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Agent Orange’s Effects Can’t Stop Dayton DAV Veteran from Helping Local Veterans
Dayton DAV Veteran continues to help others despite his own injuries.
By: DAV Flight Team
In 1967, 18-year-old Indiana local, Vince Dec watched as his friends were drafted one-by-one to serve their country in the Vietnam War. Dedicated to country and helping others, Vince wanted to follow his father who joined the United States Marines following Pearl Harbor and fought in the Battle of Midway. Vince Dec went to enlist in the Marines only to be told he would need his mother’s sign-off, seeing as he was the sole son of his Marine father who passed away due to wounds received in action. Reluctantly Vince’s mother signed off two months after the initial request and Vince was shipped to Vietnam.
Known as a soldier who would do whatever necessary – whether asked to or not - Vince Dec was transporting and cleaning materials including sandbags, lumber and barrels. Unbeknownst to him, these barrels contained Herbicide Orange (HO) better known as Agent Orange. Two weeks later, Vince Dec found himself being discharged on the temporary retirement list as he was battling five different skin diseases including rashes and tumors. Doctors told Vince that he would never fully recover from the condition and that he would not be able to continue pursuing his dream of someday flying for the Marines. He was honorably discharged, receiving the Meritorious Mast Display Recognition for devotion to God, Country and the Marine Corps for his “can do” and morally responsible attitude.
In addition to suffering physically from these skin conditions, Vince Dec further struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which dramatically impacted his personal life. Hearing that the VA in Dayton had a tremendous PTSD program, Vince moved there and started work right away. To this day he is grateful for the many individuals helped him on his road to recovery.
Through all his trials and tribulations, Vince continued to contribute to those in need – volunteering with the Lupus Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Dayton VA and other local hospitals until he found his path with DAV.
Vince Dec was convinced to transfer to DAV Dayton Chapter 9 where he actively has recruited many of the local, active members. He served many positions over the years including National Deputy Chief of Staff for the 2013-2014 National Commander, Joe Johnston.
Working with the DAV and the Dayton VA for almost 7,000 hours in the past six years it is clear that Vince Dec is dedicated to helping others in any way he can help. Vince can often be found driving veterans to doctor’s appointments where he often hears praise for his service and how DAV has helped improve the quality of these wounded veterans’ lives.
“I love what I am able to do by being a DAV member. The DAV is such an elite organization that helped me and takes care of other veterans and their families. I have such respect for DAV - for the people I work with and those I am able to meet because of my position here. I am a proud DAV life member since 1978. I urge any and all veterans to come talk to me or any local representative to see how we can help fulfill our promises to our heroes, the men and women who served,” said Vince Dec.
Vince Dec proudly joins the DAV Flight Team at the Vectren Dayton Air Show alongside the B-25 Panchito to provide information about DAV programs/benefits and to remind people of the sacrifices veterans make for freedom.
The DAV Flight Team is an aviation outreach program on a nationwide air show circuit to promote the services DAV provides to injured veterans and their family members.
DAV (Disabled American Veterans), representing more than 1.2 million disabled veterans, is a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. It is dedicated to one single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.
For more information about DAV, visit http://www.DAV.org
For more information about DAV Flight Team, visit http://www.DAVFlightTeam.com
DAV Flight Team