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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/2/2002 6:21:46 PM EST
I ask the following question with the utmost respect for all Vets, especially those that served in such an unpopular war as Vietnam. I am grateful what all Vets have done for me so I can enjoy the freedom I celebrate this week. But onto the question..... Vietnam vets and their suffering of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is still big news in todays age, yet it has almost been 30 years since the end of the war. Various news agencies and the Vets themselves seam to stress this point over and over again. I have heard/read that soldiers in Vietnam saw more days of action then other wars, but were they really under more stress and pressure than those vets of WWII, Korea, or earlier wars? Was it society and their return home that caused these problems? Or did men of pervious generations just handle things differently? I have meet a few WWII vets and yes they still talk about the crap they saw but for the most part have moved on with their lives. My father spent 2 years in Vietnam and he also put it behind him. Again, I admire what these men/boy have done for me and the USA. But why does it appear that society/news focuses more on the PTS of these soldiers then any other war? No flames in any way are meant. If anyone was insight I am more than willing to learn. What was so different about Vietnam? Was it what the soldiers actually experienced there or what was going on here at home. [bday]Thank You and Happy Independence Day![bday] Sgtar15
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:29:13 PM EST
Speaking as a Non-Veteran, and was too young to remember the Vietnam War, here is my take: 1. The "War" was unpopular with much of the "elite--(I use that term VERY loosely)" here in the USA. 2. A lot of the young guys sent over there got the message beforehand that it was a lost cause or that the soldiers were "babykillers". In WWI and II, they were sent over with the utmost respect and support of their countrymen. 3. A lot of the "Post Traumatic Stress" guys (if I recall properly) have been "outed" to show that they were clerks that were never near Vietnam, or in similar situations (no combat)--kind of like if Al Gore claimed to have PTSD. 4. There were some from previous wars (probably the same percentage as TRULY have PTSD from Vietnam) that were called "Shell Shocked". 5. The return home for the Vietnam Vets wasn't very pleasant either--being met by protesters instead of cheering crowds probably didn't help. AFARR
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:30:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By sgtar15: Was it society and their return home that caused these problems? Or did men of pervious generations just handle things differently? I have meet a few WWII vets and yes they still talk about the crap they saw but for the most part have moved on with their lives. My father spent 2 years in Vietnam and he also put it behind him. Sgtar15
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Although I'm not a Vet I would say this has something to do with it. People looked down upon what they did and made them feel guilty for what they did. I've never had to shoot anyone but I know from other people that it's horrible and it certainly doesn't help when people drill into your head that it was for an unjust cause.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:33:11 PM EST
I'm surprised that you asked this question. I've often wondered if vietnam was more terrorizing than other wars and what was the cause of this fact/impression.It seeems that digging suicidal Japanese out of jungle caves would be as bad as anything,but maybe it has to do with all the confusion and halfassed support of Vietnam. I never knew how to ask without seeming to offend. I too have the utmost respect for any person that has served and whatever experiences they might have had.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:35:59 PM EST
Speaking as the son of a Vietnam Vet, I can say I am thankful I don't have firsthand experience with this. However, I suspect that a lot of it has to do with the fact that a large number of people did not WANT to be over there or even in the military. Mentally accepting what it is you are doing goes a long way to being able to deal with the stress and push through it... I also suspect that a large portion of these 'claims' are BS, as AFARR pointed out.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:36:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:37:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By byron2112: I'm surprised that you asked this question. I never knew how to ask without seeming to offend.
