American Soldiers in Vietnam War

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The U.S attempt to try to stop communism from spreading led the U.S to make a decision to sent U.S troops to Vietnam. There the soldiers were forced to participate in horrendous acts. The soldiers that fought in the Vietnam War were victims of government during the war and after the war. During the war many soldiers had to go through traumatic events, they were being forced to commit horrid things. Not only did the soldiers have to suffer during the war, afterwards many soldiers both physically and mentally were damaged and scarred. The government gave no aid so the soldiers were left to live their life in agony. The lives of these soldiers were forever changed for the worse. For some of the soldiers that were being sent into the war as minors that meant that they were not able to live their young life properly. 

The government took advantage of the public that had done no wrong and the soldiers were the ones that suffered the most. The soldiers had to endure dreadful and horrifying events during the war. There are many stories that explain what soldiers had to go through while in combat. In an excerpt from a letter by Ron Ridenhour, Ridenhour is explaining how during the Vietnam War,he had to “destroy the structures and kill the inhabitants”. These soldiers were told to do these awful tasks by someone who is at a higher level of them, meaning they aren't able to go against these commands for they could face a disciplinary action. The soldiers had no say in what was to be done during this war, these soldiers were only following commands. Ridenhour is also explaining how “one of the men in his squad shot himself in the foot in order to be medivaced out of the area so that he would not have to participate in the slaughter”(Source A). 

During the Vietnam War, many soldiers had to undergo heinous acts and had to observe gruesome events. These soldiers were so opposed to the tasks they were being told to do that in order to avoid and stop seeing the gruesome acts would rather inflict pain on themselves to not have to participate. The soldiers went to extreme methods to try to avert from these acts they do not agree with, but are forced to by the government. The war left many of the soldiers damaged both physically and mentally. Statistics show how many soldiers after the Vietnam War had to face a large number of issues. The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, show how “7% of females and 11% of males still had PTSD”. Due to serving in the war it is proven that soldiers have had to suffer from PTSD. The war was so traumatic to these soldiers that even after the war they still had to endure with the aftermath.These soldiers cannot get help since at the time of the Vietnam War no one really put into consideration how the soldiers would be impacted by the war psychologically. Since something like PTSD happens after the traumatic event- in this case after the war- soldiers were not able to get much help or support from the government either since it happened after the war. 

Not only does war destroy the mental health of the soldiers, but soldiers also have to stress about their physical health since war can take a toll on their body. Veterans have a “history of musculoskeletal conditions” (Source B) war can have a great impact on the body of the soldier since they have to endure many obstacles. After the war these physical disabilities affect the soldiers in significant ways. For many their lives have changed forever, many aren't able to get normal jobs and many don't have the money to receive the medical treatments that are needed after the war. War has left many soldiers with negative life changes due to the government's lack of care towards the soldiers. 

Many of the soldiers that were sent to war were being sent against their will. Not only were they being sent against their will these soldiers were sometimes under the age of 18. The government needed more men to fight in the war, so they went to the next option was to sent males under the age of 18 to war. In the political cartoon by Mauldin Bill, shows two young males in a jungle trying to camouflage into the background by wearing helmets with twigs on them. One of the males is painting a sign that says, “Warning it is unlawful to kill minors”, and the other male has wide eyes, has a terrified look on his face. The caption of the political cartoon says, “Since we can't vote or buy liquor, we ought to have some privilege”(Source F). 

This shows how the government thinks that minors are not able to have certain privileges like having the right to vote but are grown enough to be sent out to war and risk their lives. The government bends its rules to accommodate their interest and needs in order to benefits themselves. The government never really showed that they did care about the soldiers that were in the field risking their lives to apparently benefit the country. These soldiers were only victims of the government's attempt to create a better democracy. These young men are being forced to grow up and forget about their childhood. They are being forced to leave their normal lives behind to risk not ever coming back to them. The dreams and aspirations they were once working for where being having to be put on hold to go and endanger their life. The government's decision to forcefully send minors into the war has a life destroying effect on the young men.

Overall, the American soldiers that were forced to be in combat in the Vietnam War were not shown any remorse by the government. Soldiers has no other option but to follow the commands that made them do gruesome acts that most soldiers did not agree with. During the Vietnam many soldiers were being sent that were under the age of 18, the government had no remorse towards the people that participated in the war. After the war the soldiers were left with many issues to face on their own which were results of the war that some soldiers were forced to participate in. Due to all these reasons it proves that the government victimized the soldiers that participated in the Vietnam War.  

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American Soldiers In Vietnam War. (2021, May 30). Retrieved June 25, 2024 , from

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