Battlefield Of The Mind

Post date: Jun 01, 2013 6:36:20 PM

Battlefield Of The Mind

Its has been a long journey since we set foot in that country we call Vietnam. Vietnam has never left us, it will always be there in our mined. We have seen the faces of death both the enemy and our brothers at a younger age. As a United State soldier I had the honor of serving with a company of heroes in a life and death struggle in the Vietnam war and survive.

Upon coming home to a unwelcome world. I discovered another battlefield, a battlefield of the mind. They use to call it shell shock, battle fatigue, now it is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The symptoms are anxiety, intrusion, flashback, nightmares, deep depression, out-burst of anger, isolation from others. These are attacks of the mind. There is a war going on and your mind is a battlefield. This battle I learned will never end. Its been going on in most of us for over 40 years. We are soldiers that don’t just want to survive--- we want to be healed!

I was honorably discharged at age 20 from the United States Army. After my 14-months tour in Vietnam in September 1970. However, my transition in coming home and assimilating back into my community was another event that I will not forget. People everywhere were against the war and against us . They despised us, they spat at us, calling us baby killers. The world we came to was compromised. Many Americans had turned their backs on us.

With all of these negative emotions targeted toward us, many of us decided never again to talk about Vietnam. Never again wearing anything showing that we were Vietnam Veterans. We kept it from everyone, even from our family and friends. Now the war is locked up inside us.

As the years have gone by we have gotten older, we can see on street corners someone holding a cardboard sign saying Vietnam Vet, need help. We could see homeless Vietnam Vet in the parks and street by the hundreds. We hear and read about them in newspapers titled “Combat Veteran Commits Suicide.” For many of us treatment was never there in the beginning, nor were there proper help for these combat veterans. Their wounds are deep and invisible with emotional scars that will last a lifetime. The battle suffered is still in their mind. They had no control of it nor knew what it was.

Still the numbers keeps growing and growing finally America asks why so many veterans are homeless? Why are there so many in jail? Why so many combat veteran committing suicide?

The times they are changing my comrades. The spirit of America has changed, they now open up their arms for us and say “Welcome Home Solider.” I have changed, Never before have I been so proud to be a Vietnam Vet. Today, they honor, remember and, care for us. There is help through the VA for all of us. Sure it’s a struggle out there. I will be the first to tell you. There is no retreat. We need to win this battle, suicide is not the answer.

I urge you to make up your mind not to quit nor give up until total victory is complete. Take possession of your rightful self, by renewing of your mind. You now have the choice to change or suffer remaining the same.

May the most high GOD of all understanding bless you with peace and joy in every road you roam. Never forget we are the Vietnam Vets. We stand tall for all to see, for we are the soldiers and keepers of this legacy.

Here is wisdom my comrade:

Wisdom is something learned through the ages;

Not something found in book pages.

Wisdom is the teacher, Wisdom is the writer.

Wisdom is the fighter, the soul survivor.

By: Robert Yonan (12-08-2012)