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This question has been on my mind for awhile. I too did not know how to ask it without offending, I hope I accomplished that. Sgtar15
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:41:53 PM EST
My father also served two tours in Vietnam. He was a "lifer". Sergent, Army Infantry in the field (not a REMF in the rear with the gear like almost 70% of personnel who served in Vietnam, there are numbers to support that claim). He told me growing up of all the "hard times" he and his platoons faced in the war. Watching "boys" get blasted to pieces by an unseen foe, fighting to save a village that gets blasted into dust by the Air Force the next day, not making friends with the FNGs cause they weren't going to live to the DEROS. Fron what he told me over several years Vietnam was very different than WW2 or Korea for many reasons. Most of the troops DID NOT WANT TO BE THERE, America was only half in favor of a "police action" in the beginning then turning to outright hatred of the soldiers and the war. In the 'Nam, death could come from any direction at any time. There where no "front lines" or "secured zones" like in previous wars, even the rear echelon support and resuply troops got. But for the PFC in the field carrying that heavy pack death was around every corner. The harsh fighting in the pacific during WW2 is the only thing that I can imagine would come close to the day in day out fear that the infantry must have suffered. Will I be shot down in an ambush? Will I step on a mine or a toe-popper and get my legs blown off? Is that a bunker or ambush in the trees in front of me? Is that civilian going to kill me if I turn my back? Can I sleep or will I get my throat slit in the night? Is that ARVN soldier really my friend? Can I trust anyone in this damn country? How would you turn out after a solid year of that?
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:45:46 PM EST
As a veteran let me offer this up: The vets from WWII and Korea suffered just as much (if not more) from post war stress. They just didn't have Hollywood shits like Tom Cruse crying about it in the movies all the time. Just remember that it was to the advantage of the Liberals to make the Vietnam vets seem like they were victims. It gave support to their contention that we should never have opposed the good and just expansion of communism.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:02:06 PM EST
Imagine yourself in a land that's 110 degrees and 100% humidity all the time. You have to piss in dirty jungle ponds then drink from those same ponds after putting a pill into the canteen. You walk past smiling Vietnamese farmers in the day and your buddies die from their AK-47s at night. Any Vietnamese you see could be the enemy. Think we're paranoid here? The Vietcong would strap bombs to kids and then force them to walk in front of them. They would then make them run up to American GIs and detonate the explosives. What do you do? You shoot the kids. You have to. They would cut the dicks and balls off American POWs and stick them in their mouths, then kill them. Imagine you a soldier dealing with everything above, then come across stuff like this. Then you come home to liberals yelling "baby killer" and other rediculous slurs. They think you're a killer, they think you're crazy. Of all the fellow soldiers that survived the war in my buddy's squad, he is the only survivor today. Except for one that had a heart attack, all of them killed themselves, most of them recently. All but one had families. The flashbacks never go away. Need other examples why Vietnam vets have PTSD?
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:14:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/2/2002 7:14:50 PM EST by QCMGR]
Try this. If you have not read it it will answer most of your questions. I am a veteran and I was amazed. I bought a copy for may dad, (he was a Vietnam veteran)he loved it. It was the last book he read before he died. I was glad he knew the truth. [url]http://www.vhfcn.org/stolenvalor.htm[/url] [url]http://www.newsmax.com/hottopics/B.G._Burkett_-_Stolen_Valor.shtml[/url]
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:18:07 PM EST
I have asked this same question to my father and 2 cousins who served in Vietnam in past. Their answer may or may not apply here because all 3 served not in US military but ROK military. My father served almost 2 years as medical officer in Vietnam so he saw very little "actual" combat. After his return he said he was just glad when he came back home and only had mild form of sleeplessness and nightmares for about 3 years. He served another 2 years in the military when he returned and during that time he said he used to talked to several others who served in Vietnam. After about 2 years he said he sort of put it all behind him and went on with his life. One of my cousin served for 18 months as a "grunt" with ROK marine. He said he had a lot of problems for about 5 months when he returned. I guess he had what we know now as PTS. He said what really helped him was that he was still in the active military among many other grunts that also served in Vietnam. He said just talking about his experience with others who were also there and know what he was talking about helped a lot. He said it took about 3 years to "get over it"... but not totally. Even now, he said he has very vivid dreams of some incidents once in a while and would awake with cold sweat. He doesn't think he will ever totally "get over it". He left the military in 1997 after serving 31 years. My second cousin served in Vietnam for total of 8 months in the ROC Army. He came back early because he was wounded (not too serious) but he had a