We have read many different perspectives of the Vietnam War from our Negotiating Difference book. Many veterans have said that coming home was a terrible experience for them. I will compare and contrast Leslie McClusky's experience of returning home with that of Harold Bryant's experience. It's amazing to me how differently people felt about the war and their homecoming.
Upon returning home Bryant and McClusky's stories were similar. Both had a tough time adjusting to everyday life, both drank a lot to help them forget what they went through in Vietnam.
Whey they first returned home it was quiet; no party, no parade, nothing, they were very disappointed, and it was a let down to the both of them. They weren't even asked about their experiences. When Bryant tried to talk about the war, people just got bored.
They both were traumatized thinking about what they were exposed to and witnessed in the war.
Bryant constantly thought about his war experiences; he would look around corners cautiously; he just couldn't come to terms with his feelings.
McClusky felt very strange upon returning home. First she stayed in Seattle for a short time, and then traveled to Chicago. Not knowing anyone in either town she just wandered around aimlessly. She finally ended up in New York visiting her sister. While in New York she got a job working in a recovery room of a hospital. She wanted a job that gave her minimal interaction with patients. She just wasn't ready to deal with other people who were hurt; she dealt with enough injuries while in the war. She decided to become an anesthetist a job that would give her even less interaction with patients.
McClusky then met a veteran who exposed her to the Vet Center, the men there...