I am one of these 4, disabled soldiers.
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Prior to April 1, , when Canadian Forces members were injured in the service of Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada compensated them with a lifelong monthly payment for pain and suffering which they collected along with their full salary. Even by June , more than 9, serving soldiers were collecting pain and suffering payments along with their full salary. If a soldier was too disabled to continue in the Forces, he or she was summarily kicked out and placed on a long-term disability plan belonging to the Canadian Forces.
Then, in of some seeming act of vengeance, the Canadian government-structured insurance plan deducts the same amount paid for pain and suffering from the already reduced salary. This is why Dennis Manuge has brought his case, representing more than 4, other veterans with disabilities, all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. And still the deductions continue.
Parliament and oversight agencies are ignored and disabled soldiers, often with young families, suffer the indignation and financial struggles of having their disability income essentially negate what should be a well-deserved and proud award for pain and suffering. The Supreme Court of Canada, however, will not be making a decision about stopping the unfair deductions. A judicial review has a day time limit to submit a claim. Exactly like everyone else, I adapted to my situation. I very quickly found a peer group and followed their lead.
It just so happened that my peer group was a fire team of six, year old boys that happened to be stone killers. I adapted. Just like you would, just like we all did, I slowly learned the art of hatred and wanton killing of the enemy. I very quickly learned to hate dinks and gooks with every fiber of my being and relished the effort of killing as many as I could.
They were trying desperately to kill me too. They hated us more than we hated them. The intensity of the these feelings is a little hard to look at but I wanted to know if this extreme level of emotion and violence still affected his life today, so I asked him if the war effected him mentally or physically. He had much more to say when I asked how he felt about the Vietnamese people while he was there. I would have murdered them happily. My feelings about the civilian population bordered on venomous.
Not only did I feel superior to them, the burning hatred in their eyes scared me. Soon after my arrival in Vietnam the truth was obvious. We'd bombed their cities, villages and country flat. We killed, wounded and maimed members of their families and raped their culture. I often wondered how I would feel toward them if they had invaded the US and done to our country what we'd done to theirs. We invaded their land and took control of it and for years there was an army of , twenty year old fighters, armed to the teeth, in a bad mood, roaming all over their country. When you ask the Americans for help you better be careful what you ask for.
It took me a little while to sort through those feelings but now I believe that my discomfort comes from the real hatred I saw on the faces of so many of the Vietnamese. I am still uneasy when I find myself exposed to a group made up of this race of people. This may seem strange to say but I definitely am more tolerant of other races, religions and ideologies because of my time in Vietnam. I saw first hand that all people are the same. They all need and want the same things and will definitely kill other humans to defend their homes, families and interests.
Culture, religion, ideas and theories may be different but none of that makes any difference anyway. All that counts is love of family, loyalty to quality behavior and protection of individual rights and freedoms. All people, American or Vietnamese, react the same to these simple truths. While I was in Vietnam I definitely 'did not' see the quality in tolerant behavior and respect for other cultures, just the opposite. What I learned then was 'might is right' and whoever could bring the most fire power to bear was the superior race. Although, once I was safe and back to the world, the lesson was different.
The lesson I carried for the rest of my life is never, never underestimate any other human being. No matter how small, ignorant or uneducated they are, they are all capable of magnificent feats of sacrifice, bravery and indescribable violence. A common topic of discussion about the Vietnam War is the role drugs and alcohol played. Was it as prevalent as is commonly believed? Why and how were they abused so badly by some of the troops in Vietnam?
This was another topic about which Dad had solid thoughts. Not only that, but these twenty-year old men were going on seventy. What I mean is, that these child soldiers were making and enforcing life and death decisions daily and had given their very lives over to the fact that probably they weren't going to make it home alive anyway. They gave a damn about legal or ethical or right. All they cared about was survival, peer group loyalties, friendship and then escape from the reality of this unending nightmare.
Our time in Vietnam was probably unique in the history of warfare. These boys were conscripted and sent to hell by the most organized, legalized, controlled, powerful government to ever exist. There was no way out except to die in Vietnam, go to prison, or be branded a coward by your family and community. How dare anyone even ask a question about what was the right thing or wrong thing for these soldiers do.
