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Rated: 18+ · Essay · Experience · #1542291
My experiences as a Viet Nam Veteran after Viet Nam ended.

I am a Navy Viet Nam Veteran who served aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. I was proud to have served my country in which ever way I could. After every war that the U.S has had there have been ticker tape parades for the returning Veterans all over the United States. All that is except for the Viet Nam War Vets. When we came home we were lucky to have even as much as family on the dock awaiting our return. Most did not even have that.

I got out of the Navy within a month of getting home from Viet Nam in June of 1975. After my release I tried to find a job but was shunned by all the people who were doing the hiring. I even tried to get into the V.F.W., which stands for the Veterans OF Foreign Wars. They like all of the company’s told me the same thing and that was I was just a baby killer and go away they wanted nothing to do with me or anyone like me just because I was a Viet Nam Vet. I tried to explain that I was a Navy Vet and could not have killed any baby’s but their mind was made up.

The government was not helping any because they were too busy giving amnesty to the men who left the country to avoid the war. They seemed to me that they were giving those men who ran away from war all the benefits we Vets were fighting for like jobs and other government aid. They also did not help us Vets to find jobs or get counseling in any way for what we were about to face in the real world of angry America.

Finding work was almost impossible and I had a wife at the time I got out. She decided to divorce me shortly afterwards and I was left alone. It took me 4 years to find someone I could get close to again and I got married again. By then I was very tired and mentally distressed over my country’s attitude about the Viet Nam War. That marriage only lasted a few years until she got tired of me as well. I was getting more and more depressed and bitter over everything that was going on in my life as a Vet. It was 7 years before I could find another wife. What I did not realize was that she was one who did not like vets at all and why she married me I still do not know. That marriage also ended in a divorce. I was shell shocked by everything I had been forced to gone through just to serve my country.

Now it has been 34 years since I got out of the Navy and the Government is still screwing us all over just as bad as the days when I got out of the Navy. 34 years after Viet Nam the Navy Veterans still cannot get service-connected disability for Agent Orange related symptoms. I have had a Heart Attack, Diabetes, and Post Dramatic Stress. All of which are symptoms of Agent Orange which Army Viet Nam vets are getting Service-Connected disability for and any other branch of service, which set foot on land, are getting. We in the Navy got our drinking water from the Delta, which is where all the rain washed Agent Orange went. The government knows this but refuse to compensate the Navy Vets for it. Why I don’t know for sure but my guess is that they do not want to spend all that money on us.

All Viet Nam Vets have had the same kinds of problems as I have and some a lot worse. I am still proud to have served my country even though I have been through hell for doing so.
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