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PTSD – Another Perspective

When You Came Home from Vietnam:

Were you told that you could experience some or many of the following conditions?:

 

Loss of Sleep
Insomnia
Drug and or alcohol dependence
Rage
Anxiety
Sexual Performance Reduction
Marital Difficulties
Flashbacks
Alienation
Anti-Social Behaviour
Rashes
Cancer
Loss of Concentration
Restricted range of Affects
Intestinal Parasites


Nightmares
Depression
Lethargy
Anger
Guilt
Apathy
Irritability
Rejection
Memory Loss
Irritable Bowel
Hypertension
Chloracne
Hyper Vigilance
Infectious Diseases
Fatigue


And the list goes on!

PTSD is not a sign of weakness.

Were you detuned, debriefed or were there any counsellors that you could talk to and perhaps get things off your chest?   NO! The Military and the Government were all too eager to get you out of the services if your time was up or to get you posted to a requested unit if you were staying in.   Many of those staying in didn’t have many concerns until after they retired from the forces. The regimen and the camaraderie were gone.

Many that got out tried to put the service behind them - even lying about serving to prospective employers.  Many went back to the job they left, two years behind everybody else and then within a few short weeks they were told their services were no longer required.  When applying for jobs many were told that the employer didn’t employ Vietnam Veterans!   Many turned to drink and drugs to help the horrors and to appease the guilt and rejection. 

Where is the responsibility, where does the buck stop? We hear that the military is not responsible as they have passed their responsibility on to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This Department, although set up for all the right reasons, has now been used to Deny or Destroy many of the lives of those seeking legitimate compensation for legitimate service-connected conditions.

This department of your peers, your own Australians and Americans, now will use every means at their discretion to deny your rights, even to the point of continually sending you to different specialists in the same field until they obtain the verdict and the diagnosis they want, discarding the others.  Most of the Public Servants in the DVA are not Veterans and have never experienced anything like Veterans have and yet they can make judgment calls.

Conditions that are well known to be caused by Vietnam and other War Services are not able to be connected.   As a point in fact:  look at hypertension which is just one Symptom of PTSD.   It is not connected and although it should be, it will never get past the bureaucrats.

Where you have been confirmed with a war caused injury, i.e., deafness and you need hearing aids then the approved ones are inferior as they magnify all tones - yet you are only deaf in certain tones.  Oh, you can purchase better ones at many thousands of dollars.  One would expect that in this day and age, with the technology we have, that the DVA would attempt under the Duty of Care to restore your hearing to as close as possible to that of pre-service. If Not, why Not?   Deafness is just one such anomaly in the system.     

One thing you can be sure of, if you ever do obtain any compensation from the VA, you will have paid a heavy price in destroying any self-esteem you may have had left.   You and your family’s quality of life, your paranoia, feelings of alienation, anxiety, marital difficulties and the increase in alcohol intake and prescription drug use will have caused destruction.

You will probably have the feeling that death would be better than continuing with your claim -  the claim that has been diagnosed by physicians and medical tests.  A specialist whose diagnosis is taken as Gospel one day for one patient and then the next day and the next patient the DVA disbelieves the same medico’s diagnosis.

Even to this day with all the test results, experiments, factual information and studies our Governments still don’t fully recognize Agent Orange exposure.   Talks between the U.S. and Vietnam Governments are underway to further discuss compensation. What are the Veterans, the untouchables or poor cousins or something less?   Our Country needs to look after its own before they pay compensation to the once enemy.   Do any of our politicians who have been given the task of running the country even think about what their inaction causes?   I am sure NOT!  They are just stringing it out as long as possible so that the majority of Vietnam Veterans have passed away before the sheer volume of evidence will demand its release.

Did you ever think that at 50 years old or so and in some cases much earlier that you would be in such a state where you sometimes wonder if death would be better than the existence you now face?

Do you wonder that where once you had a successful career it has disappeared and you are still trying to fathom what happened and why it happened?   Perhaps if we were informed of things to come we would have had some understanding and forewarning.

Did you ever imagine that your country would not live up to its responsibility to care for you and your family when your service conditions affected your post service life so dramatically and drastically?

In succession the Military, Government and Department of Veterans Affairs have the responsibility of a Duty of Care and all are Negligent!

What is to happen to our future generations of Veterans?   Yes, they operate much differently and have access to a great deal more services in an effort to reduce the conditions.  However, conditions will occur!

What will happen to our children and grandchildren who are and will carry the effects of our service to our Country through future generations? The Politicians do not have a conscience now and past performance dictates they will have less in the future.

Vietnam is a war most would like to forget and most have.  That leaves just the many thousands of Vietnam Veterans and their Families to live it every day.

This is an indictment of APATHY within the government and many citizens of our countries.

The DVA promotes Veterans helping Veterans and what are we really doing? ~ Their job ~ reducing their responsibility ~ reducing the DVA workforce and expenditure ~ giving them a scapegoat?

If we don’t toe the DVA line and fight for Veterans and their Families’ Welfare we are then snubbed, ridiculed and paid back.

There should be NO payback from any public servant when we fight for our and our Brotherhood’s rightful service and compensation.

What we need is a benefactor, A Patriot who will make a stand on behalf of all veterans in the High Courts of the Land.   This judgment would force all governments to accept their responsibility for Duty of Care for all Veterans. Are there a Benefactor and Patriot out there?

Ross Perot and Steve Forbes can spend millions of dollars on Presidential races.  Bill Gates and many philanthropists spend millions of dollars on countless worthwhile projects.   The Murdoch’s and Packers of this world spend a great amount on trivia. Many waste more than it would take to mount and run a high court case.

Are people with money or political power blind to our plight or are they just self-absorbed or just plain ignorant?

Peter Forbes
U.S. National Commander/
Australian Commander


Related Links:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder it’s issued with your medals!

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