Monday, March 19, 2018

What do we owe Vietnam Veterans?

The Forgotten Warriors
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 19, 2018

The generation who changed this nation has been left behind and the debt we owe them, has been forgotten.
One of my coworkers mentioned a well known veterans' charity and that put me in a very bad mood for most of the day.

The thing is, the group we talked about is only interested in veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. She had no idea the majority of the veterans needing help with PTSD, as well as the majority of veterans committing suicide, are the same veterans who made everything available for this generation.

While the true number of veterans committing suicide on a daily basis will never really be known, the VA reports stated clearly that 65% of those they know about, were over the age of 50.  The majority of the veterans over the age of 50, are Vietnam veterans.

Department of Veterans Affairs 2016
While every generation came home with the same wounds, it was Vietnam veterans pushing for the research, treatment and funding for PTSD to care for all generations.

It is because of them trauma in the civilian world is understood. It is because of them, trauma that comes with pubic service jobs, like law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders, are more understood, than they would have been otherwise.

Is any of this perfect? No. That is the thing that keeps getting missed. What do the rest of us owe these veterans?

Is it having ceremonies? Parades? Tribute events? Do any of these things repay them for their service during Vietnam or their service to the nation afterwards?

It is not repaid by forgetting about them when all the new charities ignore them. It is not repaid by turning our backs on all the established groups who have been fighting for all generations of our veterans, most of which, are headed by Vietnam veterans.

It is not by separating the worth of the families providing care for the new generation held in higher regard than the older generations doing the same service as the younger ones.

It is by paying attention to the needs of our older veterans that we finally begin to repay the debt we owe them.

Stop letting Vietnam veterans suffer in silence as the Forgotten Warriors