by QUINCEE GARCIA
On far too many occasions, America has gone into war with other countries, fighting for a cause in which it ends with no one true winner. Both men and women on both sides of the argument return home with different outlooks on life. Some become more free-spirited, while some come home and live the stereotype of being the far-too-strict-parent. War, whether or not the person actually goes into combat, changes people.
A big issue that a lot of veterans face recently is coming home and having an inner battle with post traumatic stress disorder. The trauma took ahold of their way of thinking and now veterans must mentally suffer for the rest of their lives. Up to 11% of the returnees from Vietnam suffer from PTSD. Roy R. writes in his article Success Story: Roy “You can’t take a 19-year-old brain and subject it to the constant threat of death or injury by rocket fire and expect it not to be affected.” Mr. Harding, a history teacher at El Diamanté high school and veteran, says “…I have seen the results of people going and coming back and it does change people; hence the problem that we have seen in the military about our wounded warriors with higher suicide rate is a very serious problem and hopefully they can get some help.”
On the other hand, some veterans acclaim that fighting for their country has actually made them a better person. Some return with a better appreciation for life. Floyd Jones, a returner from Vietnam’s Air Force, says “I went into it thinking what the h*** am I doing with myself. I came home thinking at least I know what I’m doing with myself now that I’m home: I’m going to live life to the fullest.”
Those who leave their families to fight for their country come home with different perspectives on what really is living. No doubt, war changes people.