A Minnesota PBS Initiative
Mental Health Awareness
In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) began recognizing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, giving veterans and others who experienced trauma during the Vietnam War years a name for what they were experiencing.
While many veterans have PTSD, it's important to recognize that not all do; and that, like some of the stories below illustrate, PTSD affects more than just US veterans. PTSD affects members of the allied forces, US civilians who served abroad, Southeast Asian civilians, families, and more.
We've got all of this bottled up inside of us and nobody to talk to about it. Nobody understands. And nobody cares.
For over 41 years, these things haven't dissappeard from my head. When I think about these things, I feel my body get all warm.
My story never really ends, but due to unresolved mental issues, I began focusing on photography and other artwork.
You're right there watching man's inhumanity to man. How you deal with it afterward is unique; everyone's different.
Now, the combat is over, but the battles rage,
It seems that they just get worse with age.
Family and friends don’t understand,
how my life was changed in Vietnam.
Why was he there...
did he come to haunt me?
He never came again but in the nightmares I often
still see him grinning at me in his death.
I'll never know exactly what my father did and saw in Vietnam. But I know one thing, he handled the dead. And the dead came to him.
Not all casualties occur on the battle field, or spill blood on the soil. You won't find his name on the wall. But to me, he died in Vietnam.
Story Themes: Family, George Woodbury, Justin Florey, Mental Health, PTSD, Read, Ron Mackedanz, Samao Xiong, Stewart Herman, Stories on a Theme