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Vietnam: Memories, Nightmares, Regrets & Fate

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posted on May, 28 2009 @ 03:29 PM
reply to post by dazbog

I cry sometimes also. For years I couldn't and when it started I wondered if it would ever end.... I nearly have a panic attack when I hear the national anthem in public and can't turn it off or see a young man with closely cropped hair that reminds me of someone that I knew that was terribly wounded or killed. I cry when I hear civilians and servicemen and women that want to perpetrate wars on people that they don't know because they always accept what they are told of them as truth..... What saddens me the most are those that have lived through combat and escape severe injury, scars of battle and death, to return home and find out that they have emotional scars, that will never go away and are always going to be there in their souls until they take their last breath..... The families of the men and women that are afflicted with survivors guilt, debilitating memories, and deeply ingrained behaviours that result in periods of hyper vigilance and uncontrollable outburst of anger.They live the hell of war with their combat veteran family member as well and deserve a lot of respect as well. I have cried with and for them and they in turn shed tears for their veteran.

posted on May, 28 2009 @ 04:19 PM

Originally posted by dazbog
Mr Rabbit
Sorry to hear of your loss, however, after having read all the posts I tend to feel a bit differently.
My heart is pounding and I am furious. I was in VietNam from 68 > 69 and went through the TET offensive at Phan Rang. I hear this a lot lately," Thank you for your service to your Country " "Thank you for protecting our freedoms" WHAT ?! What the hell are they talking about ? Can anyone remember when these things have been threatened ? Not in my life time. And in no way, shape or form, did ANYONE have to die to protect said freedoms ! It is nonsense and warm fuzzy talk for people who don't have a clue about Wars or why they are fought. And Yes I am a disabled COMBAT vet. I am not all that proud of what I participated in, or why I did it. I still don't know why we went to that bloody swamp. MIAs POWs and 50.000 plus DEAD ! For What ? If you ever bump into me don't even think about saying that protecting our freedom crap. No disrespect to anyone.
I still cry sometimes, like now, not sure why.

Here is the "thing" about the Vietnam war: still, after 40 years, we/you/I don't know when it's ok to say something about the Vietnam war, and just plain don't know WHAT to say about the Vietnam war. The Vietnam war is like this fragile subject, it has all this mystery around it and it seems as though even this many years later, that mystery is going to have to remain. Maybe that's best, I don't know. I am female and had friends who served there, most of them slightly older than me. I have a friend from way back that I still hang out with, and he told me he was working on a neighbor's car in the driveway and it backfired, and he (my friend) hit the ground, he said he had a backflash from Vietnam, and this was just a couple years ago.

[edit on 28-5-2009 by Bombeni]

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 03:25 PM
reply to post by Bombeni

There are many reasons for the forty + years of of secrets on both sides..... I can only speak from my perceptions of why this is and my views are those of a combatant............ We were not able to share anything with anyone except those that shared the same kind of experiences that we did..........This was extremely difficult because only one out of ten of those that went to Vietnam actually were involved in combat and found it hard to trust a lot of veterans that claimed to be.......... Many of them were making up things that weren't true, and just trying their best to make an impression that they were some kind of Rambo.................. Small time criminals that were released from prison that claimed to have served time for refusing to be drafted or shipped to Vietnam were accepted as heroes in most circles due to the popularity of the peace movement..... Even now being a Vietnam combat veteran merits status behind bars and there are so many making this claim that they actually out number the total amount of people that served during the entire war........... We have been portrayed as homicidal psychopathic criminals on TV and movies, homeless drug addicts or alcoholics, and just about every other kind of weirdo or loser................ We were war babies that grew up during a period when the veterans that fought in WWII were our parents and neighbors that were treated with respect and dignity......... If they lost their cool and raised their voices it was overlooked, as was the fact that a lot of them self medicated with booze and tobacco.............We were programmed in school and on TV to fear and hate communist and that a bushwacker was a coward but we set out ambushes every night and bushwacked our enemy................. We couldn't tell anyone that asked questions about what it was like without someone telling us that we had not seen # compared to this person or that, who had served in the Pacific or Europe during WWII, though our war was non stop with no months at a time breaks............. We spent months away from primitive base camps living in the jungle, soaking wet for weeks at a time, without food for days at a time and unable to evacuate our wounded or dead due to weather conditions............. At other times we were in situations that were so physically demanding that people died from heat exhaustion or from falling down the side of a slick mountain trail............ Jungle rot, dysentery, emersion foot malaria, insect bites that resulted in festering sores and boils were just another day in the life of a Marine on the D.M.Z.....Our Thirteen month tour resulted in injuries not at all unlike the ones suffered by professional foot ball players except we didn't get the care available to them................ Add to everything we were the ones that have been blamed for the outcome of a war that was created to go on for ever, providing profit for the huge corporations that were producing war materiel that was also being brokered on the black market and never reaching the troops............... We have seen so many politicians make glorious patriotic speeches in front of veteran gatherings across the country, honoring us for our service to the country, and then voting against anything to benefit us, while awarding uncontested contracts to Halliburton...........I guess that what it all boils down to, is that whenever someone thanks me for my service to the country, I am reminded of all of those that were injured, maimed , killed and broken in other ways.....I am also reminded of what it was like to be treated as a second class citizen for many many years and still resented by some for reminding them of that era.............. I sometimes feel that the Disabled Veteran license plate on my car makes it a target for grocery carts when I am parked in handicapped parking spaces............. We all had to work at not letting people know that we served in Vietnam for so long in order to escape criticism or worse and now in recent years we are again feeling exploited by being recognized for our service by politicians as a means to not deter young men today from going into the military............................. I realize that people are sincere in their thanks and have learned to accept it as such, but at the same time it is a shocking event after all of these years and somehow starts a snowballing flow of thoughts and feelings.

