Caring for our Vietnam Veterans

American and POW/ MIA flags in BrooklynAfter the Korean War, the United States enjoyed a time of peace and economic prosperity that rivaled any other time in its history.  But bristling under the surface was the developing ‘Cold War’ between the United States and the Soviet Union.   Although there were no armed conflicts that occurred directly between the two countries, it was clear that their relationship was nothing close to friendly.  The Soviet Union became synonymous with communism, and vice versa.  The United States adopted a strategy coined ‘containment’, which was its campaign to stem the flow of communism across the globe.   The United States subscribed to the ‘domino theory’, which held that if one country adopted communism many would soon follow, and in turn be a threat to our nation’s security.

It was only a matter of time before the Cold War would produce another conflict, this one occurring in the country of Vietnam.   It was very similar in makeup to that of the Korean War, where the country was divided into the communist north, and the anti-communist south.   Although the battlefield changed, the opponents involved were basically the same, pitting China and the Soviet Union against the United States and a small coalition of its allies (South Korea, Thailand, Australia & New Zealand).   The United States eased into the war by supplying aid and training to the southern forces.  U.S. involvement quickly escalated after the attack on two U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, which prompted bombing of the North, and further commitment of troops and military assets to the Southern allies over the next several years.  What followed was intense jungle warfare, leading to many deaths on both sides.  The resolve of the American troops slowly deteriorated due to the harsh conditions, unclear purpose, and lack of any clear successes against the enemy.   With the advancement of technology in the realm of film and television, the Vietnam War became the most documented in history up to that point.   The gruesome coverage of the war quickly made the American public disenchanted with the war, further conveyed by frequent and widespread demonstrations across the country.  With public approval waning and losses piling up, the U.S. withdrew its forces in August of 1973.

The returning American forces were not treated to ticker tape parades or lively celebrations like their World War II predecessors were.   Instead, they were viewed as failures by supporters of the war, and war criminals by opponents of it.  Due to the way they were treated upon return to America, many Vietnam veterans suffered from alcoholism, PTSD, depression and markedly higher rates of divorce and suicide than the veterans from previous conflicts.   With the complexities of the issues that Vietnam veterans face, the care that they require must be more specialized and customized to their individual needs.    Here To Help Home Care understands the unique challenges of caring for our Vietnam War veterans, and desires to treat them with the admiration and respect that they earned while fighting for our freedoms.  Click here to learn more about our Veterans Assistance Program.

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