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#1
Why are Vietnam veterans generally stereotyped much different than other war veterans? When I think of one, the image of a homeless alcoholic man in a wheelchair with psychological problems and long hair comes to mind. I know that not all Vietnam veterans are like this, but that is the stereotype.

No disrespect to any veterans. I just want to know why the Vietnam veteran image is stereotyped much differently than a WWII or Gulf war veteran.
#3
cause a lot of them were drafted, man...

they've seen and done things, man...bad things...man...

edit: I'm waiting until Dreadnought comes in here
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#5
Because war is hell?
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#7
^^ I was thinking of something along those lines. A lot of these guys that were drafted didn't agree with the war so I guess they weren't exactly ready for what was to come. That's just my guess, but I don't really know much about the war in general.
#8
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#10
cos USA got ****ed in that war
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#11
It's cause Vietnam was a crazy as piss war, with most people too young to deal with it.
War, especially a war with as terrifying an enemy as the Vietnamese, is hell.
#12
I don't know. My grandfather is like eightysomething, and a Vietnam vet. He seems totally fine and 'normal', but I found out he still goes to like a psychiatrist or something once a week.
#13
vietnam wasnt the first war to produce posttraumatic stress in soldiers. it just wasnt diagnosed or taken very seriously prior to. in vietnam there was a lot of sentiments that the war wasnt just whereas in WWII and other previous wars there was predominantly a mentality that the war needed to be fought and they were fighting for something that mattered and/or an evil enemy.
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#15
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#16
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^^ I was thinking of something along those lines. A lot of these guys that were drafted didn't agree with the war so I guess they weren't exactly ready for what was to come. That's just my guess, but I don't really know much about the war in general.


Pretty much... they didn't want to be there and some weren't mentally prepared/fit for combat of that caliber. Many times they went into combat they had no clue who the enemy actually was and where they'd be. The enemy could (and would) strike at anytime in any means possible.

The Viet Cong had very devastating ways of killing of soldiers. They booby-trapped the jungles and normally when a soldier tripped a booby-trap they would be mutiliated for the rest of the platoon/company to see. I imagine seeing a buddy standing next to you one second and then the next second on the ground bleeding out and crying could do leave some serious psychological damage on the people who saw it
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#17
Vietnam was almost on, if not over, the line of atrocity in terms of fighting on both sides. It was a nasty war with a lot of messed up shit. While war is hell, both sides fought with really messed up tactics (agent orange, complete indescriminate slaughter of whoever was on opposing sides, etc).

Also, the whole "Why are we fighting this?" mentality.
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#18
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#19
vietnam is still considered one of the most difficult wars on the soldiers themselves. US soldiers weren't well trained to fight in the conditions they faced in vietnam (the enemy soldiers, the environment, etc). there's a reason it dragged on so long. There was no easy way for the US to instantly win the war, so the soldiers who were over there had to keep on fighting essentially a losing war.

Veterans also had a tough time adjusting to life because they weren't nearly as respected back home as veterans of other wars. the general public's opinion of vietnam vets was very low, and they suffered tons of abuse even after they returned from the war. thats also part of the reason the vets are considered so messed up today.

or something like that.
#21
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vietnam wasnt the first war to produce posttraumatic stress in soldiers. it just wasnt diagnosed or taken very seriously prior to. in vietnam there was a lot of sentiments that the war wasnt just whereas in WWII and other previous wars there was predominantly a mentality that the war needed to be fought and they were fighting for something that mattered and/or an evil enemy.

Even though they may have felt that there was a just cause in the previous wars, it still had a horrible effect on the minds of thousands of soldiers, many of whom were completely unprepared for the realities of war. Post-traumatic stress existed before Vietnam, it was just labeled shell shock.
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#22
not all Vets were lucky enough to get into the shrimpin' business after the war.

maybe that has somethin to do with it.
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#23
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I don't know. My grandfather is like eightysomething, and a Vietnam vet. He seems totally fine and 'normal', but I found out he still goes to like a psychiatrist or something once a week.

well does he have ptsd?
My feelings for a vet depends on their individual actions. Those who were drafted, I feel awful for.
Generally, I don't have much respect (nor should I) for people who chose to get involved in Viet Nam. I feel bad for many, but I don't have respect for them.
#25
"I don't know. My grandfather is like eightysomething, and a Vietnam vet. He seems totally fine and 'normal', but I found out he still goes to like a psychiatrist or something once a week."

Career military? We have been in Vietnam in one way or another since the early 1950's (we also gave the French more than a billion dollars back then to try to prop up their colonial control of that country, but you know the French, loving nothing more than a good surrender). So it's possible that your grandfather did a tour or two in Vietnam if he was a career soldier. But if not, then he probably served in Korea and not Vietnam. We didn't escalate the war in Vietnam until 1964 or thereabouts, which means your grandfather would have been in his mid-30's at the time.

I had a grandfather (my mom's dad) who died in 1944 fighting the Germans in Europe and a step grandfather who fought in both Korea and WWII. He was actually in the reserves when Korea got invaded and got called up.

