MY TORMENT by Danielle Reyes, co-founder of AO Legacy, daughter of a deceased Vietnam veteran
As I sit here today my mind is entangled in a war that I was not here to experience first hand. My experience was through the torment of which my father lived.
I live in my own torment everyday of my life. The physical and mental disabilities I live with are enough to make any sane person crazy! It seems as if there is no real help from the medical professionals.
The Vietnam War has been over for 30 some odd years yet I find myself immersed in it every waking, breathing minute of my life and in my sleep. It is as if the war never ended!
Vietnam and its aftermath is burned into my soul. It will never leave.
It is like a plague, you might as well wear a big patch on your head that says “I am the child of a Vietnam Veteran”.
My Father was poisoned by his own government. As if that wasn't bad enough, to top it all off his own countrymen and women, who's freedoms he went overseas to fight for, treated him and all other Vietnam Veterans with the most disgusting form of disrespect. At least in my opinion.
The Vietnam War and its aftermath has been apart of my life since the day that I was born! I just can't let go of it all.
Dad lost his life at such a young age, 56. Growing up I never could have imagined that he would leave us so soon. He suffered for such a long time. To watch a strong healthy man wither away because he went to war to fight for his country, when they called, and to then be poisoned with Agent Orange, just makes me sick!
It is hard to have to wonder – am I going to die at such a young age? – because of something that happened in Vietnam such a long time ago? Will I have to leave my daughter before it is my time? How many things will I miss out on? AND to wonder what the future will hold for her…
It drives me insane to have to think about these things, it's quite sad really.