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Vietnam Veterans

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 11 months ago








Australia and the Vietnam War- Vietnam Veterans


by Ben Davis & Claire Ferguson 

edited by

Jonathan Liew and Christopher Jones





"Today let us also remember the brave soldiers who died for our freedom and our veterans who stood in harm's way to guard our freedoms."  Michael N. Castle






The Vietnam War was extremely unpopular with the Australian public and in a way, divided the country. In the early years of the war there was much controversy. Many protests were held which often ended in violence. See Early Support for the War. In previous wars, returned soldiers were held in high esteem by the general public of Australia. However, the Vietnam veterans were not officially recognized by the government, in fact they didn't even recieve a celebratory parade. The lack of recognition went so far as to turn into complete and utter rejection of the returned soldiers by the citizens of Australia. Even today, veterans are still struggling to gain recognition for their service, and compensation for the physical and psychological trauma the war inflicted upon them.




Suffering Veterans


For many of the returned Australian soldiers who fought in Vietnam, life became harder and for many it was difficult to re-adjust to civilian life. Post traumatic stress disorder affected one in five soldiers. This disorder was caused by the horrific nature of the fighting and the terrible experiences veterans had in Vietnam. See Guerilla Warfare for further details about the nature of the Vietnam War. This made it hard for many veterans to return to a normal life. As well as this, Vietnam veterans have higher rates of head and neck cancer, alcohol related diseases and suicide when compared with the rest of the community. War chemical defoliants were used in the Vietnamese jungle such as the particularly nasty Agent Orange, which was highly toxic and health concerns were raised about the effect of the use of this and other chemicals on the veterans' health.




Veteran Initiatives


What made these issues more impactive was that the government completely ignored the veterans plight. Finally, the Vietnam Veterans Association was formed in 1979. More about Vietnam Veterans on Legacy of the War. The association aimed to reach out to the veterans, as well as pressuring the government to investigate the effects of the herbicides and chemicals, including Agent Orange, used in Vietnam. This organisation still exists today. It's website is www.vvaa.org.au. initial government inquiry found no link between Agent Orange and the veterans' health issues. The veterans refused to accept this finding and continued to pressure the government to look further into the issue. Only in 1994, the government finally accepted that there was a number of medical studies and surveys that proved there were links between a number of cancers among Vietnam veterans and exposure to chemicals. As a result of these new findings many veterans finally received compensation from the government.





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Finally Recognised


In March 1987, a whole fifteen years after the soldiers had returned to home turf, the government supported a Welcome Home Parade for the Vietnam veterans through the streets of Sydney and in 1992 the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial was opened in Canberra. The government and the people of Australia had finally recognized the service and commitment of the Australian soldiers who fought, suffered, fell and returned to an unwelcoming country.






Mason, 1975, Experience Of Nationhood, Fifth Edition, McGraw Hill, Australia.

Friedman, 2005, Australian PSYOP of the Vietnam War, 7th June 2007, <www.psywarrior.com/AustralianVNPSYOP.html>



Comments (5)

Anonymous said

at 8:46 am on May 31, 2007

its paraphrasing buddy from the text book

Anonymous said

at 1:48 pm on Jun 13, 2007

hey thanx claire :)

Anonymous said

at 1:50 pm on Jun 13, 2007

we peer assessed your wiki and have decided that it is very good but could use some adjusting to make it clearer.
The pictures and picture slideshow provide good visuals to the page.
The information is good and facts seem relevant, however headings are definately needed. It is very confusing to read and people aren't bothered to read a huge slab of information and headings would draw us to read certain paragraphs.
There is good structure though as the first paragraph clearly introduces the topic and the support the veterans received. However, it does have an 'essay feel' but headings would break this up, and maybe a few dot points.
The tone of the information is good especially in the first paragraph.
You need to show references and where you got this information from, especially since there have been previous comments about plajourising (can't spell :p). Its okay if something is paraphrased, just site where you got the information from.
The links are good and make the information easier to understand. In the first paragraph though, the link for 'early support for the war' isn't relevant as in the previous sentence, you said that intially, there was contraversy. Confusing :S
Spelling: veteran's health... not veterans (mistake several times) and is commitment two t's or 1?
GOOD PAGE GUYS! like the pictures and the coloured words, information good, just add headings and references and fix that 1st link.

love emma and claudia!!

Anonymous said

at 1:55 pm on Jun 13, 2007

P.S like the quote love claudia and emma

Anonymous said

at 9:03 am on Jun 19, 2007

I think that your work is dispicable. It really is terrible with no attention to detail whatsoever and therefore deserves the mark of 50/50. If you got a bigger font you might be able to make it longer.

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