St. Louis, MO. – With the conclusion of the Burns/Novick “The Vietnam War” series, veterans express dismay over the lack of attention paid to civilian deaths and the legacy of the war on Vietnam.
Veterans For Peace, (VFP) founded after the prominent days of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), featured in the series, has actively opposed every U.S. military adventure since its founding in 1984. Starting with the Reagan administration’s “contra war” against Nicaragua, to Bush, Obama and now Trump’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, VFP consistently exposes the true costs of war, and how each successive war has only made matters worse and led to more chaos and destruction.
Susan Schnall, a Navy nurse during that war and advocate for Agent Orange victims, writes, “The destruction of the environment and the ruined health of many Vietnamese is the result of the chemical warfare waged by the US for spraying 19 million gallons of Agent Orange defoliant over 1/8th of southern Vietnam. Families are driven to dire poverty while dealing with the illnesses and disabilities of their aged parents and children with severe birth defects. This is an ongoing disaster for 3 million Vietnamese. Many children of US veterans also suffer from birth defects due to their father’s exposure. The US provides no help to either group of its victims.”
Chuck Searcy is a Vietnam War veteran who founded VFP Chapter 160 in Vietnam. He moved to Vietnam in 1995 and and helped start Project RENEW, an organization in Quang Tri Province that works to find and remove unexploded ordnance (UXOs) so farmers can safely return to the land. UXOs are responsible for more than 100,000 injuries and fatalities since 1975; most of the survivors are permanently maimed and disabled. Quang Tri Province alone has sustained over 8,500 casualties from accidents involving unexploded ordnance, and 31% of the victims have been children. More than 80% of Quang Tri Province is contaminated with UXOs.
“Much of Laos and Cambodia are similarly contaminated with unexploded munitions lying in wait for more victims.” Searcy said.
Veterans For Peace continues their work on several initiatives in Vietnam and in the U.S. towards accountability for the legacies of the Vietnam War. To see a full list of our projects, visit our Press Kit.
Veterans For Peace members have also re-printed a newspaper, Full Disclosure, that focuses on telling the truth about Vietnam and are distributing it at the many public, community events that surround the documentary. The Vietnam Full Disclosure Campaign also has commentary and discussion on the Burns/Novick documentary.
Veterans For Peace is an international organization made up of military veterans, military family members and allies; accepting veteran members from all branches of service. Our networks are made up of over 120 chapters across the United States and abroad. We are dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war.