During remarks delivered this past Memorial Day at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., President Obama drew attention to the remaining problems associated with the Agent Orange legacy of the war in Vietnam.
Reflecting on the ravages that remain long after the end of a war, President Obama remarked: “Let’s resolve to take care of our veterans as well as they’ve taken care of us — not just talk, but actions. Not just in the first five years after a war, but the first five decades. For our Vietnam veterans, this means the disability benefits for diseases connected to Agent Orange. It means job opportunities and mental health care to help you stand tall again. It means ending the tragedy of veterans’ homelessness, so that every veteran who has fought for America has a home in America. You shouldn’t have to fight for a roof over your heads when you fought on behalf of the country that you love.” (Read full transcript here.)
President Obama’s remarks come at a time when, after decades of inconclusive debate about liability and causality concerning the complicated issue of Agent Orange, the needs of those affected by Agent Orange in both the U.S. and in Vietnam are being addressed more comprehensively than ever before.