American veterans raise funds for post-flood relief in Vietnam
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|Houses submerged in Vietnam's central coastal region. Source: VNA|
More than 110 Americans have so far donated more than USD 28,000 in a charity campaign organized by Ron Haeberle, whose photographs of the My Lai Massacre turned American public opinion against the war. He was assisted by Chuck Searcy who co-founded Project RENEW with Hoang Nam in 2001.
They were aided by Ron Carver the curator of the exhibit 'Waging Peace in Vietnam: US Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed the War', now on exhibit at Vietnam’s War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
The funds will be distributed in Quang Tri province by the staff of Project RENEW and in Quang Ngai province by the Quang Ngai Red Cross.
“We were moved by the images of mud slides, and water trapping villagers on the roofs of their houses and water roaring through village streets carrying away trees, furniture, animals and villagers themselves,” Haeberle said, explaining the motivation to begin the campaign. “I have been committed to doing all I can to help the people of Vietnam ever since I personally witnessed American war crimes at My Lai.”
“I was horrified to learn that central Vietnam was battered by six typhoons in three weeks,” stated Ron Carver. “When I received photos and videos from the War Remnants Museum, I knew I had to share these with the American people and seek donations to help with the recovery.”
“The Project RENEW staff have firsthand knowledge of victims of these typhoons and are in contact with these families,” Chuck Searcy stated. “People already struggling with the legacies of Agent Orange and injuries from wartime explosive accidents – years after war ended – had a particularly hard time coping with the flood damage. We are fortunate that Project RENEW is in a position to help.”
Aid to those in Quang Tri province will be distributed beginning on January 25. Representatives of Project RENEW will deliver a check to the Quang Ngai Red Cross on January 15 at their office.
Vietnam's central coastal region has suffered unprecedented flooding from prolonged downpours and successive typhoons since last October, resulting in more than 200 deaths recorded, and displacing thousands of people. At least 5.5 million people in the region have been affected.
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