I, Bruce Stapleton was in Life Support from 1972 – 1978 and was part of TAC, 366 TFW, 389 TFS. Have any of you experienced problems smelling things which could be linked back to working with the glues and chemicals we were surrounded by back then? During my time I spent considerable hours exposed to strong chemical fumes (MEK, rubber cement making what was then the new custom fit helmets, and the chemicals we used to pour the mold for the custom fit helmets). Since leaving military service, I’ve noticed that I have a very limited ability to smell anything. I never brought up any smelling loss during my discharge physical because I didn’t notice it (it’d occurred so slowly over several years). I did bring up hearing loss from flight line noise and my hearing has recovered as they said it would. As any of you that were in service during that time would know, OSHA standards were pretty much non-existent. We would work with these chemicals in closed rooms, windows shut, no ventilation, smoke cigarettes, and drink coffee the whole time. I believe my loss of smell (one of my five senses) is directly related to this experience. But proving it could be a monumental task. That’s why I’m asking if there’s already been some investigation or documentation in to this situation. Thank you.

Bruce Stapleton is now retired from the EPA. He spends considerable time traveling with his wife of 45 years and enjoying his kids and grandchildren. He currently lives in Port Ludlow, WA. He is a proud USAF and Vietnam era vet.

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