It's that time of month again where I pay a nod to the Legacies of War project, which does tremendous work to increase awareness of the unexploded ordnance (bombs, rockets, mines, explosives) left behind in Laos.
UXO is still deadly and one of the biggest impediments to the post-war reconstruction of Laos.
It denies families and villages access to usable agricultural land as well as other community development projects like schools and hospitals.
Even digging a simple well for drinking water can end in tragedy.
During the war for Laos in the 1960s and 70s, the United States dropped over 3 million tons of bombs on Laos.
This is more than on all of Europe during World War II.
3 out of 10 of those bombs failed to explode and continue to kill women, men, children and the elderly, even more than 30 years after the war ended.
A few years ago, Representative Betty McCollum of MN pushed forward legislature to provide $3 million to assist UXO removal in Laos.
That was wonderful news, but at the same time, that comes out to just a little over $1 for every ton of bombs that was dropped on Laos. This year, politicians attempted to cut the US commitment by almost half.
I'm contacting my senators and representatives to not only restore, but increase funding for this cause, not only for this year but in the years ahead until all UXO is removed from Laos.
And I hope you'll consider doing the same.
While I hope most of my readers already know who their politicians are, here are two handy links to find them: