Treatment of War Veterans Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1884 Words
Date:  2022-06-19

The Vietnam War and World War II were two significant battles that Americans were involved. These wars had similarities as well as disparities. The World War 2 started in 1939 until 1945 where the fight began after Germany invaded Poland. The US joined after the Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. However, the Vietnam War commenced in 1959 where it ended in 1975. Unlike the Vietnam War, the World war was declared, and it involved various nations. Most Americans backed World War II, but very few supported the Vietnam War. This is because most of the Americans did not comprehend the motive of the Vietnam War and they also knew that they did not stand any chance. The primary intent of the Vietnam War was to counter and limit communism. The main differences between the two wars occurred after the wars were over, for instance, the troops arriving back home from WWII were so proud whereas those returning from the Vietnam War felt no pride and they received a different treatment from the government and public. More men had died during the WWII than in the Vietnam War. Such disparities caused the troops from the various wars to be treated very differently when they returned home.

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World War II was an honorable battle for the US. The battle has a unique place in America's heart (Steenkamp & Litz, 2013). The Americans fighting in the war received massive support from the government, and they were termed as heroes. Moreover, during the war, the government regulated the role of the media in the battle, and it censored events that seemed immoral or which would make Americans look evil before the world. The Americans viewing this war through the media only saw reports that were edited and enemy bodies lying around, and they never deemed it as bad. America, together with its allies won the WWII and the American army war termed as the Greatest Cohort. This result changed the Americans perspective on the veterans who participated in this war.

However, throughout the Vietnam War, the public outlook started to vary. The news reported uncensored footages of individuals being blown up by the US troops in Vietnam (Steenkamp & Litz, 2013). Millions of Americans viewed the scenes in horror for the first time in war history. This made most Americans horrified by the massacre that was occurring in Vietnam, and they inquired whether America's action in the nation merited the lives of the American troops and this shattered America's illusion of being right. The violence committed by the American troops was majorly exaggerated although some instances were true and all this made the world term America as being inhumane. Moreover, most American troops were extensively deemed as drug users by the media. The aim of curbing the spread of communism in Vietnam was not easily achieved as it was previously considered and therefore, Americans deemed the Vietnam War as a failed war thus signaling the fact that they treated the veterans from the war very differently from the counterparts who served in WWII.

At this point, Vietnam Veterans were insulted and poorly treated by the press and the anti-military when they returned home. There were anti-Vietnam crowds witnessed in various parts of the USA, which were represented by several political activists such as Tom Hayden and Fonda (Fontana & Rosenheck, 1994). Most members of the armed forces who returned home were warned not to put on military wear to avoid being mistreated by the protestors. The protestors uttered anti-soldier insults and this demoralized most soldiers, even those who participated in WWII. Moreover, the WWII veterans also blamed the Vietnam Veterans for losing the battle in the first place as they also believed in the reports they received about the Vietnam veterans (Bremner, Southwick, Darnell, & Charney, 1996). Some WWII veterans were even heard asking the Vietnam Veterans why they lost the war whereas they won the WWII. These humiliations hurt the Vietnam veterans, but they had no alternative but to protect each other. Most Vietnam veterans declined to talk about the events in the war due to fear of being disgraced in the 1970s.

Whilst the WWII and Vietnam veterans were differently treated by the government and the public when they returned home. Their emotions of segregation and strife occurred from going back to societies whose ideologies of the battles they fought in were established to mirror the civilian's collective participation in the war and not the involvement of the veterans (Eftekhari, Ruzek, Crowley, Rosen, Greenbaum, & Karlin, 2013). Battle experiences of the veterans in the two wars are similar, and they can acknowledge the fact that there is only one kind of battle that exists. Warfare is not good or bad either but unscrupulous, and the troops who participated in fighting can attest to this whereas the public does not.

To make matters worse, the US government initially disapproved that some of the veteran's health issues were connected to their involvement in Vietnam War. For instance, most participants experienced both emotional and psychological problems as they tried to handle their feelings concerning the warfare (Figley, 2014). They underwent depression, fear, blame, anger outbursts, nervousness and paranoia (Bremner et al., 1996). These symptoms were renowned as an actual psychological ailment. Research shows that more than 800,000 Vietnam veterans underwent Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) (Bremner et al., 1996). Moreover, most hospitals also did not perform well in treating the veterans with this ailment. This led to some veterans losing hope and resulting in suicide. Studies show that those who ended their own lives were as much as 58,000.

The Vietnam War was highly considered a mistake by many. The protests against the war led to civil unrest in America. The Asian and Jewish men who participated in WWII returned to their countries only to encounter differing degrees of public and legal bias. Most felt that fighting for a nation that did not care for everyone equally was not right at all.

The WWII veterans generally flourished from 1945 whereas the Vietnam counterparts were termed as damaged. The WWII veterans highly gained from the nation's developing post-war economy that entailed government remunerations while those from Vietnam gained less charitable remunerations, they were paid less, and by comparison, they were treated as fewer equals compared to their counterparts (Figley, 2014). Therefore, it is clear that the government was also involved in the unequal treatment of the war veterans. It is expected that a government should treat all its citizens fairly, but this was not the case after the veterans returned home. Discrimination from the government highly demoralized the Vietnam Veterans which made them more isolated and most of them suffered stress disorders (Bremner et al., 1996). Americans have always thought of the military veterans depending on the era in which they served in the army. One of the main differences in the common belief is between the servicemen who participated in the Vietnam War and those in the World War II. The WWII veterans were termed as conventionalists taking part in the post-war organization. In contrast, Vietnam veterans were termed as losers. Most probably, they were physically hurt by their service. Several films such as Coming Home have shown how these Vietnam veterans were gravely wounded. Others like The Deer Hunter show the veterans as alienated citizens who find it hard to survive.

Over time, the perception of veterans has drastically changed. WWII veterans experienced lower inequality and higher pay (Eftekhari et al., 2013). The conflict between the different treatments of these two war veterans took decades to reduce. It is also evident that intellectual and economic places of veterans were somehow connected. In addition, there are various causes to trust that the statuses of veterans always differ with time. The US government obtained soldiers during the period 1941-1973, which is the time when the country got involved in WWII to the period when the troops were extracted from Vietnam. During the plan, individuals offered to serve in diverse ways. For instance, throughout WWII, almost half of the individuals participated, and they were only removed from participating if they encountered problems in health or suffered physically or also mentally. However, throughout the Vietnam War, fewer individuals successfully evaded participation in the battle by joining higher education. Therefore, it is clear that the Vietnam War was subjected to class prejudice.

Following recruitment in the years, the troops were treated to different circumstances, which were majorly the World War II and Vietnam War. Almost a third of the men injured in WWII died, a contrast to around only one quarter in the Vietnam War (Eftekhari et al., 2013). Therefore, the army men wore most likely to perish and less expected to return home injured from WWII than in the Vietnam War. When WWII veterans returned home, they were treated well by the nation. They returned to the US in the 1940s and 1950s, and most researchers believe this might have been abnormal especially when referring to the low stages of economic injustice. It was also a time of development that was distributed evenly throughout the population. Additionally, the veterans gained extraordinary government benefits like receiving more funds for housing and learning (Steenkamp & Litz, 2013).

Since the ending of the draft, the US government has conducted an organization where individuals volunteer to join the military. Moreover, for the initial 30 years, the individuals were limited to participate in any battles. Throughout the last one and a half decade, the US military has engaged in the Afghanistan and Iraq battles. Constant with some of the past adjustments, scholars have realized that veterans gained more benefits if they participated in the WWII and earned less if they participated in Vietnam (Steenkamp & Litz, 2013). Additionally, reliable information over time has proved that the disparities were noteworthy in addition to the patterns that veterans held during the eras that have gained less consideration. The central question is whether veterans show similar levels of rising unfairness since the 1970s as other vets do.

Following the return to the US, most veterans continuously supported America's participation in Vietnam. Although the war did not attain the US aims, they were still proud of their participation for their country. Moreover, they trusted that they had accomplished their job and battled valiantly for a good reason. However, they held responsible the American government's leaders for failing to develop new strategies that would make them win the war, or the general public for failing to support them (Eftekhari et al., 2013).

However, other veterans had serious worries concerning the battle and their deeds as soldiers (Bremner et al., 1996). They inquired the causes for the US participation in Vietnam as they experienced grave lamentations concerning the devastation and loss of lives the warfare had resulted to the Vietnamese citizens. These misgivings were not easy on the veterans as they made it look like their sacrifices in the battle were in vain. The black veterans were more troubled by the misgivings concerning their participation in the military. When they returned home, they encountered societies that had strong antiwar outlooks. The black leaders were against the Vietnam War from the start, as they perceived that it denied the country's awareness from the social agendas that were established to help the poor in society. Therefore, the blacks would argue that there was no primary cause for black people to participate in the war actively.

Moreover, several Vietnam veterans activ...

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