These were college kids, young workers and young fathers forced to police and kill other humans. Whether to get stoned or drunk was a very minor issue to these men. Their lives and welfare, during this time, hinged on much more important issues than smoking marijuana or drinking Jack Daniel's or prostitutes, these were trivial pursuits. These were issues never thought of or cared about by combat troops.
Discipline and order regarding these things was an internal matter and taken care of internally. What the world knew or approved of was invisible to these men. Only half the troops were heads a slang term soldiers used to describe people who used drugs or alcohol , the other half were very straight. In Vietnam these powerful men were making individual decisions based only on what they needed and wanted at the time.
Back in the world they found that their status was significantly less meaningful and much less valuable than it had been in the bush. This country tolerated and condoned their actions in the line of duty but back here it was outlawed. One reward we were given for the risk we faced there was individual freedom.
When the risk ended so too did the right to react freely. When they returned home, their experiments in freedom of choice were forced underground, but we all knew it was for the best. It was just going to take a while to get ourselves straight and back into the flow of our society. It is weird that many hardened combat vets could die from an OD on some dirty street somewhere in their own country. Again, only half the troops were heads, the other half were straight. The media, especially TV, was a significant player in the Vietnam War. Even today most of the information and history of this conflict is documented by film, video and news broadcasts of the day.osixytiqeb.gq
I ask my Dad what he remembered of the media coverage before, during and after he was there. As I look back now I realize that there were so many reports and stories coming into our home that the truth was fairly apparent years before I went. Maybe in the first years the press waved the flag and distorted the truth but not in the last years.
I think the American public knew full well what was going on by the end and it was the massive amount of information shown by the media that finally brought the war to its end. The media had no effect on the line crews or any of the troops in Vietnam while they were there.
Incoming information was censored anyway. The strangest thing about all the media coverage was how callused the American people became to seeing the death toll statistics each day. Even as a child I wondered about it. What a nightmare it must have been for the parents and loved ones of the soldiers to see those numbers each evening on the TV news.
I remember thinking to myself that for each casualty there was a mother and father somewhere. How much grief can one country bear each day? Or, maybe the only reason I even noticed was because I knew there was a good chance that I would have to participate in the fighting. We've all seen and heard about the stereotypical combat vet that returns home and because of his deeply violent experiences can not find a normal life. Episodes of nightmares and emotional problems are commonly reported and documented among returning fighters.
Yet, this can't be the norm or describe the feelings of the greatest majority of them. Most of them came home and resumed normal lives. My father went back to the job he left and the life he'd begun as a young man. I asked him how his exposure to life and death combat situations changed him as a person. To be in a civilized environment, so far from all that bloodshed was a little confusing. I mean, it was hard to decide which world was real. Both were a part of my reality but now neither seemed steady or confident to me. Once bitten, twice shy.
After the intensity of Vietnam, all I knew was I did not want to go back there but I also knew that the world I'd come home to was a fake. I knew then and I still know today that safety and security are an abstract illusion. The citizens of this country take peace and prosperity for granted every second of their lives. Instead of causing nightmares and emotional problems the war changed my attitude and perception.
The same boy that left Texas did not return. The violence and desperation of that experience taught me the essence of what happiness, physical safety and individual freedom truly is. Now, I would endure it all over again to protect my family and their happiness, physical safety and individual freedom. Not fighting back was never an option where I was. The infantry company I was with worked in a 'free fire zone. This area was well marked and the purpose was clear. These free fire zones were set up to stop the flow of munitions and troops into the more populated areas down south.
Anything in a free fire zone was to be killed or destroyed and there were supposed to be no civilians in these areas. In these places there was no quarter given and none asked. They NVA didn't take prisoners here and neither did we. The short term effects of this reality were unbelievable. Again, that trapped feeling panic of how did I get here and how the hell can I get out of here stayed with me. Another short term effect was utterly human: adapt or die. Again, I adapted and before too long began to find some calmness and a measure of comfort. I was surprised at how my fear began to subside.
