Despite the rumors of him not coming back, Gary Gullickson has made his 23rd appearance at BHS on Thursday, May 23. Gullickson has spoken at BHS for 12 years about his experience as a Marine in Vietnam from 1967 – 1970. However, Gullickson may not be able to speak at BHS for much longer. In August of 2012, Gullickson was diagnosed with Agent Orange — a fairly common disease amongst Vietnam Veterans.
“It was like being told I had cancer, and that I was going to die,” said Gullickson.
Agent Orange is an extremely harsh chemical used in the Vietnam to clear the jungle terrain. It was originally thought to kill only the plants and trees. Ironically, they are finding out that Agent Orange is harming the very soldiers that it was used to aid.
Although Gullickson has experienced few of the common effects so far, there’s still a chance that he may experience some of the more severe ones in the upcoming months. These include: pulmonary and heart diseases, liver damage, and various cancers.
Despite the bad news, Gullickson hasn’t stopped fighting. After being told there was no medicine that would be very effective, Gullickson took it into his own hands.
“They prescribed me with 50+ pills a day, they gave me Anti-Depressants, but I wasn’t depressed, and they weren’t making me feel any better,” said Gullickson. “So I said to the doctor that I’m going to find a way.”
And he did just that.
Gullickson did some of his own research, and found a few different vitamins (B6 and B12), also some natural supplements that helped with his pain. Soon after, he told the VA (Veterans Association) to stop sending him most of the pills, and went from 50+ pills a day, to only 6.
“And I tell you what, they’re making me feel the best that I have in a while. Actually I wouldn’t have come this time around if it wasn’t for this new medicine,” said Gullickson, “And it’s all completely natural, unlike that other artificial (expletive) they were giving me.”
Health permitting, Gullickson plans to return next year.