The Vietnam Veterans Memorial continues to have more names added to it, including those dying of hepatitis C.
The Vietnam War ended more than 40 years ago, but it continues to claim soldiers’ lives. Nearly every spring, new names are etched into the black granite walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which pays tribute to the more than 58,000 U.S. service members who lost their lives in the conflict.
Jim McGough is one of them. As a 19-year-old infantryman, McGough was with his unit near the Laotian border in 1971 when they came under fire. A grenade exploded nearby, tearing up his feet and lower legs.
McGough was evacuated to Okinawa, where he underwent surgery, including a blood transfusion. He was discharged because of his injuries and shipped back to the States, where he married his high school sweetheart, Sheryl Isaacson, and they settled down near their home town of Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Twenty years passed before McGough, who worked in magazine advertising sales, learned that he had hepatitis C, a blood-borne viral infection that attacks the liver. The virus was discovered only in 1989, and routine testing of the blood supply began shortly afterward. It was at about that time that McGough, a regular Red Cross blood donor, learned he had been infected. He had never been an intravenous drug user or gotten tattoos, two common routes of infection, so the McGoughs figured he must have contracted the virus when he had the blood transfusion in Japan.
|Read Full Article: Felled by hepatitis C, a Vietnam vet joins comrades on the Wall | Albuquerque Journal|