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United States Test & Evaluation Command

In March 1964, while working at Grid Services section, there was a request from Col. Black Todo: something for the Skull Valley Indians, who had no toilets or lights and lived on dirt floors. My section laid a cable from the power station to the village and used our surplus tent lights to illuminate each hut. We then put in a septic system separate from the Indian agent's house, who had his own system and refused to improve the village.

The tribal chief who worked in our motor pool was so pleased, the colonel and us had fresh elk bagged by the chief. We helped to build the very first school on the reservation, and today the Ute Indians go to University of Utah and Brigham Young University.

Dugway Proving Grounds tested Agent Orange before it was deployed and deemed it safe in 1964. Also there was live Tabun and Sarin (nerve agent) testing with binary munitions. There are still areas that will be contaminated in the Salt Lake Desert for many years to come. I was the only one of the group who served 27 years in various outfits and retired in 2006. In conclusion, not all bad things happened during the time I served. This is one that you can see today with today's Native Americans.

Branch of Service:
Army

Submitted by:
Robert Betancourt, U.S. Army, retired

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