The Lost Homecoming aired September 9, 17, 24, 27 and October 9, 17/2017
Retired Veterans Affairs psychologist Dr. Harold Dawley and New Orleans filmmaker Lenny Delbert created a documentary of the experience of veterans returning home from Vietnam titled “The Lost Homecoming – When Our Vietnam Veterans Came Home.”
The documentary tells the untold story of the harmful effects from the negative way some Vietnam veterans returning home were treated and honors them for their service in an unpopular war.
Approximately 2 ½ million military members served in Vietnam with around half exposed to combat. The Vietnam war was unique as public support for it weakened to the point that the public turned against it. Unfortunately some of the opposition to the war was also directed at veterans returning home from Vietnam.
Despite how some were treated, the overwhelming majority of Vietnam veterans state they would serve their country again if called. Vietnam veterans are now held in higher esteem as the American public has belatedly recognized the disgraceful way some were treated coming home from the war.
Based on his experience evaluating and treating Vietnam veterans during his career at the New Orleans VA Medical Center, Dr. Dawley believes the negative homecoming experience of some Vietnam veterans exacerbated their PTSD and hindered their post war adjustment. The negative perception of the war as being morally unjustified may have also had a an adverse effect on their post war adjustment.
The documentary has interviews with Vietnam veterans who willingly discussed their homecoming experience and the adverse effect it had on them. The documentary also contains expressions of appreciation to Vietnam veterans for their courage in serving in an unpopular war. Typical of what a growing number of communities have done, the documentary includes the small city of Pass Christian, MS, hosting a Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Ceremony honoring Vietnam veterans.
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