On Eve of 40th Anniversary of U.S. Military Withdrawal from Vietnam, Celebrities Speak Out on Continuing Unexploded Ordnance Impact on Civilians

Aug 01, 2013, 14:36 ET from MAG America

QUANG TRI PROVINCE, Vietnam, and WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Forty years ago on August 15, 1973, the U.S. military ceased all military actions and airstrikes in Vietnam, ending the war for the United States. Four decades later, the war is still not over. Unexploded bombs and landmines left over from that conflict still claim lives and limbs. Since 1973 there have been over 40,000 civilian deaths and 60,000 injuries. Just this month a nine-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after he was burned from head to toe and broke his arm from an encounter with a piece of war-era unexploded ordnance.

To mark this anniversary with a call for action and more funding to address this issue, a group of celebrities and other notable professionals are collectively saying, "40 Years is Too Long, But Not Too Late."  They are supporting a campaign to benefit Mines Advisory Group America (MAG) and Clear Path International (CPI) in their work to remove unexploded ordnance from Vietnamese soil and assist accident survivors.

The event will kick off with a promotion on Reddit.com during a visit to Quang Tri Province, Vietnam by actor Jonathan Goldsmith, the man who plays Dos Equis iconic character "The Most Interesting Man in the World." Thanks to Cathay Pacific Airlines, Jonathan will perform a demolition with MAG America and visit with landmine accident survivors with Clear Path International. Watch Jonathan blow up one of MAG's stockpiles by clicking here.

"The Vietnamese children, the parents and the grandparents have had to live with these bombs on a daily basis," Goldsmith said. "They have lived with this fear for over 40 years. This is a man-made problem and I think we have an obligation to do what we can for future generations. I am glad to help."

Folk singer Nanci Griffith has also been an activist for landmine clearance for many years and travelled to Vietnam for the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in 2005 to highlight the continuing landmine and unexploded ordnance issue there.  As we are now at the 40th anniversary of the U.S. military withdrawal, Nanci urges, "I have always believed people need to stand up and make their voices heard to create change.  And 40 years is just too long for any person committed to peace to watch children still die from the remnants of a war we left so long ago.  Help support this campaign for Vietnam."

John Densmore, drummer for the legendary rock group, The Doors, along with John Perry Barlow, lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and Ben Taylor, son of folk rock artists James Taylor and Carly Simon, will also be promoting the campaign with online promotions later in the month.

For more information, and to see a video by Jonathan Goldsmith and to donate to the cause, please visit:


MAG America has cleared over 7 million square meters of land contaminated by unexploded ordnance in Vietnam since 1999, benefitting more than 1.8 million people who can now farm their land, build their homes and let their children play safely without fear of injury or death from accidental explosions.  MAG America has worked in over 35 countries around the world clearing landmines, unexploded ordnance, and other remnants of conflict.  For more information go to http://www.magamerica.org or facebook.com/magamerica.

Clear Path International has been working to address the unexploded ordnance issue in Vietnam since 2000 and has helped thousands of Vietnamese recover from accidents involving unexploded ordnance. Clear Path also works in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Afghanistan. For more information, visit cpi.org or facebook.com/clearpathinternational.

Cathay Pacific Airways flies daily to Hong Kong and beyond, including over 22 destinations in Mainland China, from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York JFK, and San Francisco. More information, including current fares and availability, may be found by visiting the airline's website at cathaypacific.com/us, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cathaypacificus, or Twitter handle @CathayPacificUS.

For any questions or interview requests, please contact James Hathaway at 802-379-8427 or james@cpi.org.


Related Links:
Donate Now
MAG America
Clear Path International

Video with caption: "Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor who plays the iconic Dos Equis character, "The Most Interesting Man in the World", is touring Vietnam to visit accident survivors with Clear Path International (CPI) & unexploded bomb clearance sites with MAG America in support of a fundraising campaign for MAG and CPI's work in Vietnam. It's been 40 years too long, but it's not too late. Join Jonathan in the Campaign for Vietnam: www.magamerica.org/joinus". Video available at: http://youtu.be/67s0OZ3xkJg

Image with caption: "It's been 40 years too long, but it's not too late. Join Jonathan as he teams up with Mines Advisory Group (MAG) America and Clear Path International (CPI) in the most interesting campaign for Vietnam ever! www.magamerica.org/joinus". Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130801/MM57289-a

Image with caption: "This year marks the 40th anniversary of the end of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, but for many the war continues. Join Mines Advisory Group (MAG) America and Clear Path International (CPI) as we team up with Jonathan Goldsmith to clear landmines and bombs and assist accident survivors in Vietnam. It's been 40 years too long, but it's not too late. - See more at: www.magamerica.org/joinus". Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130801/MM57289-b