Your thoughts on the real antagonists in the story?

Use this forum to discuss the November 2019 Book of the month, "Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath", by Randy Miller.
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Ferdinand_otieno
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Your thoughts on the real antagonists in the story?

Post by Ferdinand_otieno »

The Veterans Affairs department were presented as a heartless organisation that went out of its way to pass laws that may deny veterans their pensions. I particularly hated them in this book and found them to be worse than the act of war itself. To send men to die for them in a war, and then to deny pensions to those same brave men and women was truly evil.
What are your thoughts on the Veterans Affairs department, and their role in this book?

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
01 Nov 2019, 03:57
The Veterans Affairs department were presented as a heartless organisation that went out of its way to pass laws that may deny veterans their pensions. I particularly hated them in this book and found them to be worse than the act of war itself. To send men to die for them in a war, and then to deny pensions to those same brave men and women was truly evil.
What are your thoughts on the Veterans Affairs department, and their role in this book?
I agree with you! They were the worst of the worst to deny the veterans their pensions! That not only would affect them, but it would deeply affect their families from being denied those monies. These people put everything on the line and deserved to be seen in the highest regard.

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Katherine Smith
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Post by Katherine Smith »

I think that the Veterans Affairs department needs to be completely redone to meets the needs of our soldiers coming home. As a country, our priorities are getting men and women ready for combat. We focus so intently on fighting that we don't put any time or effort into helping them into civilian life. I think that this was perfectly illustrated during the Vietnam War and the way that these veterans were left behind to fend for themselves.
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Post by Karina Nowak »

I have yet to read this book, but I like that it highlights the plight of veterans to get greater support. The fact that there can be a department dedicated to seeing to their 'affairs' and these ex-soldiers still can't get the support they need sometimes is absolutely infuriating. Like, what is the department here for then? The Vietnam War may be in the past but it serves as a great example for these countries to learn from on how to treat their soldiers once they've given their all to 'God and country'.

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Post by B Creech »

I had two uncles and a brother-in-law serve in Viet Nam. One of my uncles did two tours of duty in Nam and was exposed to agent orange. When he came home he didn't initially get any benefits from the military at all. He had to battle the system for several years before he finally received his VA benefits! It is a shame on our government to deny ANYONE who serves this country their benefits when they come home. It still angered me to read about how these heroes were treated in the book. This may be a book of fiction but what happened to these guys is a reality for most military heros!
B. Creech

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Post by djr6090 »

My husband is 70 years old, and has chronic mylogenous leukemia. I believe it is the result of standing night watch on board the USS Hector in Vung Tao harbor, where he was drenched with agent orange as the planes defoliated the harbor islands every night.

He can not even get the the VA to provide the medication he is prescribed for this blood cancer. It is not on their formulary. Only an older, less effective drug.

He spent over a month in-country, and when we tried to get help for the extreme cost of his medical treatment, he was denied because he could not PROVE that he had boots-on-the-ground. And his leukemia was not the type associated with agent orange disabilities. Other types were listed in the mid 70s, but at that time CML killed quickly, so it was not listed as long term.

Maybe Mr Miller's book will help raise consciousness. This is not just fiction. Real lives were and are being impacted.

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Post by Florence Nalianya »

Personally I think appreciating war veterans is key,they need to be honoured and give full support.

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Post by Mbrooks2518 »

I don't know anyone in the military, but I've still heard about people having trouble with the VA. It's sickening that people who risked their lives for our country aren't being taken care of.

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Post by DC Brown »

djr6090 wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 11:24
My husband is 70 years old, and has chronic mylogenous leukemia. I believe it is the result of standing night watch on board the USS Hector in Vung Tao harbor, where he was drenched with agent orange as the planes defoliated the harbor islands every night.

He can not even get the the VA to provide the medication he is prescribed for this blood cancer. It is not on their formulary. Only an older, less effective drug.

He spent over a month in-country, and when we tried to get help for the extreme cost of his medical treatment, he was denied because he could not PROVE that he had boots-on-the-ground. And his leukemia was not the type associated with agent orange disabilities. Other types were listed in the mid 70s, but at that time CML killed quickly, so it was not listed as long term.

Maybe Mr Miller's book will help raise consciousness. This is not just fiction. Real lives were and are being impacted.
My late father-in-law fought in Korea. I was not impressed with the care he got before he died. This book brings out not only the horror of war but also the horror of the aftermath.

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djr6090
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Post by djr6090 »

DC Brown wrote:
10 Nov 2019, 22:45
djr6090 wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 11:24
Real lives were and are being impacted.
My late father-in-law fought in Korea. I was not impressed with the care he got before he died. This book brings out not only the horror of war but also the horror of the aftermath.
Condolences on the loss of your father-in-law. I recently discovered that the VA has added Korean War vets who fought on certain areas to the Agent Orange injury list. I'm sure the aftermath of war was as bad for them as it was for Zach in Deadly Waters.

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Post by djr6090 »

Florence Nalianya wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 15:52
Personally I think appreciating war veterans is key,they need to be honoured and give full support.
I like the part of the book where the author says, "Don't thank us for our service...it seems insincere." Full honor and support include not treating servicemen who request VA support as if they were trying to get away with something sneaky.

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Ferdinand_otieno
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Post by Ferdinand_otieno »

djr6090 wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 09:03
Florence Nalianya wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 15:52
Personally I think appreciating war veterans is key,they need to be honoured and give full support.
I like the part of the book where the author says, "Don't thank us for our service...it seems insincere." Full honor and support include not treating servicemen who request VA support as if they were trying to get away with something sneaky.
I think the insincerity comes from the fact that not many people would fight for their country like they do, so the 'thanking them' for their service will always seem insincere unless it's from a fellow serviceman.

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Post by DC Brown »

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
12 Nov 2019, 01:10
djr6090 wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 09:03
Florence Nalianya wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 15:52
Personally I think appreciating war veterans is key,they need to be honoured and give full support.
I like the part of the book where the author says, "Don't thank us for our service...it seems insincere." Full honor and support include not treating servicemen who request VA support as if they were trying to get away with something sneaky.
I think the insincerity comes from the fact that not many people would fight for their country like they do, so the 'thanking them' for their service will always seem insincere unless it's from a fellow serviceman.
Absolutely. Any 'thank you' without sincere action is useless.

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Post by Aditi Sapate »

You're right about them being the real antagonists in the story. Incidents like these are really sad to read about too. I really hated them.

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Post by Juliet+1 »

The VA has been completely redone since the Vietnam years, and I think it's largely because of what those veterans went through. It should never have happened. Finally the public caught on, the VA budget and services were greatly expanded, and things got better. There's still lots of room for improvement, though.

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