Still fighting the Vietnam War

For whatever reason my dad had the VA write a standard letter that read:

The official records of the Department of Veterans Affairs show that [my dad] is permanently and totally disabled for purposes of the VA.

He was officially diagnosed 100% permanently disabled with PTSD in the early nineties.  (I have the official paperwork somewhere.)  He also had: diabetes, a condition his doctor attributed to Agent Orange exposure, brought on by the Vietnam War; and neuropathy, a condition attributed to alcoholism, brought on by the Vietnam War.  By the time he died he was confined to a wheelchair, had to use a catheter, had a colostomy bag, hadn’t been able to work in over 20 years, and suffered from nightmares and flashbacks, brought on by the Vietnam War.

A doctor also noted in his records that he had aged beyond his years, which is why I don’t think I’ll post pictures of him taken during his last years, allowing him a measure of dignity not always afforded him in life.


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2 thoughts on “Still fighting the Vietnam War

  1. Reading your blog about your Dad is like reading about my husband’s time in Vietnam and the aftermath. At the age of 20, in September, 1967, my hubby arrived at An Khe and assigned to C Company, 1/8 CAV. He left Vietnam in June, 1968…his enlistment was up. They would have been in the same places…Bong Son and the South China Sea, Quang Tri, Khe Sahn, A Shau. My hubby had the mortar platoon…he was a machine gunner in Korea. I even have one of those rifles… My hubby was 100% P&T disabled due to complications from diabetes…mostly heart and kidneys…but he had some PTSD thrown in. At the end, he was in a VA contract nursing home, in pain, legally blind, an amputee in a wheelchair and going to dialysis 3 times a week. My kids don’t like to see pictures of him at the end either. He died 23 September 2008. Thanks for sharing his…and your…story.

    • I’m blown away by your story and how it so closely resembles my father’s experience. My dad was in B Company, 1/8 Cav so most likely your husband and my dad crossed paths while in-country. I miss him every day but I’m grateful he is in a place where he no longer suffers. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

      Jumping Mustangs-Honor and Courage!

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