Loose Cannons, Inc. (LCI) is an effort, through increased social, cultural & educational contact between the peoples of the United Sates and Viet Nam, to heal the outstanding wounds of “The Vietnam War”. The LCI name reflects the intent to mobilize, in a productive & self-effacing manner, the talents of professionals from a variety of different fields to meet that goal. At the moment, LCI’s current focus is addressing the effects of the problem of “Agent Orange”[AO], a legacy of human & environmental destruction caused by a defoliant used by American forces during “The Vietnam War” on areas & populations in Viet Nam, the United States & elsewhere, thereby exposing same to dioxin – a harmful AO byproduct - wherever AO was produced, stored and/or sprayed.
In 2005, several individuals, with a history of humanitarian work, came across the Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths’ (PJG) seminal “Agent Orange, ‘Collateral Damage’ in Viet Nam” photography book, and, feeling a pressing need to bring further attention to the issues addressed therein, have – between then and the present - designed ads for the “AO” book & raised money to run the ads in national magazines; mounted several large Philip Jones Griffiths photo exhibits; helped to develop AO-related websites (e.g., www.agentorangerecord.com; www.lastghostofwar.com]; circulated a number of AO documentaries [one narrated by the actor Kevin Kline]; facilitated private donations to AO charities; enlisted support from celebrities like Dustin Hoffman, Matt Damon, David Hyde Pierce, etc., including Colin Farrell, arranging for Farrell to visit AO victims & centers in Viet Nam; promoted press stories & editorials on AO in major American media [e.g. New York Times, Vanity Fair]; and, in 2007, opened a small office in New York City to further expand its work.
Dick Lord [President] - the former head of Lord, Geller & Federico and Lord Dentsu, Dick was a founding member of the Shoeshine Boys Foundation, a small non-profit founded in the early ‘70s to raise support for “dust of life” street-children in Viet Nam. Dick designed “Help Dick Hughes” ads that ran in major magazines throughout the U. S. and, more recently, authored a very moving appeal on the struggles of Agent Orange victims in VN titled “Wars Never End”.
Fred Jackson [Vice-President] – an original founding member of Shoeshine Boys Foundation, Fred worked at The New Yorker Magazine from 1962-72 & helped get the HDH ads placed in major magazines throughout the country. A former publisher of Mademoiselle Magazine, Fred, among other things, helped with media contacts for the Foundation’s fundraising and has done the same for the Loose Cannons, Inc. effort. He is currently living in Westport, CT.
Jerry Heymann [Treasurer] - a theatre director and businessman, Jerry has supported Dick Hughes’ Viet Nam projects since the early 90s when Dick was spearheading a human rights’ campaign to help two former colleagues in VN and, presently, securing funding for LCI’s operating expenses, as well as a generous portion of the yearly grants to the DaNang/Quang Nam Fund helping Agent Orange victims in VN.
George Carrano [Secretary] – formerly one of the MTA’s senior analysts on the agency’s Metrocard program and a former IT support member at Ogilvy & Mather, George has also assisted a number of programs like Streetvision, helping poor children in VN tell of their lives through photography, and NYC’s housing program [NYCHA] residents author moving self-portraits for the forthcoming book Project Lives.
Alan C Brown, MD [Officer] - A 2017 addition to the Board, Alan is a retired eye surgeon who has followed Mr. Hughes' work since the early 80's when the two became acquainted in his medical office. Dr. Brown has admired and supported the work that Mr. Hughes has accomplished over the years and has recently taken on a more active role, especially in the internship program.
Dick Hughes [Officer] – an actor and humanitarian, was the founder of the Shoeshine Boys Project [1968-76] in Viet Nam and has been working on healing the wounds of that war ever since. His current inspiration on raising awareness of the plight of victims in VN comes from the late Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths’ compelling “Agent Orange, ‘Collateral Damage’ in Viet Nam” book.
In the future, LCI – having incorporated in 2010 into a non-profit corporation - plans to:
Increase awareness and a sense of urgency about the AO problem;
Funnel third-party support to charities & individuals working with AO victims;
Employ its NYC office as an AO contact point & resource center;
Encourage foundations & governments to address the AO problem on a larger scale [including: aid to victims and their families; mapping out affected areas & populations; building rehabilitation facilities; expanding dioxin remediation; etc.].