Don't feel like reading this long thing, but want to donate to my documentary? Scroll to the bottom or visit my Indiegogo page here.
If you've been following along with me on any form of social media, you've probably seen me post about my trip to Laos. Why do I keep posting about Laos?
If you've never given a second thought to the country of Laos, that might change after you read this.
I've recently stumbled upon a massive and tragic event in American history that most Americans don't actually know about. During the Vietnam War (specifically 1964 to 1973) the United States bombed Laos - a lot. In fact, they bombed Laos more than any other country has been bombed in the history of the world. They bombed Laos more heavily than Syria, Japan, Iraq, Germany, Afghanistan, France, and Israel. They killed thousands and thousands of innocent Lao civilians (98% of the people killed by bombs were civilians). And you haven't heard about this, because it was a covert war done in top secret.
And if that wasn't bad enough, 30% of the bombs that were dropped, never detonated. They're still littered around the beautiful country of Laos - waiting to explode. Every year, hundreds of unsuspecting Lao civilians accidentally step or strike a bomb and are killed or maimed.
Laos didn't ask for this - they didn't asked to be carpet bombed for 9 years straight. And they certainly don't deserve to continue living in fear forty years later.
Ok, So What?
So what? War is ugly. The US has done a lot of bad things.
"Our healthcare system is a mess! We have Trump for president! Our debt is unfathomable and our country is full of racists!"
Okay, so the United States isn't perfect. This isn't new information, our nation is one of the youngest empires in the world. We are the great experiment. But that doesn't mean we can't try to redeem ourselves to Laos.
Laos didn't receive some occasional bombs here and there because of it's unfortunate neighbor during the Vietnam War. Laos was deliberately carpet bombed for nine years under three United States presidents. This was intentional and it was brutal--and the war goes on for them them every single day.
There are organizations in Laos like UXO Lao and MAG International that are dedicated to finding, detonating and destroying these bombs on a daily basis. They risk their lives to make Laos a safer place. However, in the past 40 years, they've only destroyed less than 1% of the bombs (to put it in perspective).
This is horrible! So what do you want me to do, Erin!?
Start by telling your friends. The United States spent more money in 10 days of bombing Laos than they've donated in total to the recovery in the past 40 years. It may seem easy to blame the US government for this lack of resolve--but politicians are followers, not leaders. They haven't done anything about Laos because we haven't asked them to. Quite frankly, relatively no one even knows this happened. I visited Laos with my family on vacation a few years ago and didn't find out about this war until a few months ago!
So that's why I am making a documentary. I'm committed to making a high quality, well told, truthful, and comprehensive account of the secret war in Laos.
I need your support. Help me spread the word about Laos--don't allow this story to get further swept under the rug.
To donate to my documentary (tax deductible too!), please visit my Indiegogo fundraiser campaign.
Have Venmo? I also accept Venmo donations - @erinmcgoff.
Thank you so much for your support!