Mental Health, From Vietnam to Afghanistan: How Far We’ve Come; How Far We Have To Go

The picture above has been going around the last couple weeks showing both the airlift evacuation during the fall of Saigon and fall of Afghanistan. Similar scenarios, same fear. It got me thinking about the trauma the people, military and civilian, have experienced and are still currently experiencing; and the wide disparity of mental healthcare available during Vietnam (and earlier) versus today.

I flashed back to when I was a child. My great Uncle Joe was a quiet guy; hardly said a word..unless he was drinking. He was probably considered a pretty severe alcoholic. I say probably, as I was a kid and only knew he was considered a drunk by various family members. I didn’t know much about him, until my brother had a report to do on Normandy and he asked Uncle Joe if he could interview him. Ah, the power of innocence. This was the only time anyone ever heard him speak about his time in the military.

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