Vietnam vets isolated, deserve gratitude
At first glance, he looks like anyone else.
But, anyone that has lived with a Nam Vet knows better. He is not the young man you waved goodbye to at the airport. … Vietnam changed him. War changed him. Death changed him. Look closely into his eyes. You will see a depth there that cannot be entered. He will not share with you his memories. You are an outsider. He doesn’t want to keep you out; he just wants to keep you safe from his memories of Vietnam.
I’ve just read a post of the accidental death of a Vietnam Vet in Dallas, Texas and his family members declined to be involved in paying for final expenses. He lay at the Dallas County Medical Examiners Office for approximately two weeks. The VA and the Patriot Guard Riders gave him the services due him as a military veteran. This saddens me to the depths of my soul. This year I have been married to my Nam Vet for forty-five years. These men came home alive. But a part of them was killed in Vietnam. Their spouses and families never understood them after their return. Some didn’t even try. Some were afraid to try. So, a great number of these survivors lost the families they needed so badly. Some became outcasts and homeless. They trusted no one. Some tried to integrate back into acceptable society, only to realize they just didn’t fit in anywhere. Some turned to drugs and alcohol. Some turned to suicide. There were a few tenacious family members that refused to surrender to the loss of their loved one in Vietnam. They stand by them. Protect them. Love them.
Still not completely understanding them, even after all these years. To every veteran: I am forever grateful for your service to our country. Your service and sacrifices will not be forgotten. You are “True American Heroes”. And to the hero in Dallas, Texas: May you Forever Rest in Peace.