Consequences for Veterans

Washington Vietnam Veterans at a 25 year memorial

For the people that fought in the Vietnam War the pain and suffering did not just occur whilst overseas. Once they arrived home many of the veterans suffered a range of problems and illnesses such as, alcoholism and gambling addiction, post traumatic stress, cancer and mental illness.

This is an view of Dr. James Haney about the consequences of the Vietnam Veterans years later after the war.
Youtube interview link

Veterans of the Vietnam War can find it hard to cope with the following:
• Fears of closed spaces, crowds, unfamiliar places, or sudden attack
• Anxiety- for example restlessness, obsessive worries, compulsive rituals
• Panic- such as a terror of losing control, suffocating, or going crazy
• Depression, hopelessness, loss of all interests, suicidal impulses
• Rage in the form of intense violent emotions or physical violent actions
• Irritability- such as feeling constantly annoyed, on edge, and critical
• Shame, feeling embarrassed, exposed, violated, or like a misfit
• Guilt- for example feeling others should have lived and he should have died, or feeling that he failed or made mistakes that had terrible consequences
• Isolation- such as being physically present but emotionally absent, going off alone for long periods of time, or refusing to talk about family matters
• Emotional emptiness- such as staring off into space blankly or refusing to show any feelings when everyone else is very emotional
• Alienation- feeling that no one understands or that everyone makes too much fuss about unimportant things and too little about big problems
• Being over-controlling for example being extremely demanding or needing to make all decisions even if they are really someone else's responsibility
• Inability to relax- always being on the go, never able to have fun, or turning everything into serious work or a crisis
• Addiction- compulsive overuse of alcohol, drugs, or gambling

Pictured below are just some consequences of the War on the Vietnamese Veterans.

As you can see the vietnam war has clearly damged these men and had a huge mental and physical impact on their lives and the cosequenses of serving their country means they have to live with their war memmories and injuries until the day that they die.


Families were also affected. When the veterans returned home they where certainly not the same people as when they left. War had changed them and this put pressure on family life. Many Vietnam veterans tended to be extremely isolated from relationships and community. Spouses, children, family members, friends, or coworkers, often are more aware of the veteran's emotional distress than they were themselves. Haunting memories and overwhelming feelings leave many veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder feeling alone. Some believe that as a man they must bear the burden of pain, fear, anger, shame, and guilt silently. Some may believe that they have failed their loved ones and lost the respect of their community. They could even feel helpless to the urge to drink alcohol and gamble. For some it may become almost impossible to enjoy life and relationships, whilst others with the help of medication found it easier to get by.

Here is a link to many stories of the Vietnam Veterans

Because of the chemical warfare in Vietnam it was not just the war Veterans that suffered. Their children also were affected, many of whom were born with birth defects of varying degrees.

These are the real life birth defects of babies that have had their parents exposed to agent orange.
Youtube video link