Clearing mines for peace

first_imgImagine that the resource you rely on to feed your family has the capacity to kill you.That can be a problem.A nonprofit with its roots in Clark County is addressing that problem by finding — and blowing up — old land mines, bombs and artillery shells.The group’s origins are woven into the story of a Vietnam War memorial that was dedicated Oct. 15 in Vancouver. Family members of Lt. Dan Cheney, a Columbia River graduate who was killed in 1969, were keynote speakers at the event.Jerilyn Brusseau, sister of the Army helicopter pilot, and their mother Rae Cheney told how the family turned sorrow into service through their organization. PeaceTrees Vietnam works in Quang Tri, which was the northernmost province in South Vietnam and the site of heavy fighting.They estimate that 10 percent of all the bombs, shells, rockets and grenades that were dropped, fired and thrown in Quang Tri did not explode.After the war ended in 1975, “tremendous numbers of unexploded munitions remained, from aerial bombing as well as ground combat,” said Brusseau, a 1961 Battle Ground High School graduate. “They’re everywhere — in school yards with kids playing nearby, in fields.”last_img read more