VNAH Testifies in United States Senate on Far-Reaching Impact of the Leahy War Victims Fund; Vietnamese Amputees Attend Hearing
On April 1, VNAH was honored with an invitation from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) to a hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee on U.S. humanitarian assistance to civilian casualties of wars. Mr. Leahy asked VNAH, a Leahy War Victims Fund (LWVF) grantee providing prosthetics and rehabilitation support to disabled war victims in Vietnam since the early 1990s, to provide testimony on the importance of the Fund and the strength of its programs.
Ca V. Tran, President of VNAH, introduced a delegation of visiting Vietnamese war victims, one of whom suffered the loss of all four limbs after triggering a UXO (unexploded ordnance) device. Phan Thanh Son, a quadruple-amputee from Soc Trang City (in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam), was working with his brother-in-law, Thin, in a rice paddy in 2002 when the UXO went off. Thin was killed instantly; Son survived, but with his arms and legs severed by the blast. Since that time, Son has received wheelchairs and rehabilitation services from VNAH, enabling him to regain his mobility and improve his quality of life.
Another member of the delegation, Tran Cong Phuong, a double amputee from Chu Lai, Nui Thanh, Quang Nam Province, served as a member of the elite Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). He lost both legs as the result of a landmine blast during a battle in early 1974 in Quang Ngai Province.
The improved quality of life of both amputee survivors was a testimony to the value of VNAH’s work in Vietnam and the role of the Leahy War Victims Fund in making it possible.