Oklahomans and the Vietnam War
Veterans Return Home
Unlike veterans of other wars, Vietnam veterans did not return home to cheers and ceremonies. Most Americans wanted to forget the trauma of the Vietnam War and move on. As a result Vietnam veterans were seen as a reminder of defeat and of a time that should be forgotten. Some veterans struggled with physical and psychological injuries often felt isolated from family and friends.
Some veterans blamed the antiwar protesters for the poor reception they received coming home, claiming protestors blamed the troops instead of the government. Those who supported the war resented the veterans for losing the war, which left Vietnam veterans feeling like outsiders to veterans of other wars. The Vietnam War divided American society. Those who served were often treated as traitors instead of heroes, and found it difficult to adjust to life back home. Although many Vietnam veterans did have success after returning home, those who did not were often left to deal with their trauma alone. In later years progress has been made to change the narrative of Vietnam veterans and to show support, but the effects of the neglect are long-lasting.
Vietnam veterans protest their treatment at home (image courtesy of Reddit).9