lot of problems after returning... not from his injury but from the death of his squad and best friend. I still don't know the whole story but I did hear that his friend died in his arms of some wound and that he carried his friends body out of the jungle for 2 days. I also heard that he was the only survivor among his squad. When he returned he developed chronic manic depression that lasted for years. He had the classic PTS symptoms. He ended up spending about 4 years in various hospitals. Only ater about 10 years did he seemed more "normal". My father thinks, and I agree, that the reason he and my first cousin did well after returning was that they were both surrounded by others that served in Vietnam and they talked about their individual experiences. My second cousin didn't have that time to spend with others and didn't do so well for many years. I think this was the problem with US vets. I believe most who served in Vietnam were let out of the military soon after returning back. They didn't have the time to talk about what happened so they held it all inside until it ate away at their mind and spirit. Just my $0.02 worth.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:20:05 PM EST
I would say the stress was greater for the Viet Nam vets because they did not have many lulls in action to regroup their senses, relieve stress, and develop any coping mechanisms. I think the constant combat compared to what U.S. Vets in other wars faced was a deciding factor. I personally don't believe the welcome they got when they came home was a factor in contributing to the disease.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:36:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By Atencio: I would say the stress was greater for the Viet Nam vets because they did not have many lulls in action to regroup their senses, relieve stress, and develop any coping mechanisms. I think the constant combat compared to what U.S. Vets in other wars faced was a deciding factor. I personally don't believe the welcome they got when they came home was a factor in contributing to the disease.
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You have it backwards. Read SLA Marshals account of Vietnam. Also read Stolen Valor.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:38:11 PM EST
In WWII I think it was called "shell shock", and poorly understood. In fact, do we really understand it now? Was it for this that Patton slapped a guy in the hospital? I was not 'in country', but offshore. And even I caught crap from civilians. And let me tell you, it didn't end with the sell-out and collapse of the South. Even in '90, I found myself throwing it right back at some local wannabe fonda who had to yak about how proud she was to help stop the imperialist U.S. This was at the same rec dept ball game where I laughed at another lefty who had his bikini briefs in a bunch that this guy named Rush Limbaugh had a right to actually go on the radio and have FREE SPEECH. I think one big difference was that WWII there were clear enemies, and it wasn't a question of ideology or North vs. South. Another part is that 60 years ago we were more unified, and not so soft-headed. How long do you think Dan Rather would have lasted back then? I remember a lot of bitterness over Korea, lots of people around where I grew up had lost family members there or they were wounded. I think that was the seed for our social division in the 60's about VN. I agree, more attention is paid to the head cases these days. The apt. mgr. I had for a while was a WWII vet who woke up screaming every night, so they're around. Remember, too, a lot of the suffering heroes have died since VE and VJ.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:52:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By Flash66: As a veteran let me offer this up: The vets from WWII and Korea suffered just as much (if not more) from post war stress.
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My father was a rifleman in Korea. He is 72 years old and still suffers from what is now called delayed stress syndrome. It's obvious to everyone except him. The Infantrymen in Korea suffered terribly. Once the war turned static it was hard living in trenches and dugouts ala' WWI. It was snipers waiting for you to peek over the trench line. It was unmerciful artillery barrages. It was the pointless waste of men and material to take a hill and later abandon it. It was patrols into no mans land to make a prisoner snatch. It was monsoon rains, blistering heat and deadly cold. It was trying to tell a South Korean refugee from a North Korean sapper dressed as a refugee. It was hoping the peace talks succeed before your number was up. It was human wave attacks, blowing horns, banging gongs and bodies left to putrefy in the summer heat. It was coming home alone to no marching bands, no parades and non of the adulation that their older brothers got a few years earlier. It was in the end a stalemate that ended right where it started. It was a tie. It was the precursor to Vietnam.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:57:29 PM EST
I suspect it happened about as much after WWII and Korea, but nobody was looking for it (or didn't want to admit it when they found it.) Certainly plenty of US troops were treated for combat fatigue in all those conflicts, and the long-term damage is probably about the same, or possibly worse due to the more intense and concentrated violence. Talked to a WWII Okinawa Navy vet once. He still, 40 years after the war, had nightmares that involved hearing 5 in guns, then 40 mm, then 20 mm, then 50 cal, which corresponded to a "bad day" of a kamakaze diving on the ship. He'd wake up just after the 50 cal, kind of like those falling from a great height dreams. It makes we wonder if the Greeks or Romans had similar problems with combat fatigue/post traumatic stress.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 8:07:03 PM EST
