A Ghetto Soldier: I Came to Bring the Rain

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Eight years after the military launched Operation Ranch Hand, scientists from the National Institute of Health warned that laboratory mice exposed to Agent Orange were giving birth to stillborn or deformed litters, a conclusion reinforced by research conducted by the US department of agriculture. These findings coincided with newspaper reports in Hanoi that blamed Agent Orange for a range of crippling conditions among troops and their families. Dr Le Ke Son, a young conscript in Hanoi during the war and now director of Vietnam's Agent Orange Victims Fund, recalls, "The government proposed that a line of runners carry blood and tissue samples from the front to Hanoi.

But it was more than miles and took two months, by which time the samples were spoiled. How could we make the research work? There was no way to prove what we could see with our own eyes. In December , President Nixon made a radical and controversial pledge that America would never use chemical weapons in a first strike. He made no mention of Vietnam or Agent Orange, and the US government continued dispatching supplies of herbicides to the South Vietnamese regime until That year, Kiem was born in a one-room hut in Kim Doi, a village just outside Hue. For her mother, Nguyen, she should have been a consolation because her husband, a Viet Cong soldier, had been killed several months earlier.


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It soon became obvious that Kiem was severely mentally and physically disabled. That's it. I have barely left my home since my daughter was born. But even these figures, contained in recently declassified US military records, vastly underestimate the true scale of the spraying.

In confidential statements made to US scientists, former Ranch Hand pilots allege that, in addition to the recorded missions, there were 26, aborted operations during which , gallons of herbicide were dumped. US military regulations required all spray planes or helicopters to return to base empty and one pilot, formerly stationed at Bien Hoa air base between and , claims that he regularly jettisoned his chemical load into the Long Binh reservoir.


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  5. Almost immediately after the war finished, US veterans began reporting chronic conditions, skin disorders, asthma, cancers, gastrointestinal diseases. Their babies were born limbless or with Down's syndrome and spina bifida. But it would be three years before the US department of veterans' affairs reluctantly agreed to back a medical investigation, examining , former servicemen - only a fraction of those who had complained of being sick - with the government warning all participants that it was indemnified from lawsuits brought by them.

    It would take the intervention of the former commander of the US Navy in Vietnam, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, for the government finally to admit that it had been aware of the potential dangers of the chemicals used in Vietnam from the start of Ranch Hand. The four of us retreated to the first floor, amid a rain of questions while he remained upstairs. The meat was meant for outdoor grilling, but the rain kept us inside. Howie and I were relegated to shucking more corn and cutting up strawberries on the covered front porch as we watched the rain continue to fall. Across the lake, the beginning glow of from the late summer sun broke through the low clouds, signaling an end to the rain.

    He pushed his way into the small apartment and flung the unusual Miami rain from his clothes. It mixed with the rain to drip pink puddles on the ceramic floor. Rain splattered hard against his windows, drawing his gaze to the windows. The scent of rain and oil made her nose crinkle after so long in the condo.

    A Ghetto Soldier: I Came to Bring the Rain

    I just need a place to duck out of the rain for a bit. The cool rain felt good against his hot skin, and he stood in the dark walkway between the gym and the house, soothed by the storm. The clouds far above were starting to swirl with hypnotic slowness, the rain beginning to fall again, and the sea beneath their feet rippling and shifting beneath the rubbery surface.

    Rain and wind battered him. He pulled her to her feet and against the wall, where the rain was less harsh.

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    He held her, never imagining anything could feel so right despite the rain and cold. His eyes found Bianca, who stood shivering in the rain , staring towards the fire, as if waiting for Jonny to reappear. The rain had stopped, and the landscape around the graveyard was dotted with reflective pools. He'd hitchhiked between towns and walked cross-country, admiring the Irish landscape as he went and cursing the cold, incessant rain of late autumn.

    The rain didn't touch the Watcher, and Jule crossed his arms.

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    You mind if I get out of the rain before we do this? The rain fell harder, and Jule broke into a trot. We'll be driving in the rain. She darted through the cold rain into the warm car and tossed her things in back. She shook off the rain in the doorway and crossed to the small booth near the bar that she and her father usually shared.

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    With nothing but her troubled thoughts, the cold rain , and a lonely room in the bed and breakfast down the road, she didn't feel like leaving just yet. Fed up with the cold and rain again, he spun her and slung her over his shoulder. He strode toward the end of the alley, wanting out of the rain as much as he wanted to talk to the intriguing woman over his shoulder. She locked her doors and wiped rain from her face. The rain picked up again. Holding out her arm, she was fascinated to see the rain arc to avoid it. I can't see you in the rain digging a hole for a toaster.

    It was warm and sweet, like a summer rain. She closed her eyes to the gentle flow and strange sensations: Jule's warmth, her father's hot-cold rain , the ancient power of the ruins.

    The day dawned cloudy and cold with a light rain that chilled her after ten minutes. Unlike the cold rain of her father's energy, theirs was warm and cheerful, like her bond to Jule. It sounded pretty, like the poof the desert dust made when the first drops of rain fell. Thunder tumbled down the San Juan Mountains, heralding the arrival of pelting rain that turned the Jeep road into a surging stream and the sky to an ominous shade of raven black.

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    While the warm sun drenched them and there wasn't a cloud in sight, they'd learned from recent experience that mountain weather could blow in misery at a moment's notice and replace the sunshine with drenching, chilling rain. Let's just hope it doesn't rain. The runners might encounter any kind of weather, including freezing temperatures, fog, rain , or snow. He smelled of rain and night, a masculine musk she found as soothing as his bite. He smelled of sweet rain and dark grasses, his taste just as exotic.

    It's supposed to rain tonight. The rain would pack down the mud and melt the rest of the snow. Thunder rumbled again and a cold drop of rain gnawed at the mud on her cheek. Why do you put me in pain? You may not realize it, but every Blurry lines and crooked faces all crowd around, hushed by the inevitable doom, I breathe, I exist and yet all the same I am Who is this girl? Who is this girl and all of her insecurities? She is not pretty enough, not smart enough Why is she Size 3.

    I wonder. My brother used your name in his paintings I wondered why he would You chose to not exist, years before we were born I see He who is My Pain He sneaks up on me when I least expect him to. Old Dreams. Silly little girl, quit your dreaming This world is not for you. Small Talk.

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