As for the image of Vietnam vets as homeless degenerates, that is because of movies such as Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now and Born on the Fourth of July. Of course, growing up in the 1970's, I knew Vietnam vets, but none of them were homeless. Some of them, though, were still getting therapy for PTSD. One guy I knew had Agent Orange dropped on his unit and he was having PHYSICAL problems arising from that into the early 1980's. That war damaged this country in so many ways kids today have no idea.
#27
Quote by sticksause
Why are Vietnam veterans generally stereotyped much different than other war veterans? When I think of one, the image of a homeless alcoholic man in a wheelchair with psychological problems and long hair comes to mind. I know that not all Vietnam veterans are like this, but that is the stereotype.

No disrespect to any veterans. I just want to know why the Vietnam veteran image is stereotyped much differently than a WWII or Gulf war veteran.

It's because of that Oliver Stone movie. The one with Tom Cruise in a wheelchair. I believe it's Born on the Fourth of July.
#28
Vietnam was hell. The enemy was ruthless and we were fairly untrained. The type of combat was something very new to the american militia, jungle combat, and the Vietcong were right at home in it. Basically, if you had to imagine the proverbial "meat grinder", it would have been Vietnam to the American soldiers. Also, although the Vietnam war was just as bad as any war for atrocities, what made it different was that it was the first war to ever have real media coverage. Not like the WWII era propaganda used to bolster support, but real video footage for the average citizen to view. This is why the vets were treated so poorly upon their return. Basically, civilians were able to see the true face of war and turned the blame on the soldiers forced to fight it.
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#29
The average age of a man drafted in c.1942 was something like 25. The average age of a man drafted in 1968 was 19. A 19 year old is not a man. He's not ready for war, he's not ready to be shot at. (If anyone is at all)

Someone who is 19 (or 18) is still figuring out how to live on his own away from his parents. I mean if you're 18 years old, you just got out of high school.

Anyways, the point is you take young men like this and drop them in a country to fight a war that no one is really clear what the reason for fighting is, these guys are going to come back seeing things in their head that they can't always reconcile and chalk down as being for a greater cause.

I did a massive project on the Vietnam Conflict and this was one of the themes I focused on, the affects of the war on the psyche of men.

Granted, more people came back from the war and fell back into society's grind than those that came back and didn't. There is this stereotype that is vastly untrue about Vietnam Vets.
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#30
Just don't push them.

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#31
Watch the Deer Hunter.
It wasn't straightforward war. It was young people witnessing a superior enemy, with weapons designed to not only physical maim and kill victims, but cause serious metal problems to those who witnessed and survived.
#32
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Watch the Deer Hunter.
It wasn't straightforward war. It was young people witnessing a superior enemy, with weapons designed to not only physical maim and kill victims, but cause serious metal problems to those who witnessed and survived.


I really want to see that movie, actually.
#33
I think it mostly has to do with a combonation of Draft / Enemy / Environment / and especially Media.

Cunts like Jane Fonda (a well known and "respected" american star) helped destroy the US soldier's credability by using her popularity + her misdirection propaganda bullshit. She's just one example from back then, but a promanent one.

Stars getting involved in politics and campaigning for there choice is one of the most unfortunate parts of our society. It's freedom of speech to the Idiocracy level. Other than McCain hiring Palan as a VP candidate, media popularity and every musician and actor/actress not named Ted Nuggent jumped on the Obama bandwagon, lol. THAT was the biggest reason Obama is Pres. It's true. Just saying.
#34
veitnam vets are stereotyped because the war wasnt ours to fight.

if you look at the facts we were allied with france and they were over there first fighting (it slips my mind as to what they were fighting about) and we assisted them. but as we started assisting them the french left, leaving us to fight what they started. thats one reason why so many were against the war, causing those not in the war to treat vets like shit who came home in one peice.

due to the constint hate and the trauma seen out in combat, since veit cong or "charlie" as the vets called them were ruthless and would do anything to show how far theyd go in battle, it caused some soldiers to become mentally unstable, have shell shock, etc. and because alot of them they came home and often times had nothing left (no job, home, etc) and there country "turned on them" they ended up homeless and became what we see as stereotypical veterans.


TL;DR france comes into veitnam starts fight trolls us into fighting then leaves and we end up fighting there battle causing the veitnam vet sterotype

damn trolls
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#35
forrest gump?
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#36
because vietnam was fought largely by conscripts and was fought hard for years. The Gulf wars have been fought by Marines and career soldiers against comparatively disorganised resistance. If you looked up the numbers I'm sure you would find that the number of US soldiers KIA in the first month of the Vietnam war is larger than the number killed so far in either gulf war.
#37
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#39
Cause Vietnam was a really stupidly fought war, and was pretty bad, like, a million times worse than what any soldier has ever seen today in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You see things like that and it really messes a man up. Plus, most war vets have a hard time getting jobs and such after fighting wars. Most people hated the people who fought in the wars, and didn't try to help them after the war.

Now, people are sympathetic to our troops and they get alot more support than they did in the Vietnam war.
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