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been around for a very long time. Military medicine had recognized this condition with a variety of labels. During the Civil War the condition was called "Soldier's Heart." By WWI, it was re-named "Shell Shock," and during WWII, "Battle Fatigue." Korean War veterans were diagnosed with "War Neurosis," and "Vietnam Syndrome" was the label for that generation of veterans. VA was service connecting former combatants with a "Nervous Condition" or some other type of disorder prior to the advent of PTSD. Source: The American Legion
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 8:27:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/2/2002 8:27:58 PM EST by colinjay]
heres something interesting... [url] www.suicidewall.com [/url]
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:04:19 AM EST
I've had a PTS flashback. A total of one occurance. To make a long story short, I had been blown-up in a training accident. About a year later, during similar training, while I was sleeping (which is the exact same situation of the original accident) an explosion went off. For a split second, before I truly woke up, I was in the middle of the original incident. The pain, the fear, everything was completely real. I CANNOT stress enough that it was absolutely real to me. It lasted only a split second, like I said. I was also in an exhausted condition. The situation was so similar as to be a duplicate. Even though it was only a split second, it was not a fun time. I would not recommend the trip to anyone. Also realize that I was only injured in a simple training accident and not even seriously. It was nothing compared to what a year in Vietnam (or anywhere) would be like. It really opened my eyes as to just how fragile the mind is. Now later in my career I was exposed to all sorts of things (none of them combat, but aircraft crashes, etc.). I won't get into details there either, but they were things I would have thought to give me nightmares but don't. Your mind does wierd stuff. I really looked into it after my "flashback" for the obvious reason that I wanted to make sure I wasn't a loon. Understand that the horrors of combat really don't change, and neither do people that much. What changes is society's preception and acceptance. Since Vietnam, PTS has acutally been far more examined than previously. So the result is better diagnosis, and better recognition of the illness as opposed to "slipping through the cracks" as happened so much in the past. Also the media society that developed during the TV War also lead to a greater exposure of the disorder. There wasn't anything special about Vietnam compared to other wars, it was just that our undestanding was much better. I've never had another flashback. Like I said it was only a split-second, sort of a "Whoa!...man, that sucked!" I recognized it on the spot for what it was. I think if you didn't know what was going on (like in the cases of earlier combat vets), you'd have a pretty hard time with it. I can't emphasize how real it was. If you didn't know what was going on, you'd think you were going crazy and because of that probably really go crazy. I do not consider myself to suffer from PTSD. I've never had any other problems than that one falshback, so no biggie to me. And I do not compare a small event that lasted minutes to the hell of combat. But it really opened my eyes. "There but for the grace of God go I" Ross
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:11:50 AM EST
Some dumb ass throw an Artillery Simulator too close to your tent? Aviator [img]www.milpubs.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:23:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/3/2002 4:27:21 AM EST by Ross]
Originally Posted By Aviator: Some dumb ass throw an Artillery Simulator too close to your tent? Aviator [img]www.milpubs.com/aviator.gif[/img]
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Actually some dumbass threw one into my sleeping bag while I was sleeping in it[:D] Hell of a way to wake up! Blew feathers and polyester EVERYWHERE! Didn't do me a hell of a lot of good either, but like I said, I wasn't even injured seriously. Burns mostly (on my ass and leg). Oddly enough my first thoughts while the bag disintegrated around me in a bright flash was that I'd have to pay for that damn fart sack. Strange things go through your mind in the middle of things. Like I said, nothing compared to the real thing, but if it could give me a single flashback incident, I could only imagine how the GIs fighting in New Guinea, Vietnam, Korea, or Gettysburg were effected. I guess I'm just a wuss[;)] Ross Edited because of a naughty word I typed in there. Forgot I wasn't on the "darkside" aka AK
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:25:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By Ross: Actually some dumbass threw one into my sleeping bag while I was sleeping in it[:D] Ross
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Ay Carumba! Aviator [img]www.milpubs.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:27:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By Kroagnon: Imagine yourself in a land that's 110 degrees and 100% humidity all the time. You have to piss in dirty jungle ponds then drink from those same ponds after putting a pill into the canteen. You walk past smiling Vietnamese farmers in the day and your buddies die from their AK-47s at night. Any Vietnamese you see could be the enemy. Think we're paranoid here?
