Rants & Essays

Vietnam Mini-Series VI
"The Wounds Inside"

By Leroy Massie

We went to Vietnam because our country sent us there. We did the job we were sent to do. Some of us experience disorders. I saw many of my friends killed in Vietnam. Each time I went on a combat mission with a different combat unit I would make friends with men in the unit. When you see friends shot up, blown up, and killed day and night it does something to your mind and you never forget the tears, blood, and death. These scenes live with you forever.

I have an emotional disorder that I can not control sometimes: I have nightmares about the war in Vietnam. I am always being chased by the VC. I wake up sometimes sweating and screaming. I go through stages of acute depression. I cry when I see terrible war scenes about Vietnam. I cry sometimes when I see sad scenes on TV.

I take cover sometimes when I hear a loud noise. I cry sometimes when I think of all the brave soldiers I have seen wounded and killed in Vietnam, black and white. I know for a fact that I have been exposed to Agent Orange. I know that I experience post-traumatic stress disorder because of my Vietnam experience. I know I am trying to live a normal life despite the stress and depressions I am experiencing. I do not talk about the things that are wrong with me because people do not believe me. Although I look healthy, I am a sick man. I am not asking for sympathy, but with a little understanding from the outside world I will be able to make it. It will take hard work and strong faith in god and myself, but I will make it.