that is rarely discussed is, not just the effect it had on the people who served, but on their families.
My spouse was a ptsd/agent orange vet, with all that that implied for our lives. As I used to observe, the man I gave them was not the man they sent back to me. I woke up twice with hands around my throat--but I was lucky, because I did, in fact, wake up. I dealt with the anger issues, the bad dreams, the tempers, and the damage done by agent orange to a formerly healthy person.
I counselled at vets' centers, so I got to see the damage on a very large scale (and prayed i would never have to do so again) Many of our friends were vets, so I got to see it up close and personal at home as well. Luckily, we did not have children, so the destruction of agent orange was not passed on, nor were there children to witness, and be affected by, less-than-optimally functioning parents.
The families of those service members are just as much collateral damage as the civilians in Vietnam, and with even less attention paid.
Is it important to talk about it? As long as this country's government keeps sending our people to be wounded or die in wars of lies and occupation, we cannot lose the lessons of that war.
time magazine used to publish, every few years or so, an article entitled (with a great deal of hope, apparently) "is feminism dead?" to which my response has always been, "not so long as I draw breath"
I subscribe to rebecca west's view "feminism is the radical notion that women are people", or, as I have occasionally put it "feminism is the idea that women are entitled to all the sames rights, privileges and responsibilities as men."
I remember very clearly the day I became a feminist. I was about 5 or 6, and in the toy section of a department store at christmas time. there were rows and rows of things for boys, and only about two for girls--and most of the stuff was pink (a colour I despise to this day unless it is a flower) that pissed me off big time.
later, in school, as an "egghead", "brain" ,etc., I was basically shunned by classmates for not only having, but not hiding, my brain. the standard brainwashing that women of my generation got somehow never sank in with me. I didn't know, or care, that I was supposed to hide being smart, caring about things other than boys, etc. and, the older I got, the less inclined I was to play any sort of games.
I have worked for the ERA, for women's issues, been assaulted by the woman-hating anti-choicers, gotten death threats for working for choice, and used to believe that we would, in my lifetime, see a more equal world. Now I watch the reichwing fundies in their frenzy to destroy women, and wonder why we are still having to fight these battles in the 21st century. But I do not give up.
so, yes, I am, proudly, loudly, unabashedly, and unapologetically, a FEMINIST.