Leaders of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin visit the U.S.
From November 22nd to December 4th, 2010 a delegation of leaders of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) will be visiting the U.S. at the invitation of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign. The group, headed by VAVA President Nguyen Van Rinh, will visit the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City and Washington DC. They will meet with veterans, Vietnamese Americans, environmental, public health and peace activists in our communities and members of Congress.
VAVA is the only organization representing Vietnam’s millions of Agent Orange victims, with over 300,000 members and chapters in almost every province in Vietnam. VAVA advocates for the victims and provides assistance to them and their families – from health care and rehabilitation, to education and day care.
The visit will strengthen the cooperation between our Campaign and VAVA and allow VAVA to make contacts with a wide range of organizations and individuals concerned about achieving justice for Agent Orange victims. For information on the delegation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Nguyen Van Rinh was born into a family of several generations of poor farmers in Tu Ky District, Hai Duong Province, in the northern part of Vietnam. Mr. Rinh’s father was active in the guerrilla movement against French colonialism and was killed during a French attack on his village. Mr. Rinh was eight years old. In 1961, Mr. Rinh joined the People’s Army of Vietnam and participated in almost all the major battles and military campaigns and fought in the areas most sprayed with Agent Orange. He served as a gunner in an artillery battalion, and rose through the ranks from battalion commander and corps commander to deputy minister of Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense. After his retirement as a Senior Lt. Gen. in 2008, the 2nd National Congress of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) elected him as President of VAVA. Nguyen Van Rinh has two daughters. His wife is a retired social worker.
Mrs. Dang Hong is a veteran of the war. Born on December 12, 1936, married in 1959 and gave birth to a healthy son in 1960. Between 1961 and 1966 she joined the resistance forces in the Southeastern region of Vietnam (included Tây Ninh, Bình Dương, Củ Chi) and she was directly exposed to Agent Orange. Between 1966 and 1972 she was arrested and imprisoned by the US-supported government. In 1973 and again in 1975 Mrs. Nhut suffered miscarriages early in her pregnancy. In 1975, she again suffered a miscarriage. In 1977, she gave birth to a congenitally deformed still-born child. In 1980, she had another miscarriage. In 2002, she had surgery to remove an intestinal tumor. In 2003, she underwent another operation to remove a tumor from her thyroid. She now has cancer.
Mrs. Nhut’s husband was a veteran who was also exposed to Agent Orange. He was later diagnosed with intestinal cancer, metastasizing to the lung and the liver. He died in May, 1999.
Mrs. Nhut is a member of the Central Board of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) and Director of Ho Chi Minh City chapter of VAVA. Read more about Ms. Nhut's story at www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/12/vietnam-weaponstechnology
Mr. Nguyen Minh Y is a veteran of the U.S. war in Vietnam, serving in the battlefield in the areas of heaviest fighting. After 1975 he served as an Army leader in political/military strategy and civilian affairs. Since his retirement, Minh Y has served in the Veterans’ Association of Vietnam and is now director of international affairs and a member of the Central Board of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA). Minh Y is married to an artist and is the father of two sons.
Mr. Pham Truong is an alternate Central Board member of VAVA.
Nguyen Tuan Minh
Mr. Nguyen Tuan Minh is the interpreter. He works at the the People's Aid Coordinating Committee.