Photographer Janat Horn and Journalist Daysha Eaton’s Vietnam landmines story published at Vietnamese English Language paper Thanh Nie News. Congrats you two!
50-year-old Cuc lives in Dong Ha, just west of Hue. She has called the dusty town of less than twenty thousand people home for most of her life.
She survived the war years unharmed. But about ten years later a remnant of the war changed her life forever.
“It was an afternoon in 1986. I was cleaning the garden with my father. There was a landmine and I was severely injured. I just lay there in the garden for about an hour and then my family took me to hospital.”
It all happened so fast that she doesn’t remember much about the accident, only that people said it was a cluster bomb.
However, she does recall the despair she felt when she woke up in the hospital. “When I woke up the next day, I found out I had lost parts of my body… people were frightened when they saw me. When my family brought my son in, he was one year old then, he was scared and cried and he just wanted to go home. I was downhearted and I didn’t want to go back to my family.”
Unfortunately, Cuc’s story is not uncommon in Quang Tri. Since the war ended in 1975 more than seven thousand people have been killed or injured by unexploded ordnance, or UXO, in the province.
Thanks to SalaamGarage partner NGO Peacetrees Vietnam for being so instrumental in clearing Quang Tri Provence of UXO’s. Please read further this powerful story reported on during January 2010 SalaamGarage Trip to Vietnam here: