Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rockville veteran shares experience after returning from visit to Vietnam

“Instead of raising weapons, we were raising glasses and saying ‘To our health’”

Michael Marceau of Rockville, a veteran critically wounded during the Vietnam War, spent two weeks in April in Vietnam as part of a peace and reconciliation tour. The tour focused on educating veterans about Agent Orange and unexploded ordnances.

Question: Why did you head to Vietnam for a peace and reconciliation tour?

Answer: The purpose of the trip ostensibly was to find out about Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance: What’s the situation there on the ground? What are some of the processes of trying to deal with the clean up of both of those problems? So we had meetings pretty regularly with some of the people and groups that are involve with that on a day to day basis on the ground in different areas of Vietnam. Some of the situations we ran across are pretty heartbreaking. Especially some of the Agent Orange victims. We sprayed millions of gallons in the 1960s and early 1970s … and there are still areas of the country where nothing has grown since then. We are beginning to see the third generation of victims over there.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the trip?

A: Seeing the Agent Orange victims.


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