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A healthy man is hit with a devastating neurological disease and completely paralyzed. The probable cause? Agent Orange in Viet Nam. The book follows his struggles with the American medical system and his reintegration into society after he becomes quadriplegic. He draws on his time in the Marine Corps and life’s lessons to try and regain control of his life.


Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were: Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. Agent Orange could have been one of the horsemen, except for the thundering hoofs, since it approached its victims silently. But it proved to be just as devastating. On January 27, 1973, the Vietnam War ended for the American soldiers with the Paris Peace Accord, two and a half years before the fall of South Vietnam to the communists from the north. But many American soldiers would fight another war upon returning home; they would fight the effects of Agent Orange for the rest of their lives. Guillain-Barre Syndrome is one of the diseases caused by Agent Orange. This is the story of the detour my life took when 1 was ravaged by the effects of Agent Orange after serving my country.

Table of Contents

Chapter I: Onset
Chapter II: The Terror
Chapter III: Family to the Rescue
Chapter IV: My Daughter Faces Changes
Chapter V: Night 1 – Welcome to ICU
Chapter VI: Time Too Much Time
Chapter VII: One Eye Is Better Than None
Chapter VIII: They Shoot Horses
Chapter IX: A New Hospital – and Hope
Chapter X: The Vegetable Patch
Chapter XI: Goin’ Mobile
Chapter XII: Food
Chapter XIII: Moving On
Chapter XIV: Life Outside the Hospital
Chapter XV: College Here I Come
Chapter XVI: Learning to Walk
Chapter XVII: Onward and Upward
Chapter XVIII: DC Again
Chapter XIX: Magical Summer
Chapter XX: The Beginning of Working
Chapter XXI: The Return to Working
Chapter XXII: When is a Viper Really a Falcon
Chapter XXIII: The End No Really I’m Done
About the Authors


Sam Smith grew up in Michigan. He joined the Marine Corps and served in Viet Nam in the infantry during some of the heaviest fighting of the war in 1967 and 1968. He was at Khe Sanh for the siege, where he was exposed to Agent Orange. He returned home to an America unaccepting of veterans. He returned to work as a welder and then an electrician. A neurological disease altered his life, after which he went to college and earned an Electrical Engineering degree and worked as a test engineer for 26 years before retiring.

Dale M. Herder is a retired professor, college administrator, and naval officer. He has traveled and lectured widely, and his publications include articles and book chapters in a variety of popular and academic magazines and journals. His book, Common Sense Rediscovered: Lessons From The Terrorist Attack on America, was published in 2004. Dale and his wife, Diane, reside in Michigan.


You may buy this book online at Amazon.