The Vietnam War raged from the mid 50s through the mid 70s. During that time the US dropped as much as three times as many bombs as it did during World War II. It’s estimated that as much as 10% of those bombs didn’t detonate and are still armed and dangerous.
CBS News reports that one of their guides, Duong Tam, showed them how dangerous it can be. During the search they came across a bomb that Tam said was armed. “If anyone picks it up, it can set it off,” Tam cautioned.
Chuck Searcy was a young idealistic soldier specializing in military intelligence during the war. He founded Project Renew in 2001 in an attempt to deal with his anger at the war.
“I feel a responsibility to try to deal with the consequences of war that we left here, that the Vietnamese are still facing today,” said Searcy.
Project Renew raises enough money to destroy 7,000 objects a year, but no one knows how many more years, or decades, it will take to clean up Vietnam.
“I think Vietnam will never be ordinance free,” said Searcy. “But what is realistic, what is an achievable goal, is making Vietnam safe.”
People and farm animals are evacuated each time a device is detonated – bringing back the echoes of the war.