Unforgettable Change: 1960s: The Vietnam War
Of the 2.15 million American men sent to Vietnam, 1.6 million saw combat. Those who fought and died in the war were, according to Marilyn Young in The Vietnam Wars: 1945-1990, "disproportionately poor, badly educated, and black. (A high school dropout who enlisted had a 70 percent change of being sent to Vietnam, a college graduate only 42 percent)."
Homecoming for veterans initially meant being spat upon by anti-war protesters. In later years, the prolonged distress, depression, and rage that veterans experienced was renamed "post-traumatic stress disorder" and signified long-term problems with what Young cited as "disabling memories of the war."