U.S. Veterans Pledge to Continue Support to Vietnam AO Victims

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) led by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Keith E. Harman on March 13 said in Hanoi that VRW would make more efforts to help settle post-war matters, including AO/dioxin issues in Vietnam. Issues relating to AO/dioxin and unexploded ordnance (UXO) remain thorny in Vietnam and the VFW will give priorities to them in the cooperation with Vietnamese agencies, especially the Vietnam-USA Society (VUS), Mr. Harman said in the visit to Hanoi earlier this week. He affirmed that the two organizations will take more measures to boost the cooperation which began in 1996. They also mentioned the organization of the first Vietnam-U.S. veteran business forum scheduled for the end of this year. On this occasion, the two sides addressed the search for American servicemen who went missing in action (MIA) during the Vietnam War. In 1961-1971, the U.S. troops sprayed more than 80 million liters of herbicides, including 44 million liters of AO/dioxin, over southern Vietnam, according to reports by foreign media. The spraying has left generation-long consequences. About 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims died while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases. (Tap Chi Cong San Mar 13, Thoi Dai Mar 13)