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The Effects of the Vietnam War on American Soldiers - Essay Example

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The Effects of the Vietnam War on American Soldiers

The South Vietnamese forces along with the United State depended on the air force and fire power with which they conducted search and destroy operations.
"The Vietnam War, like the other two world wars before it, was a conflict that defined war for a generation. Unlike those previous wars, it was not fought on a broad international battlefield but rather in a narrow stretch of land far distant from America. Moreover as our study shows, it left not a single overwhelming image, but conflicting visions and meanings over which we continue to fight, though less stridently than at the height of that bitterly divisive conflict" (Wouters and Laufer 316).
The United States entered the war to avoid the takeover of South Vietnam by the communist. The strategy behind this support was called containment. U.S. Military advisors arrived in 1950. In the early 1960s the U.S. involvement grew and the early 1965 they deployed combat units. The involvement of the U.S. was the highest in 1968 during the Tet Offensive. Later U.S. forces withdrew under a policy called Vietnamization, as South Vietnamese troops were armed and trained. The fighting in Vietnam continued even after a peace treaty was signed by all parties involved in January 1973. The U.S. Congress passed the Case-Church Amendment in June 1973, responding to the anti-war movement. The Case-Church Amendment banned U.S. Military intervention. North Vietnam captured Saigon in April 1975. In 1976, North Vietnam and South Vietnam were reunified.
The Vietnam War had a huge impact on the culture, foreign relations and politics of the United States. The American citizens were very upset over the government's justification for the war and the means of fighting used. The war encountered a large human cost, which included the loss of 58,159 U.S. soldiers.
The Vietnam War did not only result in the loss of life of American soldiers. The war had lasting effects on the soldiers who were in Vietnam. The soldiers not only suffered physical pain and injuries, they also suffered many psychological disorders. The fact that their own country men had turned against them affected the soldiers psychologically and emotionally. "Going to war creates a gulf between the warrior and his fellow citizens who have not directly experienced warfare" (Wouter and Laufer 40).
The effects on the psychic of the soldiers were devastating up to the extent that they also stared committing suicide due to depression. The soldiers also faced problems which had lasting effects, these included drug addiction and the effects of Agent Orange on the soldiers and their children. "With the Vietnam war came widespread drug use, anti-military activism, racial tensions and increasing crime, all of which debilitated the training and readiness of the U.S. forces" (Baker 64) .
Soldiers faced extreme conditions like hunger, fatigue, diseases and the like. Due to the intense conditions the soldiers faced in Vietnam, war memories were not forgotten easily. This resulted in a psychological disorder called delayed stress syndrome, which is described as extreme stress or even disorder of the brain caused by shocking memories of the past. Studies show that almost 15 per cent of the 3.3 million Americans who were a part of the Vietnam War were diagnosed with delayed stress sy ...Show more


The Vietnam War was also known as the Vietnam Conflict or the Second Indochina War. The war took place in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam which took place from 1959 to 1975. The Vietnam War was fought between the government of South Vietnam and the communist of North Vietnam…
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The Effects of the Vietnam War on American Soldiers essay example
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