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View Diary: Morning Open Thread: Paris Peace Accords Ending The Vietnam War Signed 40 Years Ago Today (98 comments)

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  •  I have no reason to doubt at all your (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaNang65, rudyblues

    estimations of drug/alcohol deaths, imprisonment, but I just want to illustrate how confusing or misleading the other info out there can be.  I've culled the following from the Vietnam War Facts, Statistics & Myths that I linked to at the end of the diary:

    91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served.

    74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.

    Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.

    Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.

     There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study).

    Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.

    85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.

    Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.
    Fact: Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group.

    Would you comment on these for me?  I am stunned to learn that the info I'm finding out there is so misleading and inaccurate.

    I've not had the opportunity before now to say it, but I want to thank you, DaNang65 for your service to our country.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:05:46 AM PST

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    •  Here's stat that should shame us all (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, rudyblues, DaNang65

      The National Alliance to End Homelessness

      The Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released Volume I of the 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. Among the key findings included in the report was the estimate that 62,619 veterans were homeless on a single night in 2012. That estimate represents a 7.2 percent decline compared to HUD's 2011 estimate, and a 17.2 percent decline compared to its 2009 estimate.

      The veteran homelessness population is made up of veterans who served in several different conflicts, ranging from World War II to the recent conflicts. Though research indicates that veterans who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness, veterans returning from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq often have severe disabilities that are known to be correlated with homelessness. And as the military evolves, so too do the challenges. Homeless women veterans, for instance, are far more common now than in any other time in the past.

      Getting better but not good enough.

      Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

      by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:23:09 AM PST

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    •  There's something about Sgt. Hack 's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, bobatkinson

      paean to the Viet Nam War, Vietnam War: Facts, Stats & Myths that reminds me of the Warren Commission's report. Remember how the Warren Commission was appointed to prove that Lee Oswald, acting alone, killed president Kennedy? And they did, kinda sorta. If we ignore common sense and little things like the Laws of Physics (think Arlen Specter's "magic bulet")

      Some examples of "Sgt. Hack's" curious relation to reality:

      The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1961. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
      As big mouth points out, above, that ain't exactly true. We can argue whether or not that dubious distinction should go to Lt. Col. Peter Dewey, September 26, 1945, or Maj. Dale R. Ruis and Master Sgt. Chester M. Ovnand July 8, 1959, or any one of a number of others. Which name and date we choose probably says more about what spin we're trying to put on it than anything else.

      Similarly, Sgt. Hack boldly asserts

      Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.
      Fact: The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. General Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike (a professor at the University of California, Berkeley), a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.
      About six weeks after I came home from Viet Nam the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I can still physically feel the impact when I first heard A Day in the Life
      I saw a film today oh boy
      The English Army had just won the war
      A crowd of people turned away
      but I just had to look
      Having read the book
      I'd love to turn you on
      I think we know better than to assert that the United States didn't lose the Viet Nam War. Sgt. Hack's too fine point is in service of propaganda.

      Sgt. Hack puts similar spin on the CDC's Vietnam Experience Study. During the 1980's I was in correspondence Colleen Boyle, then with the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly and principal investigator for what came to be called the Vietnam Experience Study. While my disagreements with Sgt. Hack's characterization of that study are too detailed and nuanced to list in what is already turning into a diary rather than a comment, suffice to say that the Sgt. is as right about this as he is about winning the war.

      Not to mention, of course, the admittedly anecdotal evidence of my forty five years of experience in and among the very Viet Nam veterans Sgt. Hack so easily dismisses.

      “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

      by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:56:26 AM PST

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      •  Thanks for taking the time to explain this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaNang65

        It seems Sgt. Hack is appropriately named, eh?

        I suppose I should not be surprised that all the inaccuracies exist today regarding Vietnam considering the lies and deceptions from beginning to end concerning our involvement there.  I'm not naive enough to think we didn't lie about the other wars, but to me it seems that historically the Vietnam war was the biggest pig they applied lipstick to.

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:18:03 AM PST

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        •  Just as a lens through which to view those (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JaxDem, BOHICA

          "statistics," how many deaths from overdose are actually suicide? How many one car accidents? How many exposure deaths? Those are all categories in which Viet Nam veterans died at statistically significantly higher rates than either our age cohort peers who never served or who served but not in Viet Nam.

          Perhaps it's no coincidence that the mortality study of OEF/OIF veterans is being done by the VA and not the CDC. In legal circles they call it "forum shopping."

          “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

          by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:43:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Some of that personal experience (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JaxDem

          here.

          “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

          by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:50:15 AM PST

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          •  Reading that took my breath away (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaNang65, BOHICA

            and made me cry.  Well done piece, DaNang.  Very well done.

            As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

            by JaxDem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:21:18 AM PST

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            •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JaxDem, BOHICA

              I'm not just prattling about some b.s. I heard down at the bar.

              “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

              by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:23:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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