Personal Message To Every Nam Vet!
So many of us have been quiet about that war for oh, so long. We who
have survived are old now. We are in our mid sixties to early seventies
… those of us who are still alive. We were young when we were soldiers
in that hellhole called South Vietnam. Being soldiers changed most of
our lives forever. Most of us loved our country when we were young
soldiers, and most of us still love our country. We did our job in a
brave manner even though we were scared stiff, and even though we
didn’t know it. We were obligated to go to Vietnam and obey our orders
once we were there … regardless of the consequences.
Many of us were just eighteen or nineteen years old, and many of us were
twenty to twenty-five years old as well. We bonded together when we were
ripped apart in battle, and many of us never saw each other again … we
cried and we were mad—very mad. Those guys were our brothers, we lost
them just like that, and we still wonder WHY. To this day, we cry when
we think of them. But the dying from that war—our war—has not
I have been to the funerals of too many Vietnam veterans in the last ten
years; some were from my platoon. All of them died very prematurely from
poisons or stresses handed to them, compliments of our war. Over there
in Nam, we were never given the opportunity to say good-bye. This is why
I try to make as many Vietnam vet brothers’ funerals as I can, no
matter what part of the country, to say good-bye. To this day I still
Those of us who have survived by fate or chance have tried to push our
memories into the farthest corners of our minds and keep them locked up.
For the most part, many of us succeeded in doing that … for the most
The years have zoomed by, all of a sudden it seems. We are no longer
young, but most of us are still soldiers. Something strange is happening
to many of us, something we are having a difficult time understanding
and dealing with. Those memories that we thought were locked up in a
remote part of our brains have been breaking loose and running rampant
into our daily thoughts and our nightly dreams.
Some of us want to open up, but still there are so few who will
listen—just like it was when we came home from Vietnam. My memories
have resurfaced, and I can’t put them back into the remote corners of
my brain. It has been painful to write this book, and I did quit several
times. But I had to finish it. I just had to try to tell America what we
went through over there … what we are going through now, and alert
people to what our brothers and sisters from the Gulf-Afghanistan-Iraq
wars are going to go through.
Many of us remain bitter. Many of our brothers lost their ability to
work and became part of the homeless population and are unable to take
care of themselves. There are thousands of us totally disabled—from
physical and mental wounds. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans
have died an early death while disability claims were pending—leaving
behind their families. Therefore, another reason for this book is to try
to help preserve Vietnam veterans who are still alive!
Many of us have come to believe that the VA has been deliberately
stalling our disability claims, hoping we will just grow weary and quit
fighting—or just die. Thus, the cliché came about … DENY, DELAY …
TILL YOU DIE! Maybe so. But a lot of our Vietnam vet brothers fought the
VA long and hard. And because they did, things are so much better now
than they were in the 1970s and 1980s.
Comrades, again I say this … WE DID NOT QUIT OVER THERE UNDER THE
WORST CONDITIONS IMAGINABLE, AND BY GOD, WE SHOULD NOT QUIT NOW!
Personally, from what I have heard and witnessed on a firsthand basis,
the VA has come a long, long way, and I think they will continue to get
better. But—you know what? It just seems as though nothing ever gets
changed or improved upon when it comes to the government unless there is
some major OUTRAGE to force changes!
Vietnam vets were a tough lot over there. Those of us who have survived
should be even tougher in our elderly state—BUT MANY ARE NOT! I’m
afraid many of us have become passive, and in some instances, we just
don’t give a damn anymore.
Sometimes I get frustrated when hearing about another Nam vet who
doesn’t want to talk about it. I know the pain, but if more of us
don’t open up and talk about it, more of us will die leaving untold
stories. Please, talk about it on behalf of all those who are not here
today. Yes, we are fading away, my fellow Vietnam veteran brothers, as
old soldiers do. I personally do not want to leave this world just yet.
I do not want to leave it without attempting to tell our fellow
Americans one more time what happened over there … and what is
happening to us now.
It is true that our fellow Americans, and America itself, are much
better off when the sacrifices of America’s brave warriors are known
by many. America needs to know. So please read the book, read it again,
share it, and tell your story to someone.
When I told a non-Vietnam veteran who served for the U.S. Army during
the DMZ Conflict in South Korea about this book, his quick response to
me was this:
Dusty, you had better write and publish that book as soon as possible
because I read where Vietnam veterans are actually dying at a faster
rate than World War II veterans!
Excerpted from "Condemned Property?" by Dusty Earl Trimmer. Copyright © 2013 by Dusty Earl Trimmer. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.