Vietnam and the United States have a common enemy.
Its name is Agent Orange.
From 1962 to 1971, the U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of the herbicide, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin, to defoliate the jungles and forests that gave cover to Ho Chi Minh's northern forces in what was then South Vietnam.
At least 4.5 million Vietnamese, and the 2.5 million Americans who served there, may have been exposed to Agent Orange. These numbers do not reflect the possible impact on future generations.
The U.S. Veterans Administration now recognizes 15 illnesses linked to war-time exposure. The Vietnam Red Cross estimates that roughly 3 million adults and children continue to suffer illnesses and birth deformities because of these contaminated sites.
This is a fixable problem.
To the majority of Americans, it is also an invisible one.
More information about the legacy of Agent Orange
The following groups are working to raise awarness of the threat of Agent Orange in the environment, the need for health care for those exposed to toxins, or to help facillitate clean up of contaminated areas.
Agent Orange Second Generation Victim is the personal website of Heather Bowser, who was featured in "Unfinished Business: Suffering and sickness in the endless wake of Agent Orange."
War Legacies Project is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on the long-term impacts of conflicts and raising the public's understand of the costs of war.
The Vietnam Reporting Project is journalism program focusing on extensively covering the effects of Agent Orange contamination in Vietnam.
Make Agent Orange History is a collaborative effort designed to raise awarness, offer solutions, connect people, and organizations with the goal of getting involved.
Hatfield Consultants, established in 1974, is a leader in the field of monitoring Agent Orange contamination.