The Vietnam War: The Mental, Social, and Physical Effects on the Soldiers

Essay by djl5064College, UndergraduateB, October 2008

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In 1961 the worst war ever fought by America had just started. The Vietnamese of the north also known as the Viet Cong had invaded the south to take control of the entire country. America and other democratic countries felt the spread of communism to this country would be a stepping-stone for other communistic countries around the world, also known as the Domino Effect. America, as cocky as they were, invaded Vietnam to help the southern Vietnamese. Although America is one of the most powerful countries in the world, it extremely underestimated the dedication of their enemy. Backed by China and the USSR, the Viet Cong were a determined and very tough enemy. The Vietnam War as a whole was a terrible act by the US government. Vietnam was going through their own civil war and we should not have participated in it. Just as America shouldn't have tried to help Iraq when they were having social problems.

The American army that was sent to Vietnam in the sixties was composed of five hundred thousand infantry including one of those soldiers being my father who was drafted into the war. The Vietnam War had a negative impact on the soldiers due to the mental, social, and physical problems they had encountered during and after the war.

The soldiers who were in Vietnam experienced many things that a normal person could not handle or comprehend. After the war a great deal of the soldiers had developed a war syndrome. C.B. Scringer states, "Battles inflame thoughts of imminent death or impending injury, so the trauma of war becomes firmly embedded into ones consciousness"(18). At first many doctors did not really understand the concept of a war syndrome and diagnosed the soldiers with common characteristics such as fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, sleep...