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Author Topic: More Vietnam Legacy  (Read 4594 times)
Rattler
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« on: 14 February 2010, 23:29:05 »
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Just saw an interesting and shocking docu here on Spanish TV (Antenna 3).

It was about Vietnam, 40 yrs later, and called: "The War That Has Not Ended" (La guerra inacabada), and it was reporting the situation of Vietnamese civvies in rural areas (focusing on one province the name of which I could not memorize, probably Quang Tri), and the legacy the US left behind there.

The docu centered around an US veteran by name of Chuck Scearcy, and what he does over there. Listening to him, just the facts were - in the unknown to me parts - shocking, a quick rundown:

- US hit Vietnam with more tons of bombs as were shed in the total of WWII by all allies
- 10% roughtly were duds
- this makes for between 300.000 and 600.000 tons of unexploded ordnance still in 2008
- since the end of the war 40.000 civilians were killed by those duds, 290.000 were injured, of those roughly 200.000 lost a limb
- about 10% of civilians were injured multiple times by different ordnance during the last 40 yrs, one guy they displayed had been hit 5 times by mortar shells, bombs and stray bomblets, once losing an arm, another time an eye, and the fourth time a leg when working his rice fields, 2 times he unearhed a bomb and got lucky.
- neither US nor Vietnamese military do anything about the threat, like cleaning the mess up, neither do other International NGOs

Now, the documentary was about how Chuck Scearcy got a group of other vets together and went to take up the task, he has been working many years there now and with his group has disposed of over 2k tons of ordnance.

Most of this info was new to me, I kind of had assumed that 40 yrs later, as in Europe, ppl would have already finished with bomb and mine clearing... Stupid me.

Impressed, I looked Chuck Scearcy up on the net, here is what I found, interesting enough I only found two links:

http://www.facebook.com/chucksearcy

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/11/16/world/main250246.shtml (NOV 2000, that is 10 yrs old)

Does not seem that he is getting a lot of support, not even (with the exception of the mentioned docu) by the media.

I also found that, but it is old as well:

Quote
Anyone interested in contributing to Chuck Searcy's efforts can contact him via e-mail at Chucksearcy@yahoo.com c/o Chuck Searcy, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, landmine removal project. People can also contact MAG, the mines advisory group technical advisor, David Denman, at his organization's Web site or via e-mail at maguk@mag.org.uk (United Kingdom) or at magviet@dng.vnn.vn in Vietnam


Rattler
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Rattler
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« Reply #1 on: 14 February 2010, 23:33:39 »
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Ouch. Stupid me, the 2nd.

I hade the name wrong, it is Chuck Searcy, and now I found plenty of links.., including an interesting article by him about John McCain and the man that allegedly saved his life, Mai Van On http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-542277/How-war-hero-John-McCain-betrayed-Vietnamese-peasant-saved-life.html .

Interesting photo: McCain getting saved by peasants, the caption reads: "To the rescue: John McCain, lying on his back across a bamboo log, is saved by villagers - including Mai Van On - after his jet was shot down in 1967":



Stupid me, the 3rd.

Rattler
« Last Edit: 14 February 2010, 23:40:57 by Rattler » Logged

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FACman
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« Reply #2 on: 15 February 2010, 03:24:21 »
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Not to belittle the essence of this thread, I would only remind folks that there were many French minefields and unexploded ordinance as well. There were a few positions we manned during my tour of duty, that we dared not stray off the well worn path, out of fear of French mines.
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