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This sounds like southwest Houston in the middle eighties...
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:27:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By Flash66: As a veteran let me offer this up: The vets from WWII and Korea suffered just as much (if not more) from post war stress. They just didn't have Hollywood shits like Tom Cruse crying about it in the movies all the time. Just remember that it was to the advantage of the Liberals to make the Vietnam vets seem like they were victims. It gave support to their contention that we should never have opposed the good and just expansion of communism.
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I agree with Flash on this. WW1/WW2/Korean vets suffered just as much PTSD as Vietnam and there were a number of reasons that people where not aware of this. The term for PSTD prior to Vietnam was "Shell Shock" and it wasn't understood. In fact, people who were diagnosed as having "Shell Shock" were commonly frowned upon and thought of as cowards. Shell Shocked people were also thought to be predisposed to mental illness, or were ill before entering the service, and the service aggravated the situation. You can see how these people were treated in some of the old war movies (Patton is the most obvious example..soldier slapping incident). They were treated as cowards and shunned by everyone, usually sent to a mental hospital for treatment. The other thing you mention about movies is true. It was just a different type of movie 50 years ago. They were more about the battle scenes, the heroism of the soldiers, and the emotionless leaders than it was about the emotions and feelings of the soldiers. Can you imagine John Wayne acting in any of these newer movies? I'm not saying that either genre was better, just that different times resulted in different movies.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:36:14 AM EST
Certainly true, but there were several excellent movies to come out of WWII that actually addressed the issue. "The Best Years of Our Lives" was probably the best and looks at three returning GIs and their diffculty adjusting back to civillian life. If you eveer get a chance to watch it, do so. It's an amazing movie. Others also addressed the issue, though not as openly. It was sort of the first steps by people to understand why GI Joe just wasn't the same guy anymore. Most of the wartime movies were just propaganda, but the immeadiate post-war movies (like "...Best Years..." and "Battleground") did an excellent job at showing just how the war really sucked when you were fighting it. I'm convinced that it has been this way for as long as we ahve had wars, and will contiune to be so. Ross
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:40:49 AM EST
Vietnam was different in many aspects, psychologically than any war we had fought to that date. Up through WWII, according to the most accurate statistics available, 10-15% of soldiars were willing to fire their rifles and of those 2-3% shot to kill, therefor most shot over their enemies head. After WWII, the US armed forces tried and succeeded in increasing the numbers of soldiars willing to fight. During Korea the % jumped to 50%, and in Vietnam the percentage was 90%. Drugs were used, and the numbers of days in a year for sustained combat increased dramatically when comparing WWII and Vietnam. Thus the psychological affects were staggering for many Vietnam vets. Some of the tactics used to increase the odds were shooting humanoid targets, using hate psychology against thine enemy ie "sub humans, monsters, mutants, worthless, MFs etc.." And if you think about it, if you think of the enemy as a person it makes it harder to kill them. Ie thinking of them as a father, brother, human, or that some family will grieve over the loss of a family member. Makes it a little harder to splatter their brains on the wall. Soemthing else to think about, those who drank to get drunk as civilians or did drugs to escape tended to be the ones who had the most trouble with PTSD. What I often wonder if the above premise is true in regards to alcohol consumption and drugs, why does the military push for so much drinking? I can remember being stationed in Adak Alaska, we had 6 bars and one church. Nobody was carded and it was cheaper to buy alcohol at the package store. My only postulation is "unit cohesion", an immesurable asset for those who may die saving each others life. Anyways, a few thoughts on some of the reading I have done on the subject. If I must go to war, I will do it, but I won't be the first to step foreward and volunteer to be brainwashed or psychologically traumatized by killing people.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:42:51 AM EST
