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Mon Feb 20, 2012, 06:42 PM

I lived through it, both as a war protestor, and the spouse of a vietnam vet. one of the things

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.

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