In a second he was there on the side of the road; in the next he was running desperate like a fireball. The combat medic and another fellow soldier tack- led him and fought the flames. After turning off the inferno caused by the reaction of phosphorous and a cigarette the results of the injuries were revealed. The soldier looked completely different; part of his uniform was gone, his skin was full of charcoal, the skin in his face was peeling off, his voice was calm as nothing happened. His face was the face of war.

“I cannot tell you all the details from war because there are some things like death, a bullet buzzing in your hear, the joy to see that you are alive and war itself even seeing it, is inexplicable,” said Dan Fusco,

Vietnam combat medic. “I did not want to go to war,but I did,I did my duty. I am almost sure no one wants to go to war and if they want to go is because they do not know what war is like,” said Mike Collins, Veterans Coordinator and Second Lieutenant

The United States of America celebrates Veter- ans’ days to honor all the soldiers that have served our country leaving everything behind and putting their lives at risk for the liberty of all. The U.S. is full of heroes and heroines that defend and defended the country. The country has fought many wars, but of all, Vietnam was one of the worst, where U.S. soldiers suffered tribulation in war zones and in their own land, because of the political controversy.

“Everybody wondered because it was real politi- cal; but we went to serve our country, to do our job and to do it the best we could,” said Jack Clephas, Marine Sergeant.

The United States fought the Vietnam War be- tween 1964 and 1975 on the ground bordering Cam- bodia, Laos and South Vietnam.

“During the night we could see the lights deep in the jungle from the bombs and the grenades and I knew U.S. soldiers were fighting in there. I tried to make my best at my job to support my fellow soldiers fighting up close in the battle,” Kenneth Murphy, Air Force veteran and professor and department chair of science life and agriculture.

Most of soldiers who were enlisted were young adults; the average age was 22 years old. The use of the helicopter changed the way Vietnam War was fought according to State.gov an average infantry- man saw 240 days of combat in one year compared to the infantryman in World War II that experienced 40 days of combat in four years this and the use of more powerful weapons, Vietnam was a more brutal war, something never seen before. Soldiers killed in Vietnam

War had an average of 23.11 years of age.

“A bullet is a bullet in Vietnam or Iraq; it is still deadly. Some soldiers get killed, some get shot, some wounded. War doesn’t change is still horrible,” said And the majority died in battle. The real numbers probably will never be revealing because of the large number of political prisoners held captive by North Vietnam, many of whom were killed or tortured.

According to usmilitary.about.com, since 2001 in Afghanistan and Iraq more than 4,683 soldiers have died. Of the total deaths, 3,708 were due to hostile fire and the remainder due to non-hostile fire action such as suicide or illness.

“You have to adapt to life back in your home because even the small things like the sound of a fire alarm would make you turn and be extremely aware, I still turn over my shoulder when I hear a helicopter,” said Collins.

It is impossible for many veterans to leave behind the pain caused by Vietnam even after 35 years. The physical and physiological pain that many veterans suffer now days is the incalculable price paid for the rights and freedom that everyone enjoys for the enormous effort of few. Only the Veterans and their families know the horrible taste of war and its secondary effects in their every day life.

“You never forget because it is beyond physical scars. It is mental post dramatic stress. I still wake up in the middle of the night sweating and thinking about Nam,” said Clephas.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial recognizes the huge effort of every man and woman who served its country even when the reasons were controversial. They defended the nation beyond every expectation. There are also memorials to Korea and WWII.

“My dad served in WWII and part of my family in Korea. I served in Vietnam; we are veterans, sometimes we are not treated as one; but it does not matter, what matters is to know how to treat our soldiers that are fighting today for us,” said Fusco.

Deep respect and honor to those who fought and continue to fight for our nation; admiration and tribute to the Vietnam veterans and respect for those who fall defending the United States of America.

For more information about Veterans Day and welcoming soldiers returning to the U.S. call (903) 279-7301.

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