Thursday, August 02, 2007

Gotta get this offa my chest

Heard a reference to the "psycho-killer Vietnam veteran" urban legend on the radio and it really frosts "the boys". I've had it rammed down my throat by the media for 35 years now.

After a while, the whole psycho 'Nam-vet meme wears real thin. I'd be the first one to admit that today's Army as a whole is far more squared away and professional than we were back in the late Sixties. But us old farts are too often tarred by the tar-brush-wielding media with the sins and sloppiness that rightfully belong to the media-darling protesters and draft-dodgers that were our contemporaries.

PTSD affected 0.5% of the in-country troops. This compares to 5.0% of the troops in Korea.
Did you know the majority of troops in 'Nam were volunteers? True 'dat. Only 25% were draftees, compared with 66% in WWII. They suffered 30.4% of the KIA.
Far from the poor and black dying disproportionately, 75% of the troops' families had incomes above poverty level while blacks (13.5% of the military-age cohort at the time) comprised 12.1% of deaths.
79% of the troops were high school graduates compared to 65% of the male military cohort of the time.
66% of the 'Nam vets would serve again if called.
97% of the 'Nam vets were honorably discharged.

Our average age was 19.

That is all. I feel better now....

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