Some of his health problems are tied to Agent Orange. The chemical, an herbicide sprayed on the trees and other vegetation by American forces during the war for military purposes, has become known for causing a myriad of health problems.
“Was I exposed? I can’t say if I was or I wasn’t. I remember seeing it. I was probably drinking it where it was in the ground water,” Sams said.
He added: “I am dealing with it now. I am totally disabled.”
Even when Sams was about to make his journey back to the U.S., travel was dangerous.
“I think the last night I spent in Vietnam, the airport was under attack. I didn’t think I was coming home then,” he said.
Arriving home to a country that had grown critical of the war had an impact on Sams.
“To come back knowing that people didn’t appreciate what we had done … I tried not to let it bother me,” he said.