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Congressman and mayoral candidate Bob Filner landed in Vietnam last week for an eight day tour of facilities and programs set up around the country for victims of the chemical Agent Orange. He was met at Tan Son Nhat airport by Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange and Major General Tran Ngoc Tho, Chairman of the HCMC Association for Victims of Agent Orange.

On January 4, the first day of his trip, Saigon Giai Phong, a news service billed in English as “The Organ of the Party Committee, the Communist Party of Viet Nam,” reports that Filner visited a temple honoring Ho Chi Minh, where he “burned incense to the country’s dear leader.”

Last summer, Filner introduced HR 2634, dubbed the “Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act.” The bill would increase medical funding for Vietnam veterans who were exposed to the chemical and their descendants, along with providing money for health services and cleanup in areas of Vietnam still affected by Agent Orange, some 19,000,000 gallons of which was dropped on the country from 1961-1971. The bill is currently awaiting debate in a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee.

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