How Were the Vietnam Veterans Treated After the War?

Panoramic Images/Panoramic Images/Getty Images

The Vietnam veterans were treated with disdain and were essentially shunned once they returned home from war. The veterans were seemingly blamed for what had happened in Vietnam until 1982 when the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was erected in Washington, D.C.

When this memorial was created, the public finally began to accept and approve of the Vietnam veterans’ service. In fact, the public began to view these veterans as victims because of the shocking mental health problems that many of the Vietnam veterans endured. While many people who are thrown into combat experience mental health problems, the Vietnam veterans experienced more than usual.

Out of the 1.6 million who fought in Vietnam, nearly 750,000 of them became homeless, while even more committed suicide. According to Illinois University, more Vietnam veterans committed suicide after the war than had died in it.

In the Vietnam war, there were more than 58,000 deaths and more than 300,000 wounded as well as more than 700,000 veterans who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The war was slow to take action against PTSD and to provide veterans with the help they needed because of the public’s general disapproval of the entire war. Many veterans have recounted their first days at home with police officers escorting them around because of all of the anti-war protests.