During the Vietnam War, millions of tons of ordnance were dropped across Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, leaving southeast Asia among the most bombed regions in the world. Almost half a century later, the explosive remnants of the conflict continue to kill and injure civilians to this day.
Alongside the HALO Trust USA and Legacies of War, MAG America is asking supporters to help put an end to this tragic legacy by calling on Congress to ensure that a decades-old war no longer claims new victims.
Will you raise your voice to save lives in southeast Asia?
The situation is no starker than in Laos, the most bombed country in the world, per capita. In Laos, an estimated 30 percent of the 270 million sub-munitions dropped on the country did not detonate. Instead, the unexploded ordnance (UXO) lays dormant and deadly, trapping communities in fear. Since the war ended, around 25,000 people — 40 percent of them children — have been killed or injured by these explosive hazards.
But statistics alone can't prepare you for the story of Noy and Lae and a devastated family.
It starts with three-year-old Quoi bursting into the family home, crying, "They're dead! They're dead!"
Quoi was on an insect-hunting adventure with his older brothers Don and Phon in the forest near his home when he heard the explosion. He ran home to tell his parents Noy and Lae and took them to where his elder brothers had been playing.
No one could be prepared for the horrific scene they faced. Don, their nine-year-old son, was dead when they found him. Phon, aged seven, managed to cling to life for a few hours, but the injuries were too great. He died later that day.
Two sons dead. Just seven and nine years old. Killed by a cluster bomb from the Vietnam War: its power as deadly as the day it was dropped.
Will you help us prevent further tragedy in Laos?
The tragedy of Don and Phon is heartbreaking, and what compounds the tragedy is that it is repeated across Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, where the same deadly legacy blights the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.
MAG is teaming up with the HALO Trust USA and Legacies of War to ensure the U.S. continues to clear southeast Asia of the explosive legacy of the Vietnam War, saving lives and helping communities live and work free from fear.
Please join us in this important work!
Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support UXO removal in southeast Asia by clicking here.
Our goal is to send 10,000 letters to Congress this week. Together, let's raise our voices and make sure Congress knows where we stand on this important issue. Your actions will save lives!