I don't recall the URL for it, but I've read where different armies tried different approaches to PTSD, and got interesting results. The Macho Man approach usually resulted in broken, deranged men who were combat ineffective and wrecked for life. The mollycoddling approach resulted in lifelong guilt and a lot of suicides. It made them feel like cowards. The approach that worked best was to pull the soldier off the line but keep him close to the front, acknowledge his trauma but make it clear that he had a job to do and that his squadmates needed him up there. By allowing the soldier to accept that he was messed up, and wasn't a coward for it, a much larger number of them pulled it together and got back on the line, with a significantly lower amount of long term mental issues.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 5:43:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By sgtar15: I have heard/read that soldiers in Vietnam saw more days of action then other wars, but were they really under more stress and pressure than those vets of WWII, Korea, or earlier wars? Was it society and their return home that caused these problems? Sgtar15
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Sgtar, good questions and asked in a sensitive manner. "Because helicopters and armored troop carriers (etc.) gave increased mobility to the U.S. forces in Vietnam, soldiers there were put more frequently into the line of fire than ever before. Foot soldiers in the South Pacific during World War II, for example, saw 40 days of fighting, on average, over 4 years. Their counterparts in Vietnam saw, on average, 240 days of fighting in a single year." ............"You were always on edge because you didn't know when the first round would come in. You were always on edge." (Source: Medal of Honor, by Thomas Kelley, Hyperion 2002, Chapter 11, page 263.) -------------------------------------------- As to society and the vets return home, I've always wondered if the problems faced by vets didn't have something to do with when they served. (And, therefore, when they came home.) I believe those who served from 1958 to about 1967 were probably no more stressed, on average, than those serving in prior wars. However, I believe those who served after about 1967 and were terribly treated upon their return home suffered more. (Simply an opinion.)
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 5:45:03 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 5:48:29 AM EST
People have suffered from PTSS, probably since wars began. It's just that the term "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome" didn't exist back then. People used to suffer from "consumption". People used to die of "exposure". Women used to get "the Vapors". Vets used to have shell shock. Nothing's changed, just the names.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 6:20:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/3/2002 6:25:05 AM EST by Noname]
A few facts and info... [url]http://www.nam-vet.net/stats1.html[/url] [url]http://www.vhfcn.org/stat.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 6:33:27 AM EST
Well I just gotta wade in on this one.. I worked with disabled Vietnam vets did volunteer work with paralyzed vets. I am a life member of both MOPH (Military Order of Purple Hearts) and DAV (disabled Veterans of America) One of the shittiest things I have heard people here say is that Vietnam vets with PTSD are the cause of their PTSD.. or that they were drug addicts or drunks prior to combat or that they are mostly liars and wannabes...what a crock of shit that is..I have had it out with the author of the book mentioned but wont go into that at this time.. PTSD is the result of exposure to combat...there is lots of debate as to the contributory factors but the main factor is exposure to combat and most notably having killed the enemy..witnessed enemy dead...wittnessed our dead and wounded..and direct contact with any or all of the above..and having been wounded oneself.. The largest contributing factor to a combat vet developing PTSD is age the aveage age of the WWII vet was somewhere around 27 yrs in Vietnam it was 19 The next factor is family support...if the vet got support at home the symptoms seem to be far less than in those who got little or no support.. The next factor with great impact is obviously the nature of one's physical wounds..and limitations imposed There are other factors but these are some of the major ones.. Not every one exposed to combat has a debilitating form of PTSD.. I'd wager that anyone who has been in combat has PTDS to one degree or another whether or not it becomes debillitating or not is not readily quantifiable. I personally know former Army nurses with severe PTSD...several Silver Star winners many with Bronze Stars ARCOMS with V in all branches of vietnam service..and many many purple heart winners.. While I agree with Burkette that VietNam vets had their valor stolen by liars in positions of power like the actor..Brian Dennehey who after being caught and confronted tried to spin another BS story (imo)...and Burkette names many others..and service organizations find these guys out...and publish their names or simply ask them quit lying as to out them sometimes seems to tarnish vets even more. The other stolen valor Burkette missed and even with his book promotes is the valor stolen from those grunts, rto's, fo's, fac's and medics and nurses of all branches of service who genuinely suffer from PTSD..and now are lumped in with the liars and wannabes..and mostly by yahoos who were never even in service let alone combat... So get off your high horses when diagnosing PTSD..and get some facts please! (Im trying to be polite) Start here..if you like.. [url]http://www.trauma-pages.com/goodwin.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 3:26:24 PM EST
