OUR MISSION AND HISTORY
Second Voice provides education, advocacy, support and fundraising for needs of members, including veterans, children, loved one’s and the organization as a whole, as well as support leadership in legislation and laws affecting the veteran and child.
As Seen in:
Agent Orange Record
Agent Orange Quilt of Tears
“We Are Strong And Vigilant. We Honor Those That Fought. We Are The Second Voice”
Second Voice For Children of Vietnam Veterans, Inc. is a nonprofit public benefit corporation 501 (c)(3). We started as a Yahoo! support group in 2003 to bring awareness and support to veterans still fighting the battles and system as well as children watching helpless, frustrated and becoming sick themselves.
We support and advocate for all veterans of all wars, families and children. Know that you are not alone and we are here for you.
Also Registered with the State of California Department of Justice-Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts-Research Us!
To have the adult children of veterans, their children and grandchildren be registered for any and all birth defects, please visit: National Birth Defect Registry at www.birthdefects.org .This organization is keeping records in a registry that is recognized by the VVA. This will begin one of many legitimate processes, along with filing any illness or defect for the child of a vet, their offspring and grandchildren with the V.A., regardless if the illness or defect is listed with the V.A. You can find out more through the Resources and Blog page.
Second Voice was created in January of 2003 as a Yahoo! support group started by Michelle Miller the child of a Vietnam combat veteran, when her anger turned to advocacy. After watching her father, Mike Miller, suffer through PTSD and an ongoing list of medical ailments, the final act of inhumanity came when Mike’s symtoms could no longer be ignored and he began to advocate for himself. For over a year constantly going to the HMO, CIGNA, with his Vietnamese doctor telling Mike and his family things like, “Mike, quit doing this to your family, you are a mentally sick Vietnam Veteran. One day your family will come home to you dead, this is all in your head”. He proclaimed he knew it was not all in his head. After being told this was all in his head and vomiting violently every night for close to two years, he decided to take CIGNA up on their offer and was admitted to a psychiatric ward to see if he really was making up his symptoms due to mental illness. That night the doctor took a chest x-ray as my dad couldn’t stop coughing. The doctor called my mom with the results to alert her Mike is mentally competent but needs to be admitted for further testing.
The rest of this terrible and tragic story ends with Mike accepting that this whole time he knew he was ill. For over two years, no one listened because he was a Vietnam War Combat Veteran and was told over and over he was mentally ill, nothing was wrong. He was told he was causing these problems (diabetes, hyperthyroidism, ptsd, etc.) and was told he was “crazy”, as most Vietnam veterans are labeled. Literally this was said to him in front of his wife and daughter.
Mike Miller, died June 26th 1991 in a hospital in Lakewood, California. He served proudly with the 4th ID, and was on a military base in Pleiku, Vietnam for over a year as a demolitions engineer, was in the United States Army from 1967-1969, in Vietnam most of that time.
Six years after his passing in 1997, a year after the Agent Orange Benefits Act “H.R. 3927 — 104th Congress: Agent Orange Benefits Act of 1996.” the Veterans Administration recognized Mike’s death as related to his service. The cancers he had could be directly related to being sprayed by the cancer causing chemicals used in the mix of what is known as “Agent Orange”.
Michelle Miller, struggles with ailments on all levels. Instead of hearing about another veteran, like her father being misdiagnosed or disregarded because he doesn’t meet criteria or isn’t on a “list”, the best way to combat adversity is to do something about it. Some organizations state they will do things they simply can’t do for various reasons. Some organizations have an agenda. Second Voice is really a “non profit”. It has been a voluntary effort of shear love and dedication to the children and veterans and a passion to not let any of us be ignored or quietly go away.
Please hang in there, you are not alone. Mike Miller, watching him pass was criminal and watching the children of our veterans become ill and struggle is what prompted the creation of Second Voice. My father went unheard and now the children are struggling and getting the same treatment. If they are being taken care of, it is only on a very few V.A. accepted list of illnesses. This is unacceptable and we will push for change but we are small in numbers though large in support. The more support, the bigger the voice. The more we get heard we can promote change.
Our Board Members have seen first hand the devastation and discrimination of the effects of the Vietnam War. From the Veterans and their slow deaths, the fear, shame and devastation of those that lose them to the second and third generations watching their parents and themselves suffer mentally and physically in a war they have only learned about in media or through school. We have all been directly involved in efforts at our local V.A., attended meetings, have been involved in and recognized by organizations, been involved in memorials and projects, speeches, and even in the local newspaper. Please look through the site, familiarize yourself with our resources and links, we have had the opportunity to get information and pass it down to you.
“H.R. 3927 — 104th Congress: Agent Orange Benefits Act of 1996.” http://www.GovTrack.us. 1996. May 19, 2017