) He was also a firm believer in Gulf War Syndrome and a supporter of pro-GWS researchers—witness this exchange on the topic with Bill O'Reilly, wherein Hack tries and mostly fails to get a word in edgewise over the Scranton teddyboy's incessant chatter.

Reason's view of GWS has been decidedly different. In 1997, Michael Fumento defined the phenomenon as a variation on post-traumatic stress disorder. Here is an old page of GWS-related stuff. As I'm not a doctor and don't even play one on TV, I'm agnostic on this matter. If Hack was wrong on this point, the error came from his laudable instinct always to line up with the enlisted against the powerful.