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Episode 18

Leadership and the Humanities Podcast

Episode 18: Post-War Fatigue

Perhaps the most notable consequence of the Vietnam war has less to do with its political fallout on an international scale, and much more to do with the domestic social repercussions within the United States in terms of disillusionment with the American government and patriotism…

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The following works were used in this podcast:

Norman, Sonya B., and Shira Maguen. “Moral Injury – PTSD: National Center for PTSD.” General Information. Accessed October 23, 2020.

IMDB. “Platoon.”

Published inPodcasts


  1. Madeline Orr Madeline Orr

    In Episode 18 of the podcast, Dr. Bezio discusses the effects of the war on the veterans, their families, and American culture. She describes the training and filming process of Platoon which made the movie extremely realistic and an accurate representation of a veteran’s experience in the war. How did the training process affect the actors and crew of the movie? Did they experience similar symptoms of PTSD due to the realistic recreations of wartime?

  2. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    The filming of the movie Platoon seems so real and even a bit scary. In Podcast 18 it’s obvious that the effects of the war were so real and horrible and are still problems today, which is why I think it’s so interesting the way the film was created. What kind of training were the actors put through before/during the film to make it seem as though they knew what it was really like for soldiers in the war? Was this method of filming, where the director put the actors in scenarios where it almost felt like they weren’t acting at all and they were really experiencing what it felt like, something unheard of at the time?

  3. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    In podcast 18, Dr. Bezio discusses the aftermath of the Vietnam war. This ranged from depression, PTSD, and diseases from the weapons such as, lung disease, Parkinson’s and cancer. While at the time we may not have had a name for such mental diseases like depression and PTSD, did America do anything after to help these veterans?

  4. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    In podcast #18 Dr. Bezio talked about the aftermath of war and the domestic social repercussions at the time. Before, during, and after the war the treatment of soldiers was very poor. Not only did many of them not want to go, but there was a lack of support from fellow Americans to help raise their spirits. Coming back from the war, many soldiers experienced different negative psychological effects such as PTSD, severe depression, and moral injury. In addition to these psychological effects, soldiers were also exposed to different chemicals that are linked to long term illnesses as well as the typical war injuries such as loss of limbs, etc. I wonder if the serious mental illnesses experienced by Vietnam Vets were more prevalent than in other wars because of the nature of the war? I also wonder what other sort of mental illnesses were discovered through soldiers after other wars?

  5. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    In podcast 18 Dr. Bezio discussed the repercussions of the Vietnam War in America. Dr. Bezio talked about how most soldiers came home with ptsd and severe depression. This podcast left me with many questions. Is moral injury common in veterans from other wars? Did the unrest of Vietnam veterans and their families initiate changes in military practices? How did the films created on Vietnam such as platoon alter public perception of the Vietnam War?

  6. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    I think it is evident from the raw performance of the actors that a lot of their scenes are genuine expressions of desperation and fear, which was created by the director for a realistic representation of war. What aspects of the production did other veterans find to be most realistic (like sound, scenery)? Or were the human interactions, created by the production, the most realistic to Vietnam veterans (like dialogue, directions, expressions, internal thoughts)?

  7. Sophia Picozzi Sophia Picozzi

    Listening to how Platoon was filmed I was really interested and fascinated by the method, however I don’t know how I feel about it from a moral standpoint. It kind of didn’t sit right with me that the actors were put through similar trauma that caused so many mental illnesses in so many veterans. I do appreciate that Stone was trying to convey just how bad the war was to audiences, however, I am now wondering whether the actors, after filming, experienced any PTSD or other feelings of hopelessness and sadness. Were the actors negatively affected by this working experience? Did it feel as though they actually fought in Vietnam even after filming was long over? Is this a problematic method of directing? Does it have negative long term effects? Would the actors do something like this again?

  8. Sara Moushegian Sara Moushegian

    In podcast 18, Professor Bezio discusses the post-war effects that Vietnam had on society, and soldiers in specific. Vietnam was unique in its traumatizing impacts on veterans due to the moral injury many of them faced. The lack of justification for the war made it especially difficult to handle the gruesome actions that come with the war. Professor Bezio also talks about the war movie Platoon where actors were put through an intense boot camp and similar war experiences to make their emotions genuine. Did the actors know that this was the motive of the unconventional directing? Were they forced to sign a contract that kept them from opting out of the filming of the movie if it got too much to bear?

  9. Zachary Andrews Zachary Andrews

    Podcast 18 about Post War Fatigue was very enlightening. First off we learned about post war life in the United States and how the public reacted to their government as well as the military announcing that Napalm and Agent Orange were both harmful chemicals. On top of that, we learned about the creation of Platoon which I found to be very interesting. I had no idea that the actors went through boot camp and that they were put into military-like scenarios. I know that there are things that are considered to be “banned from war,” are Napalm and Agent Orange on that list?

