Operation Trail Dust Research Paper

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During the Vietnam War the US was fighting an invisible enemy. Being accustomed to the terrain, the Vietnamese were trained to be able to attack quickly and instantaneously slip back into the dense jungle. As a result the U.S. was falling behind in the arms race. In 1962 the U.S. implemented an operation, namely Operation Trail Dust. The operation was active between 1962 to 1971. During Operation Trail Dust defoliants were dispersed in order to destroy the jungle to deprive the Viet Cong of hiding places and life sustaining crops. The most notorious defoliant used during this operation was called Agent Orange. Agent Orange was a herbicide contaminated with dioxin, which has been linked to cancer and severe birth defects. Throughout the war 20 million gallons of Agent Orange was sprayed at 50 times the concentration recommended for killing weeds. Leading to acres of land being demolished and the loss of thousands of lives. During the war in Vietnam the American public was assured that spraying millions of acres of dense jungle with Agent Orange would deprive the Viet Cong of cover in order to bring the war to an end and ultimately spare the lives of thousands of American Soldiers. When Operation Trail Dust was implemented many believed…show more content…
The first image was taken in Hackettstown, New Jersey. The focus of the photograph is placed on a father, Kelly Albertson alongside his son, Ryan Albertson, age 6 who suffers from spina bifida. James Albertsons, Ryan’s Grandfather served in the Vietnam War and was exposed to Agent Orange. The second image was taken in Vietnam. The piece focuses on Nguyen Van Thong age 22, who has mental and physical disabilities. In the photograph he is shown crawling into a brick building. To the right of Nguyen there is the shadow of his brother, Nguyen Van Thuy, who suffers from hydrocephalus and spina bifida. Their father served the North Vietnamese army and was exposed to Agent

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