Tag Archives: vietnam war

Agent Orange and Depleted Uraniums Atrocious Legacy

Decades On, Agent Orange Still Stalks Vietnam

Decades after the end of the Vietnam War, the country remains blighted by Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide used by US forces during the conflict. Families with disabled children are demanding more help from the US government.

Between 1962 and 1971, the United States sprayed approximately 20 million gallons of dioxin-contaminated herbicides over some 6 million acres of Vietnamese terrain. Among these was a compound known as Agent Orange, named for the orange stripe on its label (other varieties were marked with different colors but were less widely used). These chemicals wiped out forests and crops that were used by opposition forces for cover and food. In the course of this, hundreds of thousands of U.S. service personnel and millions of Vietnamese were exposed to the chemicals in the air, water, and soil and through food raised on contaminated farms. U.S. Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange: Understanding the Impact 40 Years Later

There are of course, many Vietnam Vets who have agent orange (AO) related disabilities. I worked with homeless vets (veteran homelessness a whole other issue) with AO problems. One of the men was the father of a disabled son directly related to AO. Another had foot rot, still festering decades later.

Since Desert Storm there is a new chemical weapon that is much more damaging – depleted uranium (DU). AO is thought to last for 100 years; DU is said to last for 4.5 million. The birth defects in some DU areas are very high with unfathomable deformities.

IRAQ TO SUE US and UK OVER DEPLETED URANIUM BOMB

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Military Luring Immigrants With Promise of Citizenship

U.S. Military Will Offer Path to Citizenship

Stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American military will begin recruiting skilled immigrants who are living in this country with temporary visas, offering them the chance to become United States citizens in as little as six months.

Immigrants who are permanent residents, with documents commonly known as green cards, have long been eligible to enlist. But the new effort, for the first time since the Vietnam War, will open the armed forces to temporary immigrants if they have lived in the United States for a minimum of two years, according to military officials familiar with the plan.

Recruiters expect that the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.

“The American Army finds itself in a lot of different countries where cultural awareness is critical,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, the top recruitment officer for the Army, which is leading the pilot program. “There will be some very talented folks in this group.”

The program will begin small — limited to 1,000 enlistees nationwide in its first year, most for the Army and some for other branches. If the pilot program succeeds as Pentagon officials anticipate, it will expand for all branches of the military. For the Army, it could eventually provide as many as 14,000 volunteers a year, or about one in six recruits.

About 8,000 permanent immigrants with green cards join the armed forces annually, the Pentagon reports, and about 29,000 foreign-born people currently serving are not American citizens.

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