Life During The Vietnam War

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Was the Vietnam War worth it? This was a question asked by many young men being

drafted into the United States military to fight in the war through 1959-1975. After the men

were drafted, they faced many struggles through basic training, but unfortunately, it was only

the beginning of a long list of trials. One of the first trials the soldiers would experience was

extreme change in climate and adapting to the rough terrain. Second, was navigating through

the jungle, avoiding the tension traps and mines set to kill U.S. soldiers. The third was coping

with their emotions during battle while continuing to fight. Fourth, the constant paranoia of

being attacked at any second. Finally, soldiers suffered from PTSD and had to fight
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This long exposure to

moisture often caused sores to develop and contributed to trench foot; a condition which causes a

person’s foot to swell and rot; usually crippling the soldier. Finally, the forest was so thick with

brush and trees that the Viet Cong could hide in the brush without being detected, until it was too

late. This is one reason the Vietnam War was so hard to fight. The enemy was rarely out in the

open, but often disguised themselves as friendly civilians. (Military)

Second, was difficulty navigating through the jungle, avoiding the tension traps and mines set to

kill U.S. soldiers. Many men in the war were subjected to these traps and many died. One of the

Viet Cong’s most used and effective traps were punji sticks. These were small or large shafts of

bamboo that had been sharpened and fire hardened at the ends. After this was done, there was

usually poison or excrement rubbed on the punji sticks to make the wounds of the unfortunate

victim become infected, which often result in death. These traps were used in many ways. They

were used as deadfalls; placed where soldiers would walk or impulsively dive for cover.
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Many of the men who fought in

Vietnam would never be the same after these experiences. (Fighting tactics of the Viet Cong)

Finally, many soldiers suffered PTSD and had to continue fighting that battle long after

they returned home from the war. PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a condition in

which a person has severe depression brought on by events of the past; usually that of war and

death. This being said, it is no wonder that many of the soldiers returning from the Vietnam War

suffered from PTSD. Though this is only a thumbnail sketch, once most of the soldiers returned

home, there was another battle soldiers would have to endure. Some people from their own

country, whom the soldiers expected to welcome them back with loving arms, greeted the

returning men with insults and violence. The men were called baby killers and murderers. This

contributed to the soldier’s mental and emotional distress, and led many to their own self-

inflicted death. (Vietnam history of PTSD)

Was the Vietnam War worth the suffering of enduring the unforgiving Vietnam

environment, having soldiers navigate through and die from the Viet Cong’s many traps,

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