On January 23, two US citizens were awarded the “For Vietnam Agent Orange Victims” insignia in recognition of their fight for Vietnamese AO victims.

The honour, presented by the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin (VAVA), was given to Merle Evelyn Ratner, the founder and co-chair of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC); and Bishop Thomas John Gumbleton, a member of VAORRC.

Ratner and Gumbleton participated in anti-war activities in Vietnam in the past, healing post-war wounds and successfully organising campaigns for Vietnamese AO victims.

At the ceremony, VAVA President, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh, expressed his appreciation for VAORRC’s support during VAVA’s lawsuit against US chemical companies.

Ratner committed to lobbying the US Congress to approve the Victims of AO Relief Act, and pledged to continue to organise campaigns to raise awareness of Vietnamese AO victims in the US.-VNA