Saturday, May 25, 2013
Letter to the Editor
America was established with the philosophy that all citizens have equal opportunity to fulfill dreams established by the founders of the United States.
If America still believes in this basic human right, then why were military personnel returning home from service in Vietnam treated so badly?
After returning home, Vietnam veterans did not want or were too afraid to seek assistance from the VA hospitals. Horror stories permeated the ranks regarding the treatments received, handed down from veteran to veteran.
The VA should implement stronger outreach to these Vietnam combat soldiers, hopefully to encourage them to go to the VA for services, such as screening for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, cognitive processing groups, peer support, and one-on-one counseling.
Furthermore, the public should learn about Vietnam veterans, that this generation of soldiers were the victims of the inability of the United States government to provide programs to assist in their re-adjustment to civilian life.
Additionally, the government should help people view these men as heroes, who did what was expected and demanded of them by the military leaders.
Even though these veterans are in the latter part of life, treatment is still possible, but the government should focus efforts to teaching them about treatments and where they can receive benefits. It is never too late.
Now that these veterans are approaching retirement age, the question becomes: How are they going to cope with the lack of funds to live a comfortable life, how can they cope with their anger, and how will the damage done to their psychological issues be addressed?
Clearly, America failed these individuals. Somehow programs to assist them in the later part of life must be addressed.
George Moody, Benton