50 Years On – Vietnam Veterans Heal by Helping – An Inspiring Newscast reflecting on anniversary of Marines Landing in Danang – March 8,1965


It is amazing to me that within a 12 hour period we are exposed to an extremely upsetting news story (as per the Whisltblower Mental Health article posted this morning) to this evening’s PBS Newshour story focusing on veterans who have returned to Vietnam with a mission of healing. The report focused on helping clean up the aftermath and assist with injury associated with Dioxin saturation – Agent Orange. A former soldier now helps care for Vietnamese children born with physical and intellectual impairments. Another retired veteran returned with a mission of creating jobs in software for the Vietnamese. The pragmatic, warm and grateful spirit of the Vietnamese is remarkable, given the estimated 2,000,000 deaths associated with the war. Today was the 50th anniversary of the landing of our Marine advisors in Danang; we know how quickly we surged to 500,000 American troops, Search and Destroy, Hearts and Minds, Air America, and 58,000 American deaths. It’s a bit of a naive hope that we will celebrate sanity, wisdom, forgiveness and healing in Iraq and Afghan 50 years from now. Vietnam was invaded and oppressed for a thousand years- their forgiveness, ambition and pragmatism doesn’t appear to be taught or mirrored yet in the Mideast. This remarkable report reminds us healing is difficult but possible.