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 03:51 PM
reply to post by hypervigilant

Thanks for sharing hypervigilant. You pretty much nailed what I was trying to convey with what very very little I know about any of it. I wish it was different though. I understand the delayed embracing of the returning Vietnam Vets was done amongst the vets themselves, many years later. But was it enough? Or too little too late?

I'd be curious to read a current high school history book on the Vietnam war. I suppose what it says now is different from what it said 10 years ago, and is different from what it will say 10 years from now, if that makes sense.

[edit on 29-5-2009 by Bombeni]

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 11:24 PM
This really made me cry in a way I can not even put into words.
I may only be in my 20's but the Vietnam War has intensely effected my life.

My father was in the war, and I feel as if that war stole him from me and robbed me of my father.
Things were decent when I was young he was a good dad from what I could understand.
Then when 911 happened everything changed.
The memories that were lost in the face of every day normal life were ripped to the surface.
He started to get depressed, use drugs and just be mean and cruel.
I didn't even care what he did to me, that didn't bother me.
I just couldn't handle him being so mean and thoughtless towards my mother.
I see my mother just as much a hero of the war as any vet, as she went through and never gave up on the battle of trying to save my father from the memories he had.
She had to fight and battle for his life just as all those soldiers did.
He had constant flash backs and anger problems putting mine, his and mothers life in danger.
It's very hard at times to simply not blame him (I can't honestly say I love him) as I see some vets who live healthy normal lives and are stable.
So a lot of the times I put the blame on him.
I know it's a horrible thing to do, to blame him but I can't help it.
It's just a very hard struggle to live to see your own father do things a daughter should have to see.
To never see my father do the things a daughter should see him do.
He's been in and out of PSTD programs since I was about 12.
I am now 23 and he is not any better if not worse, he is now 63 soon to be 64.
We did not just have immediate loss of loved ones, husbands and fathers, we also have the casualties of those who were mentally lost during those times, who only returned to be a shell of who they once were.
I never knew my father, I see him everyday and I will never truly know him.
I know he'll never get better.I know the day he dies I probably won't cry for the loss of him but for the fact that this thing called the Vietnam War kept me from being able to love my father, and for the relief for the relief of knowing that his mind is no longer a prisoner of the days he spent in Vietnam.

My heart goes out to all the men who have suffered from this war.
I wish every day that I could take those images and mental pain away some how some way and make them be those young boys again that they left as.

To those of you who have found a way to cope and deal and live happy lives you are such strong individuals and should be so proud of yourselves.

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 11:39 PM
reply to post by Dave Rabbit

Thanks for sharing this touching story with us. By the grace ofgod you survived, unfortunately your friend did not. I'm sure wherever he is, he's glad you made it out.

posted on May, 31 2009 @ 10:37 AM
reply to post by pop_science

Little girl, you too are very much a casualty of the same senseless war that your father was..... I am very angry that so many people and especially little children become secondary victims to the hell that their fathers went through when they were still in their formative years and barely old enough to make mature choices..... You and those like you aren't forgotten by me. Thank you so very much for sharing a story that everyone that makes war should hear.

posted on May, 31 2009 @ 11:05 AM

Originally posted by Bombeni
reply to post by hypervigilant

. I understand the delayed embracing of the returning Vietnam Vets was done amongst the vets themselves, many years later. But was it enough? Or too little too late?
Yes we had to come together and recognize our own, as well as raise the money for a National Monument that memorialised those that were killed. .Jimmy Carter help us more than any other president with the Vietnam Vet Centers and P.T.S.D. treatment programs....... As for it being enough or too little to late....... I wish that it had never was and is ever again an issue to be considered and that warfare is something that only existed in ancient history.

[edit on 29-5-2009 by Bombeni]

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