  10. Elina Bhagwat Elina Bhagwat

    Podcast 18 made me question the morality of the filming of “Platoon” and if this is an example of where the outcome outweighs the means of getting to the outcome. Is it morally justified to put the actors through this trauma if it proves to be beneficial for the military to use during training? Also, the discussion of PTSD and moral injury was very interesting. Is PTSD caused by moral injury? And did the idea or concept of PTSD first arise because of soldier trauma after the Vietnam War or was the concept present even before this?

  11. Michael Childress Michael Childress

    In podcast 18, you talked about how the Vietnam war was really the first war that got the attention of people back home in terms of them needing to give special care to veterans returning home. Do you think that this had anything to do with movies such as Platoon becoming popular? Obviously we have been able to hear war stories for as long as war has been around, but has being able to watch movies and see more in depth, close up, life changing events altering the minds of veterans played a significant role is us being more open to trying to care for and treat them? Essentially, to what extent has cinema allowed us a lense into the struggles for veterans, and what effects have accompanied it?

  12. Thomas Bennett Thomas Bennett

    Have reparations been given to either Vietnamese or American soldiers for the long lasting affects of napalm and agent orange or has it been seen as simply a natural outcome of war?

  13. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    Podcast 18 focused on the aftermath of the Vietnam War in terms of American culture. After Vietnam, America faced “post-war fatigue.” This was due in part to the low levels of both morale and support in the country. Veterans came back and dealt with challenges such as moral injury, PTSD and depression. The struggles of soldiers during and after the war, however, led to a boom of Vietnam War films from 1978 to 1989. One of these was Platoon, which was directed by Oliver Stone, a Vietnam War vet himself. Historically accurate portrayals of war are so important as they allow audience members to get a glimpse into what it must have been like in war, which allows for a greater appreciation for our armed forces. Do you think that if films like Platoon had been released during the war rather than in the decades after civilians would have been more willing to support the troops, regardless of the government?

  14. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    The Vietnam War caused severe mental trauma and illness (as well as physical illness) amongst veterans due traumatic events and the harmful national morale for the war. As a result, many veterans returned with mental illnesses we did not know much about. Was there any way to know what the mental impact that war would have on our soldiers? Can you effectively predict how a population will react to traumatic events? Or do they need to be exposed to said events and be monitored to gain this understanding?

  15. Mia Slaunwhite Mia Slaunwhite

    If a war happened in 2020 with the current stages of medicine, would the treatment help lower reactions to mental illness and mental health issues? would there be a decline in alcoholism and suicide rates?

  16. William Clifton William Clifton

    The post war affects after Vietnam were catastrophic. In Podcast 18 Bezio talks about what the major mental health effects were after the war. They ranged so broadly and intensely that it really made me wonder why there was such a little focus on the matter back then. Today, mental health and wellness is valued greatly. Is this solely because we have more research to credit the importance of mental health? What has caused America to lean away from the “tough” minded stance that we embodied for so long and value the reality of the toll war takes on mental health?

  17. Henry Groves Henry Groves

    Podcast 18 focused on the effects that the Vietnam war had on the American people. PTSD was common for soldiers, resulting from injury, seeing casualties, or watching and inhaling the chemical weapons that Americans used. Medical disabilities even came from inhaling these chemicals. The podcast also talked about moral injury and how it was more common in Vietnam. The reasoning to why it was more common is speculated to be that more people who fought did not want to be there. If there was more of an interest in joining the war from the American people, would the percentage of veterans that experience mental disorders and PTSD be lower, or would moral injury affect wanting participants just as badly?

  18. Charley Blount Charley Blount

    Why has there not been a serious backlash to the Second Gulf War, which seems similarly unnecessary? Is there any major difference other than the use of the draft?

  19. Mohamad Kassem Mohamad Kassem

    This podcast discusses the effect of the Vietnam war on soldiers and how they suffered from severe mental health issues and traumas in addition to physical injuries. I couldn’t help but wonder about the effect this war had on the children of the soldiers of the war. I was wondering whether generational trauma was also present as an aftermath of the Vietnam war as PTSD is known to have intergenerational effects.
    I am asking this because I know that many Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are facing intergenerational trauma because of the Nakba “Palestinian Catastrophe” that happened 72 years ago.

  20. Pierce Kaliner Pierce Kaliner

    Podcast 18 talks about the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the public reaction to it after. The US Government actually recognized PTSD and other mental health disorders as a result of the many issues that soldiers faced after coming home. I remember from a previous class discussion Dr. Bezio talked about how during movies veterans would break down because of the realism. How often did this happen where Vietnam veterans would experience reactions to the plethora of movies releasing as a result of the war?

  21. Alexander Dimedio Alexander Dimedio

    Do you think the knowledge that came from the Vietnam war positively affected the future of America? Americans learned more about mental health, but a distrust in the government was a major problem. How do all the movies serve to shape the minds of Americans? Are all of these movies accurate enough to be the main source of knowledge about the Vietnam war in America? Many people learn almost everything they know about the war from movies, so does this make the accurate filming of Platoon through harsh conditions for the actors more ethical?

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