Several years ago, while reporting from Vietnam, I headed into the equivalent of a live minefield — a future construction site littered with unexploded ordnance left from what the Vietnamese call the “American War.” I went there to cover the work of a demining team from Project Renew: a 16-member Vietnamese unit, overseen by Australian explosive ordnance disposal supervisor.
That day, the team disposed of an M-79 round — a 40 mm high-explosive projectile fired from a breach-loading, single-shot U.S. grenade launcher — making the country a little safer. Having seen kids permanently scarred by old ordnance and having interviewed grieving parents who lost children to old American bombs, it was gratifying to witness the folks from Project Renew in action.
I see that Project Renew, which calls itself a “humanitarian mine action organization dedicated to cleaning up explosive remnants of war,” now has a Tumblr. Please consider following them. They do great work at great risk to shield future generations from the horrors of the past.