vietnam vets

vietnam vets - Greenhalgh 1 Shaun Greenhalgh English 134...

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Greenhalgh 1 Shaun Greenhalgh English 134 Professor Maness November 28, 2006 From Hero to Homeless? “And then presently I came unattached from the natural world. I felt the hinges go. Eyes closed . . . I was down there with him, inside him. I was part of the night. I was the land itself—everything, everywhere—the fireflies and paddies, the moon, the midnight rustlings, the cool phosphorescent shimmer of evil—I was atrocity—I was Nam – the horror, the war.” (O’Brien). The flight back from that hellhole of a country was excruciating. He could not wait to get back on to American soil. The last 2 years in Vietnam had undoubtedly changed him but how different was he? The plane finally landed and the crowd of people outside reassured him that he was finally back home. He could not wait to see his family. But as he limped down the hard metal stairwell he was appalled by what was taking place. Behind all the eager family members of his comrades were people holding signs. Not signs of homecoming, but protest. He had served two of the longest years of his life and these people detested him solely for the cause he supported. They hadn’t been there. They didn’t know. This scene was homecoming for some troops upon returning from Vietnam. The war had garnered so much controversy and protests that innocent people involved with it were also caught up in the ordeal. Soldiers who had risked their lives day in and day out,
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Greenhalgh 2 most of which had been drafted, were turned into enemies, rather than begin embraced as the heroes they truly were. This mistreatment not only didn’t stop with the protestors, but the government also contributed to their troubles. The government cut veteran healthcare and benefits, basically crippling the lives of those already destroyed by the horrors of Vietnam. This is the first time in history that veterans became victims. This problem was even worse for those afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a common anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. This disorder affected more than one third of the men and women of the Vietnam War. This number is extraordinarily high among Vietnam vets compared to those of the earlier wars. This is due to the fact that combat in Vietnam involved stresses not identified with
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course ENG 134 taught by Professor Kirk during the Fall '06 term at Cal Poly.

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vietnam vets - Greenhalgh 1 Shaun Greenhalgh English 134...

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