by 5Subslr5 Sgtar, good questions and asked in a sensitive manner. "Because helicopters and armored troop carriers (etc.) gave increased mobility to the U.S. forces in Vietnam, soldiers there were put more frequently into the line of fire than ever before. Foot soldiers in the South Pacific during World War II, for example, saw 40 days of fighting, on average, over 4 years. Their counterparts in Vietnam saw, on average, 240 days of fighting in a single year." ............"You were always on edge because you didn't know when the first round would come in. You were always on edge." (Source: Medal of Honor, by Thomas Kelley, Hyperion 2002, Chapter 11, page 263.) -------------------------------------------- As to society and the vets return home, I've always wondered if the problems faced by vets didn't have something to do with when they served. (And, therefore, when they came home.) I believe those who served from 1958 to about 1967 were probably no more stressed, on average, than those serving in prior wars. However, I believe those who served after about 1967 and were terribly treated upon their return home suffered more. (Simply an opinion.)
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Interesting point but I would like to respctfully disagree. After spend 34 months in RVN I never knew of any ordinary GI spending 240 days "fighting". There have been exceptions but they were rare. The enemy was mostly hard to find and fought on their terms. Search and Destroy was mostly searching. Back in the 70s I worked with a guy who was a WWII Vet. He was a combat engineer who serve in N. Africa, Italy and the invasion of Europe. He was in battle almost constantly from Normandy until Germany surrendered. Although there was some intense fighting at times in Vietnam I don't think very many soldiers put up with the same thing as of D-day, Normandy campaign, Hertzon Forest(sp), Battle of the Bulge etc. Imagine the stress of a flyer in the 8th Air Corp. I think they had 80% killed or wounded. How about the Marines on Iwo Jima? Again, to reinterate my previous post the idea of extensive post war stress of the Vietnam vetran serves the purpose of the left too much. They wanted the soldier to feel guilt for fighting the hot part of the Cold War.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:54:53 PM EST
I ran into an old friend last week who is being treated by the VA for this. The only thing I have a hard time with is that he was on Okinawa during the war. I was there also. As far as I could tell he had no stress at all there. He even had his wife at the time with him. He definately has a mental problem, but I do not think it is service related. We were not combat vets so go figure. John
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 5:20:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By QCMGR: Try this. If you have not read it it will answer most of your questions. I am a veteran and I was amazed. I bought a copy for may dad, (he was a Vietnam veteran)he loved it. It was the last book he read before he died. I was glad he knew the truth. [url]http://www.vhfcn.org/stolenvalor.htm[/url] [url]http://www.newsmax.com/hottopics/B.G._Burkett_-_Stolen_Valor.shtml[/url]
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You need to read this book. Statistically Vietnam vets are behind the WWII and Korean Vets. They have been the best educated and most successful cohort in out history.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 7:13:06 PM EST
Other than flash 66 nobody here that posted has been to Viet-Nam, So I can tell you that you wont get any horror stories from anybody that has been there,in fact you can pull there teeth one by one and still not get them to say anything about the war. Only when they get really loose with one of their own,and mention something like operation starlight Chu-lie ect then they will open up. Because unless you have really been there you just won't understand. But I will agree everybody that came home from WW2 was a hero! Bob [8D]
Link Posted: 7/4/2002 4:50:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/4/2002 4:52:09 AM EST by liberty86]
I have PTSD. Read 9divdoc's post again. In my experience, age does have something to do with it. (I was 17). Any severe trauma can result in PTSD, ask those who survived WTC as well as workers who helped clean it up. I believe Korea and 'Nam were our first real wars that had such fragmented support. I don't think that really has anything to do with PTSD. I think the effect of trauma, and how the individual was able to deal with it does. There is also a lot of denial associated with PTSD. I know guys who suffer from it, but deny it's a problem. (IT is)...
