RE: The Summer Of Love/Vets

Mike Bennett (
Sun, 24 Aug 97 21:33:16 UT

I have done a lot of work with alcohol and drug/addicted Viet Nam vets.
Uniformly, they say that their only concern, once in country was to stay alive
and help their buddies stay alive. Many had no way of knowing about what they
were doing. Average age of 19, little education, family history of military
service (everyone almost in the working class used to be a vet, it was a rite
of passage, like jail is now). And no knowledge that they were not doing the
right thing.

Many began using drugs and alcohol to blot out the memories of
atrocities they had witnessed or done. Some joined antiwar groups
upon return home, others just wanted to forget the whole experience.
The scariest ones enjoyed killing. Others had no conscience and
became mercenaries. Of course once they were told of the nature of
their antisocial behaviors, they became responsible and war criminals
if they continued it. Then they could be condemned or attacked. No
one can be condemned for being a sucker.

Don't forget the IRA got its training in the British Army!