Vietnam Veterans

Picture of Vietnam veterans
Image is from The Vietnam Veterans Memoral Wall Page

    The stories of Vietnam veterans coming home reveal how bitterly divided the country was.  Some veterans were belittled by people who referred to them as ‘baby-killers’ or ‘crazy Vietnam vets.’  It was common that even family and friends did not want to talk about the war with them, and when they did, they brought it up in a very negative manner.  Some veterans feel they were stereotyped during and after the war, especially the stereotype concerning drugs and alcohol.  However, some veterans feel that the Vietnam veteran’s image has improved throughout the years because the veterans took care of each other (i.e. building the Wall).  In my own experience in my Vietnam Literature class, many veterans experienced guilt and other hardships after returning home from Vietnam.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
    There are many and varied health problems suffered by Vietnam veterans as a direct result from their service in the war.  http://www4.tpgi.com.au/users/garymcma/ptsd.htm focuses on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The trauma that caused PTSD came from the constant stress of combat, but the social alienation of Vietnam veterans, ostracized by the community instead of being welcomed home, has contributed to the problems of PTSD.


VVA—Vietnam Veterans of America
    Founded in 1978, VVA is the only national Vietnam veterans organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam era veterans and their families.  One of their goals is to create a new identity for this generation of veterans.  T learn all about the VVA, go to http://www.vva.org/   Here, you can explore the history of the VVA, as well as their purpose, accomplishments, resolutions, membership information, meetings, special events, and much more.


The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Page
    http://www.thewall-usa.com/ is a page dedicated to honoring those who died in the Vietnam war, and it is also very special to those today who fought in Vietnam.  The Wall itself is located in Washington, DC.  This site includes a photo gallery, literary section (with poetry, short stories, etc. all pertaining to Vietnam), statistics, and an area where you can type a name in to locate it on the Wall.

Vietnam War Timeline and Background Information
    To put Vietnam in its proper perspective, it is necessary to understand that the US Military was not defeated in Vietnam and that the South Vietnamese government did not collapse due to mismanagement or corruption, nor was it overthrown by revolutionary guerrillas running around in rubber tire sandals, wearing black pajamas and carrying home made weapons.  There was no “general uprising” or “revolt” by the southern population.  A conventional army made up of seventeen conventional divisions, organized into four army corps, overran Saigon.  This totally conventional force (armed, equipped, trained and supplied by the Soviet Union) launched a cross border, frontal attack on South Vietnam and conquered it, in the same manner as Hitler conquered most of Europe in WWII.  A quick synopsis of America’s “Vietnam experience” will help summarize and clarify the Vietnam scenario:

For a more in-depth timeline, click on http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/vietnam/timeline.htm

Vietnam War Statistics
    For statistics about the Vietnam War, click on http://www.no-quarter.org/html/jake.html
You will find statistics covering just about everything, such as race and ethnic background, honorable service (did you know that 66% of Vietnam vets say they would serve again if called upon), winning and losing (did you know that 82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will?), socio-economic status, casualties, draftees vs. volunteers, etc.



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