Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Agent Orange Strikes Our Village

We saw strange white powder sprinkle down from a helicopter one afternoon.  It scattered over our village like a thin sheet of smoke.  We wondered what it was.  My mom said it was weird and different; therefore, it would not be a good thing for our village.  The villagers were kind of worried for a while, but then we went back to our normal lives and forgot about it, for it did not seem to do any harm to anybody or anything in the village at the time.

We were wrong. The powder seemed  not to harm us, but some months later we began to see the deadly effect of it.  Our fruit trees, all our plants were dying.  Eventually the greenery of our village was no longer  green, most of our tree died and had to be chopped down.  (We had mango and coconut orchards) My family's coconut groves one by one started to lose fruit and the tops of the trees  turned brown.  The villagers were sad because some families  relied on the harvest as their way to take care of their families. The adults in the village wondered about the water in the river and especially our well. (Many villagers used our well water.)

We found out later that the white powder was called Agent Orange.  The American officials wanted to kill all the greens so that the communists would not have places to hide in the shrubs to easily launch their attacks without being seen.  I guess that was the only way.

Today, I have met many American soldiers who served in Viet Nam War, and they shared with me the effect on their health because of this agent orange powder.  I am sorry for the suffering that they have to deal with for the rest of their lives because of Viet Nam War.  I appreciate them for trying to protect us.  But I also wonder if those officials who ordered this particular mission knew that this powder would harm so many people and if they were aware of it did they ever think about us, the people, the soldiers that lived on that land?  Does the benefit outshine the harmful effect?

So many decades later I still feel sad for my villagers and for the people of Viet Nam.  We had to endure so many horrible thing because of the war and even now, my people are still under the wrath of communism.  When are those communist leaders going to realize they are not doing anything good for the people of Viet Nam?

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