Saturday, November 10, 2012

Agent Orange Fifty years later

Fifty years later, U.S., Vietnam deal with Agent Orange
Fifty years after the Vietnam War ended, both sides are trying to smooth over remnants of the conflict, such as leftover defoliants in the environment and land mines.

November 7. 2012 - HANOI – A jungle raid in January 1962 in which U.S. helicopter pilots ferried South Vietnamese troops to attack soldiers from the North was one of America's first major operations in the Vietnam War.

This year, the U.S. government and war veterans are commemorating the war's 50th anniversary. In Vietnam, people remember other dates.

Among the anniversaries they marked this year for "America's War," as it is known here, was the 51st anniversary in August of the U.S. Army's first use of the herbicide Agent Orange.

The U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of the herbicide over forested terrain in Vietnam to kill leaves and plants and deprive the enemy of cover to conceal fighters. Vietnam's state broadcaster called it "the largest chemical warfare campaign in the history of humankind." read more>>>

The many faces of Agent Orange
Vietnam vets to discuss toxic defoliant’s effects

10 November 2012 - Steve Dudich was a fresh-faced teenager not far removed from East High School in Akron, Ohio, when he had his first experience with Agent Orange.

Dudich’s parents allowed him to join the U.S. Marine Corps when he was only 17, and after boot camp in South Carolina he found himself in the first of two tours of duty in Hue, Vietnam, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the north and south.

It was 1962 and it was Dudich’s job to call in map coordinates for Naval artillery strikes.

“Going into Agent Orange was like it had a musty smell to it. It was a reddish-brown-colored fog that would be in the air,” said Dudich, who served much of his first tour with troops of the Republic of Vietnam. “We were in combat and I ran through a bamboo thicket. It kind of gave me hundreds of little injections with (Agent Orange). Within five minutes I looked like I had been burned by acid. I didn’t know what to do. I tore my clothes off and fought in my skivvies. I got hit with a huge dose on that occasion.” read more>>>

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