March 31, 2006

War not yet over, says American veteran
   03/29/2006 — 21:50(GMT+7)

Ha Noi (VNA) – The war has never ended for the Vietnamese people, for the American veterans, and for the children who are still suffering, an American Viet Nam veteran said.

"We can see the people are injured, we can see the names of the people that died, but often we forget about the people that were poisoned by the weapon that we couldn't see. All those people who suffered are still suffering, generation after generation," Daniel J. Shea, Director of Education without Borders and member of Veterans for Peace of the state of Oregon, told VNA reporters on the sidelines of the International Conference on Agent Orange/Dioxin Victims held in Ha Noi on March 28 and 29.

According to Shea, he may have been exposed to Agent Orange in Quang Tri, or Da Nang central provinces during the war in Viet Nam. The veteran had a son who was born with congenital heart disease and other abnormalities, who died in 1981 when he was three years old.

"At that time, I wasn't concerned about applying for compensation, but I am spending the rest of my life trying to work for peace and justice in different ways," Shea said.

The veteran said his own physical health is satisfactory, but he has psychological health issues stemming from the legacy of Agent Orange. He worried about his married daughter having children and whether they may be born with abnormalities. "In Viet Nam there is evidence that it goes from generation to generation. It's a great fear for me to see whether I might have a grandchild that suffers," Shea explained.

By attending the conference, Shea said he hoped to help people in the world realise the plight of Agent Orange victims. "It's important for Viet Nam to make US chemical producers pay now and demand reparations so that we can prevent further destruction of the earth," he stressed.

Regarding the lawsuit against American chemical producers filed by Vietnamese Agent Orange victims, Shea said if more people join in solidarity with the people in Viet Nam and bring more and more people all over the world, the prospects for the suit will improve.

He affirmed that his voice and the voices of other war veterans will help raise awareness and support for the victims.–Enditem

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