- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dear Sgt Shaft:

My ex-husband was exposed to Agent Orange. Being married to him for 17 years, is it possible that I could acquire Agent Orange side effects?

Via the Internet

Dear J.M.:

My understanding is that direct exposure is required and to my knowledge no such links have been established. You could inquire with your medical doctor if you have any doubt.

Shaft notes

• The Sarge is once again looking forward to joining the gang of 30, Mac’s Marines, for the celebration of the 236th birthday of the Marine Corps at the “Glory to the Corps” luncheon on Friday, Nov. 4, at 11 a.m. at Crawford Hall, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.

The guests of honor this year will be:

* General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps;
* Brigadier General Steven R. Rudder, Legislative Assistant to the Commandant;
* General James L. Jones, 32d Commandant of the Marine Corps.

For more information, contact: Mike Shupp at 202/306-7519 or MShupp@VSADC.com; or Aretha Wright at 202/302-6708 or AWright@VSADC.com.

As usual, this event will begin with the following invocation:

“O Lord, we have long known that prayer should include confession. Therefore, on behalf of the Marines and their guests here gathered, I confess their sins: Lord, they’re just not in step with today’s society.

“They are unreasonable in clinging to old-fashioned ideas like patriotism, duty, honor and country. They hold radical ideas like believing that they are their brother’s keeper and responsible for the Marine on their flank. They have been standing when colors pass, singing the national anthem at ballgames and drinking toasts to fallen comrades.

“Not only that, they have been observed standing tall, taking charge and wearing their hair unfashionably short. They have taken John Kennedy’s words too seriously and are overly concerned with what they can do for their country, instead of what this country can do for them.

“They take the Pledge of Allegiance to heart and believe that the oath is to be honored. Forgive them, Lord, for being stubborn men and women who hold fast to such old-fashioned values. After all, what can you expect? They’re Marines.

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