Friday, August 26, 2011

The Vietnam War Continues

The Vietnam War was over for me over forty years ago, or so I thought. In September 1970 I left Vietnam to return home. The horrors of war were replaced by nightmares and dreams. We were called "baby killers". We were spit on and treated as criminals by those who wanted peace at any cost.

Mostly we were ignored. We were told that Agent Orange had no side effects, no health risks, and our dreams would go away. The problem is there were side effects, there were health risks, and the dreams got worse.

An unknown number of veterans have died from wounds not suffered on the battlefield, but from the illnesses caused by Agent Orange. Many others carry the mental wounds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and too many of us don't or won't ask for help.

I've had type 2 diabetes for over twenty years; hypertension and PTSD for longer than that; and, now I've been diagnosed with Ischemic Heart Disease. All of these are related to Agent Orange exposure. I will have more tests and a heart cath in the near future.

Hopefully with treatment, I will not become another casualty of the Vietnam War for a long time. I know the day is coming and I'm doing my best to prepare for it.

Think of all the Veterans and keep positive vibrations heading their way. If you enjoy living in a free country, thank the vet - not the politician.

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