Old friend Les Mathson tells story about his US Army combat experience in Viet Nam and the challenge of transition once back home.

This story is another reminder of how important it is for all combat veterans to receive help in the transition when returning home.  As my book, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story, will be published soon, emails from old friends and others concerned about PTSD will be posted with permission.  Direct comments can also be included following the posting.

Steve,
Being near combat and in some cases real close to it in VietNam I can’t imagine what the guys who were actually out in the jungle on patrols and fighting hand to hand combat with the VC had to go through.  I also know that when I came home from Nam, one day you were there and three days later you were mustered out of the US Army walking the streets at home.  This was surreal after fearing for your life everyday while you’re there.  I was in Quin Nhon which was a seaport city on the South China sea where all the supplies arrived via shipor at the airport and then transported on Convoys to go up to the DMZ.  So we had all the oil and gas storage tanks and ammunition dumps there, hospital, treated drinking water, radio station, etc.   So, every night I was there for 345 days we got hit with rockets.  We used to hate to see the sun go down because you knew the rocket attacks were coming and a few times the rockets hit in our compound and blew us literally out of our bunks. It took me a year to get over hitting the ground when hearing a loud noise, it was just a reflex. Thank God I didn’t come home with any serious effects of PTSD or beat or abuse my wife and kids.  I credit my faith in the Lord for that, he was there with me the whole time although prayer never left me day in and day out.  Les