American veterans deliver flood relief for Vietnam hinh anh 1Chuck Searcy (second left), co-founder of Project RENEW, presents funds to flood-affected victims in Vietnam. (Source: VNA)
Quang Ngai (VNS/VNA) - More than 110 Americans have donated more than 28,000 USD so far in a charity campaign organised by Ronald L. Haeberle, whose photographs of the My Lai Massacre turned American public opinion against the war. He was assisted by Chuck Searcy who co-founded Project RENEW with Hoang Nam in 2001.

They were aided by Ron Carver, the curator of the exhibit Waging Peace in Vietnam: US Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed the War, now on exhibit at Vietnam’s War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.

The funds will be distributed in Quang Trị province by the staff of Project RENEW and in Quang Ngai province by the Quang Ngai Red Cross.

Up to 10,000 USD was for aid directly to the Red Cross for distribution to victims of the flooding disasters and damage caused by the typhoons in Quang Ngai, and more relief funds will be raised from others in the US.

“We were moved by the images of mud slides, and water trapping villagers on the roofs of their houses and water roaring through village streets carrying away trees, furniture, animals and villagers themselves,” Haeberle said, explaining the motivation to begin the campaign. “I have been committed to doing all I can to help the people of Vietnam ever since I personally witnessed American war crimes at My Lai.”

“I was horrified to learn that central Vietnam was battered by six typhoons in three weeks,” stated Ron Carver. “When I received photos and videos from the War Remnants Museum, I knew I had to share these with the American people and seek donations to help with the recovery.”

“The Project RENEW staff have firsthand knowledge of victims of these typhoons and are in contact with these families,” Chuck Searcy stated. “People already struggling with the legacies of Agent Orange and injuries from wartime explosive accidents – years after the war ended – had a particularly hard time coping with the flood damage. We are fortunate that Project RENEW is in a position to help.”

Aid to those in Quang Tri province will be distributed beginning on January 25, while representatives of Project RENEW delivered a cheque to the Quang Ngai Red Cross on January 15./.