Thursday, October 14, 2010

Toward Healing Vietnam


By Susan V. Berresford

The war in Vietnam ended more than 35 years ago, but Trinh Luc, age 18, is still feeling the effects of Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the U.S. military. Totally disabled since birth with mental deficiencies, violent tremors and muscle degeneration, he lives in rural Vietnam with his mother, 59, who was a volunteer cook with Vietnamese troops in the jungle mountains during the war and recalls being sprayed several times. Her skin is still blotched and bumpy with chloracne.

Agent Orange, it seems, is still causing fresh harm to innocent newborns and adults in Vietnam, not to mention its harm to war vets on both sides of the Pacific. The good news is that we can stop this nightmare, and at a reasonable cost.

Doing so would be in the best American tradition of humanitarian care, and would help address the remaining shadow on the relationship between our two countries. An action plan is now in hand that comes out of another valued tradition - a public-private partnership.

Click here to read the full article.