Remembering Agent Orange’s Third Generation

Here’s my annual reminder that wars never really end, posted on the anniversary of my 2010 visit to the Thanhxuan Peace Village, or Lang Hoa Binh Than Xuan, an orphanage, school and clinic in Hanoi set up specifically for victims of Agent Orange.

October marks the anniversary of when U.S. forces first began dropping Agent Orange on southern Vietnam. That was 54 years ago; ultimately, what was wryly known as “Operation Ranch Hand” left nearly five million people infected with the especially virulent strain of dioxin. The visit to Thanhxuan introduced me to dioxin’s third generation.

If you have a few minutes, please check out the original post. It’s among my favorite on the blog, describing an afternoon that I still think about every day.

 

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  1. jacquelineobyikocha says

    You are right you know. Back in my home country Nigeria, the civil war was fought well before I was born yet today’s generations are still squabbling over those war issues even when it’s initiators are long gone.

    1. Bob R says

      Indeed — that’s still the case in many places, subsequent generations still waging the same battles.

      1. jacquelineobyikocha says

        Hmm! Really sad.

  2. ladieswholunchreviews says

    My tablet would not download the pix from your original post. I will try later when I’m home. It is a horrific situation not only for the innocent children, but for many American soldiers and sailors who were unwittingly exposed and suffered debilitating diseases. My youngest has CP, a cleft lip and palate and I cannot tell you how emotionally and financially draining it is. Hubby, who is much older than me 😉 was drafted and enlisted in the Navy and was in Vietnam briefly in the 60s. We have no way to prove a direct connection to Agent Orange, but have wondered… War is horrible for everyone involved. And don’t get me started on stories I’ve heard about how American servicemen were treated upon returning home!

  3. mcarnes811 says

    Thank you for posting this. It brings tears to my eyes. As you say wars never end. Why is it that the innocent are always the ones to suffer? I knew about agent orange in Vietnam but had no idea about the pain, suffering and sorrow it still causes. We in America just seemed to go on after Vietnam(other then the soldiers who fought in that terrible conflict) Am wondering if they even teach children in our schools today about Vietnam.

    1. Bob R says

      I sometimes wonder the same thing: how that conflict is treated or approached in schools. Even 40+ years later it’s still very much politicized even though it’s now generally viewed as a huge mistake.

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