Friday, November 16, 2018

Why is it so easy to forget Vietnam veterans?

Too easy to just forget them

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 16, 2018

When Vietnam veterans came home, one out of three, had PTSD. 

By the time the Forgotten Warrior Project was released in 1978, there were 500,000 of them. Yes, and all of them with the same wounds we see today. What we do not see, are people stepping up to make sure they are not forgotten again!

I see so many charities starting up but few even mention Vietnam veterans. Other than some welcome home parades, and getting pins, saying "thank you" to them needs to be a lot more than just two words.

I keep hearing the commercial from the famous "warrior" group saying that it is a tragedy to be forgotten. That is, right after they list the different names PTSD used to have. The commercial says that "today it is called PTSD" but that group does not mention that it was called PTSD because of all the work the Vietnam veterans did to have the research started.

They say that for OEF and OIF veterans the rate is one out of five, but as you have seen, the rate for them was much higher.

We hear about burn pits in the wars of today, yet back then either they buried everything, or set it on fire, just like today. They had Napalm, Agent Orange, among other things to add to the danger to them. Yet, they did not settle for "just what it is" and go away quietly.

They fought for everything they went through, for the generations that came before them, and those who would come after them. No wound of war is new, and they remember what is so easy for the rest of us to forget.

When you think about veterans, remember, ever since the Revolutionary War, veterans have had to fight the same government who decided the battles had to be fought. The government never told them, they would be fighting for the rest of their lives for promises to be kept. 

The list of effects of Agent Orange, continues to grow, because they did not give up, as you will read below. The question is, why has it been so easy to give up on them and move on?

Vietnam veterans and agent orange exposure—new report
November 15, 2018, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The latest in a series of congressionally mandated biennial reviews of the evidence of health problems that may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War found sufficient evidence of an association for hypertension and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). The committee that carried out the study and wrote the report, Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018), focused on the scientific literature published between Sept. 30, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017.

From 1962 to 1971, the U.S. military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to strip the thick jungle canopy that could conceal opposition forces, destroy crops that those forces might depend on, and clear tall grass and bushes from the perimeters of U.S. bases and outlying encampments. The most commonly used chemical mixture sprayed was Agent Orange, which was contaminated with the most toxic form of dioxin. These and the other herbicides sprayed during the war constituted the chemicals of interest for the committee. The exact number of U.S. military personnel who served in Vietnam is unknown because deployment to the theater was not specifically recorded in military records, but estimates range from 2.6 million to 4.3 million.

Hypertension was moved to the category of "sufficient" evidence of an association from its previous classification in the "limited or suggestive" category. The sufficient category indicates that there is enough epidemiologic evidence to conclude that there is a positive association. A finding of limited or suggestive evidence means that epidemiologic research results suggest an association between exposure to herbicides and a particular outcome, but a firm conclusion is limited because chance, bias, and confounding factors could not be ruled out with confidence. The committee came to this conclusion in part based on a recent study of U.S. Vietnam veterans by researchers from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which found that self-reported hypertension rates were highest among former military personnel who had the greatest opportunity for exposure to these chemicals.

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