Vietnam War

To understand the predicament of World War II veterans exposed to mustard gas, take a look at what happened to another set of American veterans who were exposed to a different toxic chemical.

Last month, NPR reported that some of those World War II vets are still fighting for disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs because the agency says they don't have enough proof to substantiate their claims.

In one of the many war cemeteries in Lang Son, a city in northern Vietnam, Pham Thi Ky and her family light incense and offer prayers for her brother-in-law, who died 36 years ago in Vietnam's brief but bloody border war with China.

That 1979 war left more than 50,000 dead. There are other graves here, too. They fought and died against the French occupiers, then the Americans. But relative to China, those were brief battles.

Brig. Gen. Viet Luong sits on a case of MREs, the soldiers' daily meals. He's inside a cavernous hanger at an Afghan army base outside the southern city of Kandahar.

A couple dozen American and Australian soldiers lounge on green cots lining the sides. Banners of U.S. military units hang on the walls. Between the troops is a 6-foot-tall shipment of Girl Scout cookies.

Luong's job is to train the Afghan military to fight a guerrilla force, the Taliban. But he's willing to talk about another guerrilla war, long ago.

Water Is The Sound Of Freedom For My ‘Ba’

Aug 28, 2014
Courtesy of Quang Adam Nguyen

I’m at a dock on Lake Washington and it’s a calm evening. I’m with my "ba" – dad in Vietnamese – Quang Adam Nguyen.

Ba is handy and loving. According to my mom, he’s “a little chubbier” than the “handsome, buff” man she married 25 years ago. My brother Andy calls him a “fixer,” and my sister Kristy says he’s “stubborn.”

He's always thinking and forgetting, about too much, if you ask me. He remodeled the house I’ve lived in my whole life but still hasn’t finished the gazebo. He did finish a waterfall in the yard, however. 

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds talks with academic and activist Roger Roffman about his involvement with marijuana and public policy for 45 years. His latest book is "Marijuana Nation: One Man’s Chronicle of America Getting High: From Vietnam to Legalization."

Inside The Real American War In Vietnam

Feb 6, 2014
Nick Turse's book "Kill Anything That Moves."

Steve Scher talks with author Nick Turse about his book "Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam." It is about a detailed account of the widespread sanctioned killings that took place during the Vietnam War.