Support the U.S.’s important relationship with Vietnam
Vietnam is an important partner of the United States in Southeast Asia, enjoying a relationship grounded in mutual respect. The two countries, once bitter enemies during the Vietnam War, have come together over a shared legacy of conflict and reconciliation in a powerful demonstration that two former adversaries can become friends. This year, the countries celebrate the 25th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relationships in the wake of the conflict. However, the friendship needs ongoing care and reinforcement as challenges in Asia and the Pacific evolve in the 21st Century. A key way to accomplish this is through continuing to address the legacies of war: Agent Orange remediation, demining, care for persons with disabilities, connections between veterans, and accounting for missing soldiers from both sides.
As an element of this, the US Embassy in Hanoi identified a critical local need to Spirit of America. Friendship Village, a facility founded by a US veteran and now administered by the Vietnamese Veterans Association (Vietnam’s version of the VA) that provides healthcare and skills training to veterans and disabled youth, had several urgent needs: equipment to facilitate better dental care for patients, school supplies for educational programs, and basic hygiene items for inpatient youth. During US Secretary of Defense Esper’s visit to Vietnam in November 2019, Spirit of America presented a ceremonial check to the director of the Vietnam Friendship Village for $15,000 for use in purchasing the dental equipment, along with the needed educational and hygiene supplies. During the ceremony, the US Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Caryn McClelland, termed this pledge a “tangible demonstration” of the friendship between the United States and Vietnam that complemented the high-level discussions between Secretary Esper and his Vietnamese counterparts.
You can help reinforce the critical relationship between the United States and Vietnam by supporting this initiative.