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Vietnams Impact on America

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One of the most disruptive wars in American history ended 25 years ago, but the United States is still dealing with the problems that it left. This war was Vietnam War. Many people believe that this war is still affecting America even today. During the Vietnam War the national debt increased by $146 billion (1967-1973). Adjusted for price increases, the debt in 1992 was $500 billion dollars. Even though America lost the war we still got good and bad things out of it. The war helped America exceed in technology but also showed the governments true colors. “Without money, one cannot afford to fight wars, said Frederick the Great, an 18th century Prussian King“. Debt was Vietnam after losing over 2,000 in expensive for fixing wing aircraft at a price of almost million dollars apiece. US Navy warships being destroyed, Swift boats, more aircrafts being bombed, grenades, rifle and pistol shots are all at expensive levels causing the US to go down in debt. Not only did we have to pay millions of dollars to support the war in what they needed US also went in debt from medical accidents from veterans getting hurt over in Vietnam.

New technology “Live and in Color” made a huge difference in how people perceived the war in Vietnam. “Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America – not on the battlefields of Vietnam” (McLuhan, 1975). In color for the first time, having this technology made the evening news more enjoyable than ever. This satellite technology helped process Kodak and colored film. News broadcasting shows on what’s happening in their daily life styles and to be aware of certain danger that may be caused. At the same time cable television had not yet went in the widespread use. Some communities could only receive three national commercial networks such as NBC, CBS, and ABC. With new satellite from three-network systems communities were getting local news from American and foreign journalists. The war also brought out a new legacy for film and literature. Most representations of the war in all causes of what real life was like and on televisions had little to do with Vietnam and much to do with the United States. Thought by many, the Vietnam War allowed opportunities that might have never been reached.

The works portrayed lies to the public and showed how crooked the government can be. The media showed America only the miserable soldiers who had something negative to say about the war because that story sells better than a soldier talking about how much he enjoys it. The war was one of the most written about events in American History. “No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now” (Richard Nixon, 1985). Also some veterans decided to help themselves and other veterans. They began organizing and exerting pressure on the Veterans Administration to establish storefront counseling centers in major cities around the United States. These veterans became a group called Vietnam Veterans of America. This group is designed to help take care and promote the improvement of the war veterans. The group also attempts to restore the veteran’s life, physically and mentally. Having this program will reduce the bad thoughts of Vietnam or make the person alter the memories they have. Another thing the program is working on deals with learning and getting information from the veterans so we can study them and understand what they went through.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, was built-in as a non-profit organization to establish a memorial to veterans of the Vietnam War. Most of the ideas behind the formation of the fund came from a wounded Vietnam veteran, Jan Scruggs. Many veterans still have many memories of the war and deal with it problems. The veterans all had different views of the war as far as letting it become a burden to not even being bothered by its effects. For those who let it affect them, non-veterans expressed feelings of guilt, anger, and pity for those who served in Vietnam. A disease some veterans dealt with called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These disorders form when someone has difficulty dealing aftereffects to a point where is affects the individuals life and sometimes others around them.

“The largest subgroup to experience this problem is the combat veteran. In the United States, the Vietnam War has produced the largest percentage of PTSD cases. In fact, it was after studies of Vietnam veterans were added to studies of civilian postrauma suffers that the American Psychiatric Association created, in 1980, the diagnostic category: post-traumatic stress disorder.” (Free Self-Help…). Both sides learned and grew from many different lessons from Vietnam. “While the most obvious changes brought about by America’s wars have been geopolitical in nature, many other aspects of society have been touched. War often does not bring about change directly, but acts instead like the catalyst in a chemical reaction accelerating changes already in progress” (Weapons of War, pg.8).


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