“2:09PM EST November 8. 2012 –Our nation’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War officially began on Memorial Day this year, when President Obama led a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.
But for the men and women who served during the war’s 13 years under four presidents, the memories of fallen comrades and of lives forever changed have remained vivid each day throughout the ensuing decades.”
USA Today’s Special Edition, 50 Years Later is a beautiful “salute” to all Vietnam War veterans. As a Vietnam era veteran who served in the US Navy, I have a special place in my heart for all who served during this time. I have many friends who served with honor, and family members as well. My cousin, Mike Schaub, was a Purple Heart recipient who passed away recently as a result of both visible and invisible wounds from the war. Mike struggled his entire life following the war with his injuries and never recovered. He suffered with the pain of physical wounds and symptoms of PTSD. He became estranged from his family and apparently died alone from poor health resulting from many years of alcohol and drug addiction. As in the case of many families, including my own family’s post WWII experience, we did not know or understand the symptoms of PTSD and often separated ourselves from those who suffered. If we had been more aware, knowledgeable, and compassionate, it is possible that countless Vietnam veterans like cousin Mike, may have had a better chance to recover and enjoy a healthy and happy life after war…
I purchased a copy of “50 Years Later” from the news stand this last week for $5.00. This USA Today and National Geographic Channel Special Edition is a keepsake and treasure that should be on your coffee table or in the library at home. Inside is a “Salute to the Veterans of the Vietnam War” with stories of men and women who served from all 50 states.