Today, March 29, is a day set aside to give some sense of gratitude to our American Vietnam Vets. For many it has been too long in the coming. Many are still angry for the treatment received upon returning home to a thankless society. Still others weep with gratitude that someone begins to care; to somehow understand where there is no understanding. To the many of us who survived, we even have limited understanding. What happened 50 years ago?
Statistics tell a story, albeit incomplete in the telling.
Statistics will tell us that during the war, 58,220 Americans gave their lives, while another 150,000 or more wounded, and 21,000 permanently disabled. 2,550 MIA (Missing In Action) of which it is believed 1200 are confirmed dead with body not recovered; and 1,350 were either POW (Prisoners Of War) or missing with current status unknown.
It is reported that 31% of Vietnam Vets have PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)- a number which I believe to be humiliatingly too low for reality. There are many more who suffer this than is known.
Agent Orange is another topic of suffering altogether, for thousands of Vets.
In sincerity, and in tears, I do not share these things to bring up more painful memories; never that! To all my brother and sister Vietnam Vets I say, thank you; thank you for the life you gave, and continue to give day by day. May the LORD grant you peace and healing where the world cannot!
To all Americans I ask of you, please show love and kindness toward your Veterans . . . give a smile, some kind, thoughtful words, pay for a meal. Pray for us all. We were really laying it all on the line for the U.S.A. Some are still giving a little of life each day.
Have a Blessed Vietnam Veteran’s Day!