“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Monday, February 9, 2009


International relief organization AmeriCares, has a passion to help, whether it is an epic disaster or a daily struggle and goes to great lengths to insure medicines, medical supplies and aid reaches those in need wherever they are. AmeriCares has provided more than 8 billion in aid to 137 countries since it’s founding a quarter of a century ago. Historically, auditing discloses that each $100 in cash contributions, more than $3,000 in emergency relief is delivered, including medicines, clothing, footwear and blankets.

AmeriCares began when a US jet carrying 243 Vietnamese orphans crashed in the jungles outside of Tan Son Nhut. A third of those burned to death and many of the remaining victims were critically injured. The Pentagon announced they would be unable to rescue those children for ten days because of a lack of resources. Robert C. Macauley, of Conn. immediately chartered a Boeing 747 and rescued those surviving children. Within 48 hours the children were safe in California.
So started AmeriCares, one man’s belief that we can make a difference. Go to the Website or click on the link in the sidebar and see how you can help this great foundation keep the faith in humans making a difference. Thank you.


star said...

Hi Friend.. Interesting post.. Keep up the good work.. Do visit my blog and post your comments.. Take care mate.. Cheers!!!

niar said...

Dear Ettarose,
I am sorry for long time not stopping by at your blog.
anyway, I juat heard about AmeriCares. Hopefully it can do more and more to give dedication for people around the world. I will visit its website...

HalfCrazy said...

It's so glad to know organizations like this exist. We know there are loads of organizations around the world helping ones who need help the most but they are not televised. It's better that way as word spreads about the organizations just through mouths.

I have read about your blog in Blog Catalog. You said something about the Holocaust and I'm interested in it ever since I have read Anne Frank. From then on, I became interested with various films, books, music, etc. about the Holocaust.

ettarose said...

star, thanks for coming by and I really hope to see more of your comments here. I will be by.

niar, you are too sweet. Don't worry, everything is good.

Halfcrazy, I started this blog originally about the Holocaust, but with the advice of a friend decided to help the Holocaust of today. Thanks for visiting me.

Relax Max said...

I think this organization does a lot of good, and uses it's donations effectively compared to other more wasteful charities.

You may forgive me for a correction to your post perhaps. I do realize you probably got most of this information from the charity's news releases and media kits, but there are a couple of things I know you would not mind being clarified and enlarged upon.

First, the plane crash you mentioned happened in April of 1975. It was the very first mission of the U.S. Air Force's Operation Babylift in the closing days of the Vietnam War. The charity called AmeriCares was founded in 1982, so it was not in existence until several years after that crash that killed many Vietnamese Orphans. I believe the man who felt the need to charter a 747 to fly more orphans was the same man who was also involved in the founding of AmeriCare several years later, inspired by Operation Babylift. Perhaps that is how you came to link the two, or think that AmeriCare the charity was actually involved in that catastrophe. It wasn't, but I think It was the seed or catalyst that caused Macauley to settle on his life purpose and to conceive of AmeriCare.

Again I realize you are mostly going by the somewhat incomplete news releases of the charity, and that is all you have to go by. But a few more details, if I may.

First, Tan Son Nhut was not merely an "airport." It was a HUGE Air Force installation that served as the deployment hub for the entire country of (South) Vietnam, and was the airport for the largest city in the country, Ho Chi Minh City (then called Saigon) with a population of 6 million people. They were (and still are) right next to each other. I mention this to help you change your mental image that this place was somehow "in the jungle." It was in a huge metropolitan area and was the home of the headquarters of both the U.S. Army's entire MACV as well as the U.S. 7th Air Force. The plane crashed in a more remote area.

If I sound oddly familiar with this part of the world, it is because I have walked beside the same runway that the ill-fated rescue mission took off from before it crashed. (Although I was there 8 or 9 years earlier.) My only point is that this was a much larger place than you perhaps have pictured in your mind.

In 1975, in the closing days of the Vietnam war, the United States Air Force began a program of airlifting Vietnamese orphans out of the country. Many successful flights happened and many children are alive and happy today in the U.S. and Australia, and did not have to grow up under the brutal communistic regime as so many of their countrymen did.

Operation Babylift was a SUCCESS. That is one point I want you to please understand. That one crash was horrible, but courageous pilots of your Air Force got the job done.

On the very first Babylift flight, a U.S. Air Force transport known as a C5 took off from Tan Son Nhut. The C5 is almost unimaginably huge, by far the largest aircraft in the USAF at that time. It was packed with people, including many babies and young children. You mention in your post that 243 orphans were aboard and that "a third of them burned to death." Wow. It has been a long time since I was in the Air Force, but I still take exception to that tone. As if the Air Force was just incompetent and uncaring. Again, I realize these were not your own words.

The truth is, in the rush to get airborne (you must remember that the communists were closing in on the city and other airplanes were being shot at) and coupled with that and the fact that the plane was crammed with people (including very brave Air Force nurses, by the way), in the haste and confusion, one of the doors was not properly secured. In flight, the door came off and caused severe damage to the control lines and linkages of the aircraft. Such was the damage that the plane would not respond and the pilot had to put it down in rough terrain.

But to say "one-third of the orphans burned to death" is to be a little misleading. In a crash of that magnitude, people die on impact. True, the plane then caught fire and those already dead or dying burned. Also receiving burn injuries were many of the survivors. Perhaps you don't think this point is worth mentioning, but the people weren't burned to death en mass; many were already dead when their bodies burned.

Just for the record, there were 314 people on board, not just the 243 orphans. 155 people died. Tragically, many were infants. But more than half lived, thanks to those skilled Air Force pilots. Please don't overlook that.

Was the emergency civilian plane charter needed? After all, the dead were already dead and the living were receiving treatment for their burns. The Air Force was unable to schedule another plane that large for 10 days. Does that sound unreasonable? Happily, the man chartered a 747 and airlifted many orphans out (including those new passengers that replaced the dead.) This man was so convicted of the need that he found his new life's purpose, and several years later he founded the charity.

In reading back over this long comment, some people might get the idea that I am not giving enough credit to AmeriCares. My point was only that AmeriCares was not involved because it didn't yet exist. And also there were a few facts not mentioned in their company history statement that I thought you might enjoy knowing.

I support AmeriCares. They are doing tremendous things, successful things, all over the world, and I encourage anyone who reads this to please donate whatever they possibly can to this great charity.

And I thank you for promoting it. I apologize for taking so much of your space simply to enlarge upon the story of the tragedy that inspired the charity's formation.

ettarose said...

Max, You are so wonderful to help me with your explanation. Yes I did get this from the organization and I was the one who I think may have been misleading. You are correct about the timing, I was wrong. You have taught me to research better before posting. As usuaul I adore you.

Anonymous said...

Amiable brief and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin