Erick W. Miller
There are many ways to spend a tour of duty in Vietnam. Infantry is generally considered the worst. As a former infantryman, I have to agree. The list of enemies includes; Weather, insects, animals, thirst, hunger, disease, lonliness, insanity, fatigue, fear or the lack of it, friendly fire, and sometimes incompetent leaders. Don’t forget to include the VC, NVA, and Sappers. (Honorable mention, Jane Fonda)
The sad truth is that not all troops can perform their jobs when the bullets and schrapnel start to feed. Still, we were morally obligated to defend those men who could not bring themselves to kill.
As a pointman, I had a tremendous amount of responsibility and stress. This brings up the topic of post traumatic stress disorder, commonly called PTSD. A very small name for such a large and deadly creature.Is not PTSD the cause of many of our veterans suicides? Many years ago, I lost a cousin and a brother-in-law, plus several high school mates to this disorder through suicide. AND, the last chapter has yet to be written on how many more Vietnam Veterans will succumb to this monster.
Erick W. Miller Copyright 1997 & 2003