Link Posted: 7/4/2002 9:48:16 AM EST
PTSD is a cumulative disease..People might go years without a sign of trouble then all of a sudden a simple thing like watching your child start to walk triggers it. War is War and it doesn't matter. The first time YOU are shot at and have to shoot at someone it sets you into a different category. I will not go into stories because you had to be there. DO you know that every one who watched WTC has some sort of PTSD. Do you know from that one incident and the threat of Terrorism will increase that PTSD. Some will go one and never worry others will need to talk or do something about it. Almost 30 yrs have past for me and I have replaced those thoughts and feelings with other things. They are there but you live with them. It will never be forgot because it was an experience that only you can have. Just like I hate the 4th of July. Kids blowing off Fireworks at 3am like this morning. Hearing the far off firecrackers like gun shots. When the sky light's up and feel the concussion. At one time anxiety would slip in that is a form of PTSD from Nam.
Link Posted: 7/4/2002 1:11:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By crowboy: 9divdoc hit it as he usually does, All you psycho "Experts" are so FOS, I am one RVN vet who is so very tired of hearing this crap. read the recommended reading that has been talked about every time this subject comes up or find a vet who really was there, But that might take some effort, its easier to listen to some shit that your buddies brother in law said (who never was in country) and then post your ignorance here, and unlike the Doc I am not trying to be polite. Gene C/1/503d/173d Abn brigade(SEP)- First to RVN 04/05/65
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Your right, most of us were not there. But by asking and trying to learn doesn't mean we are try to be "so-called experts". How else does someone learn unless we ask? I don't think anyone who has posted was being disrespectful in anyway, it sure wasn't my intent to be disrespectful. I appreciate what all vets have done for us/me. We want to understand what you Vets went thru, if you don't want to talk about it then that's fine, we look elsewhere for info. If you do want to talk then we will listen, as this is the best info available. But please don't consider our curiosity as disrespect. Thank You Sgtar15
Link Posted: 7/4/2002 1:25:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By sgtar15:
Originally Posted By crowboy: 9divdoc hit it as he usually does, All you psycho "Experts" are so FOS, I am one RVN vet who is so very tired of hearing this crap. read the recommended reading that has been talked about every time this subject comes up or find a vet who really was there, But that might take some effort, its easier to listen to some shit that your buddies brother in law said (who never was in country) and then post your ignorance here, and unlike the Doc I am not trying to be polite. Gene C/1/503d/173d Abn brigade(SEP)- First to RVN 04/05/65
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Your right, most of us were not there. But by asking and trying to learn doesn't mean we are try to be "so-called experts". How else does someone learn unless we ask? I don't think anyone who has posted was being disrespectful in anyway, it sure wasn't my intent to be disrespectful. I appreciate what all vets have done for us/me. We want to understand what you Vets went thru, if you don't want to talk about it then that's fine, we look elsewhere for info. If you do want to talk then we will listen, as this is the best info available. But please don't consider our curiosity as disrespect. Thank You Sgtar15
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Try this. If you have not read it it will answer most of your questions. I am a veteran and I was amazed. I bought a copy for may dad, (he was a Vietnam veteran)he loved it. It was the last book he read before he died. I was glad he knew the truth. [url]http://www.vhfcn.org/stolenvalor.htm[/url] [url]http://www.newsmax.com/hottopics/B.G._Burkett_-_Stolen_Valor.shtml[/url]
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