Mitch, a Vietnam Vet, called.
Mitch stated that he suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome for many years after he was discharged. His life’s been exceptionally difficult, fraught with alcohol and drug dependencies. Forty years later, sounds still set him off. Fireworks, cars backfiring, jackhammers. Mitch’s been consumed with nightmares since Vietnam. In Hawaii, a few years ago, coconuts suddenly fell from a tree. Mitch dove underneath a ping pong table, frightening nearby children.
Mitch wouldn’t go into detail about his combat experience, but he said something that summed up Vietnam: “Vietnamese children with fruit baskets on their heads would approach our unit occasionally. We didn’t know if there was fruit in the basket or a bomb … the saddest thing was when they kept walking towards us and wouldn’t stop.”