The Untold Truth of the War in Vietnam
The War in Vietnam was one of the bloodiest wars in the history of the world. Hundreds of massacres have been documented and recorded, regular slaughter of women, children, and rice farmers, and kept secret from the American public for decades. This is not including the now infamous My Lai Massacre which resulted in the death of over 500 civilians. To be clear, civilians refer to non-military personnel, essentially villagers. Innocent people. Though it may seem unimaginable, the United States went even further than the customary slaughtering of innocent people, with biological and chemical warfare.
1961 - Operation Ranch Hand
In November of 1961, President John F. Kennedy authorized the commencement of Operation Ranch Hand, the code name for the destruction of forests and foliage in Vietnam. One of the greatest travesties of war ever committed was the use of the herbicide Agent Orange on the rice fields, farmlands, and villages throughout the country.
In addition to the deforestation effects, Agent Orange is also an extremely potent neurotoxin, binding to the DNA of those with whom it comes into contact. The damaging and deforming effects of Agent Orange show up most aggressively in the next generation of offspring. Because it directly damages one’s DNA, effects of Agent Orange can be seen for four generations. As a result of exposure to Agent Orange, Vietnamese children are being born deformed (the United States knowingly dropped Agent Orange on roughly 25% of Vietnam, at 13 times the recommended concentration by the US Department of Agriculture). Over 20,000,000 gallons were dropped from 1962-1971, exposing over 4,000,000 people to the chemical. Crops were also ravaged because of Agent Orange. The American soldiers learned after the fact that the crops they believed were being used by Vietnamese military, were in actuality being used to feed the villages. The widespread crop destruction led to additional millions of people, including entire villages, starving and malnourished.
Help An Phuc change these people’s lives.
As a result of chemical warfare committed by the United States during the Vietnam War, there are children born to this day with missing limbs and many other deformities wreaking havoc on families throughout South Vietnam. This topic is avoided in the school curriculum of the United States, despite its impact on Vietnam and the rest of the world. In the American War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I met several victims living with the horrors of Agent Orange, including this man, Tào Tháo, born with the skin covering his eyes. After meeting them at the museum I drove all throughout the city on a motorbike to find them, and I vowed to start an organization to spread the facts about Agent Orange and raise funds to bring aid to people like Tào Tháo and many others. This is the story of An Phuc.
An Phuc’s #1 objective is to spread awareness of Agent Orange, but also of the other horrors of the Vietnam war. Remember there is an estimated 3,000,000 victims of agent orange over half not recognized by the government of Vietnam, because their parents did not serve in the war.
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