by Bill Haggard
After leaving Viet Nam in 1971, my health began to decline. Overseas, I just did the job I was supposed to do and hoped I’d make it through each day until my tour was over. My next assignment was in Germany for four years. I started my family in Germany: a son in 1972 and a daughter in 1974. I was discharged from the US Air Force in 1975.
Ten years later in 1985, my health collapsed. I came to the end of myself. It wasn’t a sudden end, like a heart attack or a stroke; it was a slow erosion of my health that had affected every organ, tissue and cell in my body. The US Military used Agent orange, an herbicide, to defoliate the jungle in Viet Nam. I didn’t know anything about Agent Orange during my tour there, and I didn’t realize I had experienced a massive exposure to it. Agent Orange is a killer of weeds. Humans are just bigger, stronger and more resilient than weeds, so it takes longer for it to have an effect.
I was in my 30’s when my health hit bottom. I was unable to work for approximately 5 years while doing everything I could just to stay alive, operating on only a thread of energy. Can you imagine not having enough energy to climb a ladder and you are the electrician who needs to go up on the roof?
Before my complete collapse, I went to the VA Hospital to seek help for my constant fatigue and complete exhaustion. They couldn’t find anything wrong and referred me to the psychiatric department. That’s when I took myself out of the VA healthcare system.
At the time, I stood six feet tall, weighing 190 pounds. On the outside, I looked healthy. But on the inside, I was dying. I couldn’t blame my exhaustion and severe fatigue on age. Only in my 30’s, I felt like I was more than 80 years old.
Luckily, I found a holistic community in Tucson, AZ, my home at the time. It was the Swan Clinic run by Dr. Sheldon Deal, DC. The folks there listened to me and didn’t suggest I was nuts. They introduced me to natural medicine, using food, herbs, chiropractic care and other natural modalities that would help my body reclaim its health. This is how my healing journey began. In just three days of following their advice about dietary choices, a spark of life returned, and I began to have hope.
For me it was amazing! It had been years of chronic fatigue, constipation, exhaustion, depletion, tiredness, fevers and pain, and seeing doctor after doctor with no results…just getting sicker and sicker. And now with good dietary changes, my health was (and would be) forever altered. Thanks to Dr. Deal’s insights and guidance in the book Fit for Life by the Diamond’s, life force and vitality were not only returning but building significantly day by day.
In just three days of following the principles in this magical book, health, vitality, clear thinking, bowel regularity and stamina began my journey back to the land of the living and continues to this day. But that is not all. This book led me to other important authors, whose advice helped accelerated my healing and most likely saved my life. These included Norman Walker’s book, Colon Health, and Dr. Robert Gray’s Colon Health Handbook.
Getting good nutrition was only half the story. I didn’t realize the extent of toxicity in my body its contributions to my unwellness. To be continued…