Post Traumatic Stress Disorder During The Vietnam War

Posttraumatic stress disorder is defined on WebMD as, “a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened (Posttraumatic).” What this definition does not inform you about is the thousands of lives that are affected by PTSD and the countless men and women who have taken their life. The war in Vietnam, the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict, and the advancements in modern combat have and are still playing a dominant role in the suffering of thousands of veterans across America. To talk about the effect of PTSD, one must first know what it is and how it affects our behavior. PTSD usually appears in victims about three months after the …show more content…
In Vietnam, the average age of a soldier was just 22 years old. Coming straight out of high school, these young men were thrown into a conflict far beyond their comprehension, and were forced to take up arms against an enemy. To add to this, the average age the brain stops developing is 25. These men were placed in situations where every choice mattered, and their brains were still underdeveloped. In contrast, the average age of a solider who served in the Iraq/Afghanistan War was 27 (History of PTSD Through Warfare). Within the Vietnam War, there was a larger sense of insecurity; the fact that anyone and everyone could be the enemy frightened many. Within Iraq and Afghanistan, this insecurity was much smaller when in the mountains or out in the open, but in the towns and villages, people could turn instantly from being your guide to your killer. U.S. involvement in Vietnam took place from 1965 to 1973, meaning that warfare had developed far past the trench warfare of World War I. New weapons emerged, like the M-16, nicknamed the “Jamming Jenny” and “Mattel Gun” for its bad construction and constant jamming. This further contributed to the stress of the environment. Imagine being rushed by the enemy and your weapon jams: what would you do? New bombs such as Napalm and phosphorus bombs killed thousands and left permanent scars on those who saw their effects. When one thinks of the Vietnam War, one may visualize the flamethrowers and Napalm being dropped. These are visuals that one never forgets, no matter how hard he or she tries. By the time of Iraq/Afghanistan war, warfare had progressed much further into what is today called modern warfare. Attacks were no longer led on the front lines, but rather hundreds of miles away, strategically led from a safe location. The age of unmanned aerial vehicles emerged, dawning the use of the new word “drone”. Suddenly, an unmanned plane

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