Coming Home From Vietnam

July 30, 2011

As most will recall the Vietnam War was not very popular.  later it would be proved that the whole War had been based in a lie.  There was no Gulf of Tonkin attack which basically was the excuse used to escalate the War.  I don’t really know off-hand what this war cost in treasure but there were 44,000 US service people killed.  I’ve already indicated in a previous blog that an estimated 20%-30% of returnees suffered from PTSD.  I was one of them.

I remember when I was “short” the word used to indicate that you had only a short time left to serve in Vietnam.  All I could think of were the movies I had seen which always had the guy who was ready to return home and then gets killed as part of the tear jerk effort of the writers to get us to cry.  When it was me in this position I was only very aware of my surroundings and took no crazy chances.  Because of the nature of this War taking precautions didn’t seem to matter because you heard stories, all the time, about guys and gals getting killed in some strange and freak way.  I would have hated even more to have served a whole year only to be killed at the end. 

I couldn’t wait to see my family and friends again.  I would be basically out of the service when I got home.  I do remember my commander calling me into his office towards the end and promising me a promotion to Captain if I would re-up (sign for another 2 years).  I told him I already was going to be getting a promotion.  He asked “What do you mean?”  I told him I was going to become a civilian.  He wasn’t amused but I think he got my answer pretty clearly.

I didn’t realize how much I was holding inside.  I was so focused on coming home that I hadn’t much thought about anything else.  I wanted to get back to normal again.  Little did I realize this was impossible.  I will talk mare about this in a future blog.