Although U.S. military involvement in Vietnam ended decades ago, the effects of the war are enduring. Our government has been reluctant to acknowledge the devastation left behind by war tactics, including the spraying of Agent Orange, a toxic chemical that left human and environmental devastation in its wake.
Once relations were normalized between the two countries in the mid-1990s, there was nominal support for environmental cleanup in Vietnam. An estimated 28 “hot spots” of concentrated dioxin remain and the process to remove them is costly.
Our office is working to build bipartisan support for H.R. 334, the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act. It would provide further funding for environmental cleanup in Vietnam, as well as health care assistance for those affected by Agent Orange. This includes several generations of people in Vietnam and the descendants of U.S. veterans whose health claims have not been covered. These are important steps in accepting responsibility for the war’s legacy.
Ask your representative to support this bill. You can also find more information on MCC’s work in Vietnam with people who live with the impacts of Agent Orange. –Charissa Zehr