I must say the initial fear was overwhelming though and during an engagement the fear steadily grew worse. Mostly, other members of my company went home, some died. I desperately wanted the former and at the same time I was terrified it would be the latter. The long term effects of 'kill or be killed' are completely subjective. Nothing that is justified is destructive emotionally. Obviously, all the killing in Vietnam wasn't j ustifiable, some was murder, some was accidental but all of the killing on both sides shared one commonalty.
Whatever the reason and no matter what the situation, whom ever the killer was, he was definitely glad and relieved it wasn't him that was being killed. After the killing is done there is no going back. After the shaking stops, the breathing becomes normal and the intense panic subsides, the doubts and questions about the moral dilemma you just faced come to the surface.
Who know show combat vets answer these questions about justifiable homicide. Some try to answer these questions their entire lives. One thing is for certain though, we are all glad it wasn't us that died. The question should not be, how did the soldiers deal with these moral dilemmas? It should be, how did their country deal with these returning soldiers? If the violence they committed and witnessed can not be j ustified in some context it makes them sick. My fathers' return to this country was different than the average homecoming.
Arriving on a hospital ship, he was carried through the crowd on a stretcher. He was flown into Oakland where most of the anti-war protests were staged. He did witness a large protest when he arrived. What must that have been like to see crowds of college students and other protesters denouncing what he'd done, singing, smoking pot, in total disdain for anyone that hadn't deserted or dropped out before they were forced into battle for the establishment. This was in late , less than a year from when this dream began.
I asked him how he felt when he returned. They also body searched us for weapons because there had been incidents of violence between protesters and returning vets. If those protesters could have heard what the returning combatants said about them they would have left instantly and never returned, grateful to live to see one more minute of life. What they did, what this country allowed them to do, was the absolute darkest moment of American history. This time, this instant, this act will be recorded as the worst display of character, integrity and low quality this country will ever know.
It signals and exemplifies for all humans how not to be. This was the highest treason against this country and should have been punishable by??? Right or wrong, justified or not these young men were tortured to death for this country and politics don't mean shit, economy don't mean shit, and philosophy don't mean shit! The height of ignorance that transcends intelligent behavior, these were animals. The damage they did is uncalculatable. I hated them all then and I still do. I would have hurt them if I could have. Something the politicians, the government, the shitty protesters and all the people of this country didn't know.
The secret was, I survived. Not only did I survive but I was going to be alright despite all of them. Never again would I be like them or participate in their country or their system, or their abstract laws that made them all my equals. Not only would I never be trapped like that again but I would see to it that none of my children were either. This idiot country is nothing but an idiot system and never again would I let other humans control my destiny. Never again would I be drafted, coerced, threatened or conscripted by anyone. Funny as this sounds, Conan the Barbarian said it best, if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger.
The bottom line is this stupid country, in all its fake, ignorant, shallow behavior did do something great for me. It forced me to get tough or die, now I'm ready.
Just as if it were yesterday, I'm ready. Having researched each section individually, we will now compare and contrast our findings. We want to point out that any similarities found among the three sources of information are not the result of collective collaboration prior to conducting our research. Rather, the findings we common to all three sections are just simply what we found to be in common after individually gathering our information.
In other words, we did not biasedly set our to find information we felt ahead of time would be common to each source. We had no expectations on what similarities and differences we would find.
Once a reluctant soldier, Nau is a proud veteran | The Valley Breeze
Because of this, we feel our findings can be concluded to be that much more accurate and credible, as they arose from not just one but three different genres of information. Besides our findings, we also offer our insights and reasons as to why these similarities and differences between the accounts occur. The first section was the reasons for going Vietnam. Both the psychological study and the one-on-one interview found that the majority of people that went to Vietnam were drafted. Interestingly, the majority of the films portrayed the main character as volunteering for their duty.
We feel this difference occurs because films want to simply make a good story. When someone volunteers with patriotic and noble aspirations to serve their great country it is easier to show more of a change in their own beliefs and ideals. This is a much more interesting scenario that a simple draftee that was forced to go against his will.
Our next section researched was soldiers' reactions and adjustments to the war. All three sections did find that soldiers adapted and reacted like they had to in order to survive. However, the psychological study section found that as soldiers were nearing their departure date from Vietnam, they became more reluctant to put their lives on the line, whereas the other two sections portrayed the soldiers as becoming less emotional killing machines.
