How did the Vietnam War impact US veterans?


There was a wide range of impact on the young men who served. Some spent their whole tour of duty in headquarters companies and never saw the enemy. Some had their only contact with the enemy through occasional mortar rounds dropping in on them which was very demoralizing because by the time you had a chance to regroup and go after them, they were long gone. The infantry men were the most impacted as they fought a war in which it was very difficult at times to determine where the enemy was. Also by the time I returned home after serving up near the DMZ and at Pleiku, the war had become unpopular. It was a very uncomfortable trip home wearing my worn fatigues so that everyone in theplanes and airports knew I was coming home from Vietnam. There was no words of encouragement, only tons of questions about the validity of the war which was something that was not on my mind at all, just doing a job that I was sent to do and following orders. Like many others I returned home, got a job, married, raised a family without ever any recognition for the time in Vietnam. I hadn't realized that it bothered me until the Gulf War veterans returned home with parades and publicity. In my late 50's I started to feel a little hurt about it. I do not have problems with stress related issues other than when I have stress in my after war life, and then something shows up reminding me of Vietnam it will hit me harder.

Yet many unlike me had to deal with the thought of killing a man in Vietnam. some of the people could not rejoint back into society, and the became Hobos, thugs, and killers. it is sad to see my fellow man turn into that before my very eyes, and some i regret telling you killed themselves. People ridiculed us and we werent treated like heroes more like demons traitors of the people, even though we were following orders in the army some didnt even want to be apart of. We fought hard not for our sargent or general but for our country and our family, and i believe we deserve the same respect as eney other war veteran.