Partly, it's the calendar: Aug. 10 will mark 50 years since the first load of powerful defoliant was sprayed by U.S. forces on the Vietnam landscape in 1961. It was the beginning of what was initially called Operation Hades, then was soon renamed and expanded into Operation Ranch Hand.
Over the 10 years of Operation Ranch Hand, planes and trucks sprayed some 20 million gallons of such defoliants across parts of Vietnam that added up to an area as large as Massachusetts.
It has been 50 years since Operation Hades began. For both its American and Vietnamese victims, there have recently been some positive steps taken. But the story of Agent Orange is far from over.