The following is an excerpt from a lengthy article written in response to a college student who asked for personal narratives addressing the question: “What is a Vietnam Veteran?”
“Mostly–and this I believe with all my heart–mostly, we wish we had not been so alone. Some of us went with units; but many, probably most of us, were civilians one day, jerked up out of “the world,” shaved, barked at, insulted, humiliated, de-egoized and taught to kill, to fix radios, to drive trucks. We went, put in our time, and were equally ungraciously plucked out of the morass and placed back in the real world. But now we smoked dope, shot skag, or drank heavily. Our wives or husbands seemed distant and strange. Our friends wanted to know if we shot anybody.
And life went on, had been going on, as if we hadn’t been there, as if Vietnam was a topic of political conversation or college protest or news copy, not a matter of life and death for tens of thousands.“
Copyright © 1996 Dan Mouer, All Rights Reserved