We feel that the psychological study is more accurate and thorough in this topic.
The films simply left this detail out. We feel the films traded in accuracy for a more climatic ending. The films, trying to make money, left out the soldiers' reluctance to go into battle at the end of their tours in order to end each film with more excitement and emotion-soldiers as killing machines rather than hesitant cowards. This leads into our next section which was soldiers' feeling about the Vietnamese people. The overall portrayal was one of distaste for the Vietnamese, "bordering on venomous" as the Vietnam veteran proclaimed in the personal one-on-one interview.
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The majority of these feelings arose from the general distrust and fear of the Vietnamese people. However, some films did suggest that not all soldiers were simply mindless killing machines, but rather that some did have sympathy for the Vietnamese people. We believe there is a correlation between those who were psychologically effected and those who feared and distrusted the Vietnamese the most--i.
The fourth section we covered was the alcohol and drug use that occurred throughout the duration of the war. All three sections found that drugs and alcohol were all readily available, cheap, and used to temporarily escape the hell in which the soldiers were living on a day to day basis. We feel that alcohol was discussed in every section based on the simple fact that it was readily available and highly used. Thus, any accurate portrayal of the War should include a discussion of alcohol and drug use. We then looked at media effects.
The only general theme we all had in common was that there were times in which the media would censor information to portray the war how they wanted to. We feel that the media purposely set their own agenda of the War. In other words, the media intentionally put emphasis on either the positive or negative aspects of the War depending on its particular stance -for or against the War in order to shape how people accepted and understood what was going one in Vietnam.
This agenda-setting effected how both the soldiers and civilians at home viewed the Vietnam war. Our next section covered how exposure the war affected soldiers physically and mentally. The psychological study focused more on the soldiers who were negatively effected by the war. Along these same lines, the films studied also portrayed soldiers who were negatively effected due to their bias towards portraying characters which evolved and changed as they were exposed to war. The personal account revealed that not all veterans are psychologically effected to the degree that the psychological study and films suggest.
The final section researched was veterans' attitudes toward Americans once home including the Government, protestors, family, and society. For the most part all three sections portrayed a hostility toward the government and anti-war protestors. The inability to understand and the lack of respect given to the veterans angered and frustrated the soldiers upon their arrival home. However, one film did portray that over a long period of time, some veterans reversed their views and become anti-war protestors themselves.
We feel that this particular film's agenda and message was to show the changing beliefs and feelings of a veteran and therefore wanted to portray how some of the veterans did in fact completely change their views over time. In conclusion, this paper thoroughly shows some angles of the psychological effects of the Vietnam War. Overall, throughout the three sections, the majority of topics were similar in their depiction of the effects of war.
However, differences did exist. To a great degree, these differences can be accounted for due to the biases that exist within each separate source. The psychological study obviously sought out information pertaining solely to accounts of soldiers who had been psychologically negatively affected by the War. Media is also biased. The films obviously portrayed characters and events that would develop into the most interesting story line attracting larger audiences and thus greater profits.
Also realize that the films will be biased by the film maker's own personal point of view or agenda on how to portray the Vietnam War. With each of these biases, gathering information from just one of these sources would be less thorough and valid than what our combined research adds up to. Despite these biases, we feel the similar findings among all three sources of information are accurate and strong. Washington, D. Army veterans serving in Vietnam, I.
Barrett, Drue H. Dicks, Shirley. Figley, Charles and Seymour Leventman. Vietnam Veterans since the war. Fontana, Alan et al. Gassaway, Bob. Howell-Koehler, Nancy. Kaylor, Jeffrey A. Lau, Richard. Vol 42 4 Laufer, Robert S. Lifton, Robert Jay. McLeod, Jack. Modell, John. Vol 17 Parson, Erwin Randolph. Theoretical and practical considerations in psychotherapy of Vietnam War veterans. Rassmussen, Karen. Reluctant Soldier Terry L. Terry Nau loses the battle to get on a college campus before Uncle Sam drafts him into the Army. Within 10 months, he is in Vietnam, working as a Fire Direction Specialist in a heavy artillery battery.
The author offers insights on the Tet Offensive, and other obstacles his unit endures in his one-year tour of duty.
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