His Return from Vietnam circa 1968

This was one of the first photos of my Dad upon his return from Vietnam, below the text.   The picture doesn’t show it, but his battles with internal demons must have started at this point.  Later, he fought alcohol, drugs, anger, hate, depression, regret, loneliness, night terrors, night sweats, prostate cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, knee replacement, and God only knows what else Agent Orange gave him.  For along time he didn’t sleep without aid of alcohol or drugs because of nightmares from the war.  We never touched my father if he was sleeping, because he tended to strike, grab, or choke at whoever touched him.  And if he became delirious with fever, we left the house for a long while.  He couldn’t help it, and we loved him no matter what.  I guess these men, like my Dad, incur the hidden cost of war.  They pay the price for our freedom.


My Dad always said, “those that died in Vietnam were the lucky ones.”  I don’t pretend to understand what these men went through; and we shouldn’t dwell on the bad things they must live with too much.  But, sometimes I wonder what my father would have been like had he not gone to Vietnam in 1967.  I just wonder…


Love you Dad.



About kmandew

Computer Scientists Interested in Solving Problems
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