Whilst researching our artefact I wished to gain a better understanding of the medical conditions Al and Birdy had, as well as a better understanding of the Vietnam War.


I fond out that approximately 2.5 million American’s served in the Veitnam War from 1956 to 1975. Out of this one third was drafted. 85% of the troops were white with the average age being 21, 20 years younger than the average age of troops in WW2! In Vietnam the average soldier saw 240 days of combat, whilst troops saw only 40 in WW2. 1 in 10 soliders died, a total of 58,214 were killed and nearly 1,700 are still missing. However, even after the war ended the battle wasn’t over for Veterans, as they wre viewed as failures and murders by their fellow Americans.

Physcological Impact

Many soldiers abused substances during the war due to the accessability of drugs and alcohol, this made adjusting to normal life in America, where said substances were illegal, a lot harder. Along with negative public reactions, there was very little physchological help given to Veterans, the only question asked when they were discharged was ‘Do you feel the need to kill again?’. Due to this many cases of PTSD went undiagnosed and it is reported that around 15% to 25% of Veterans suffered from this, causing flashbacks and phantom pain. Their sense of identity and perspective of scoiety had been changed, so it was difficult to find jobs.


PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by stressful or traumatic events. Symptoms include: flashbacks, nightmares, isolation, irritability, guilt, insomnia and difficulty in concentrating. The treatments was mainly psychotherapy with perscription anti-depressants.


As a result of his PTSD Birdy actally developed catatonia, his body is active but his brain is in shambles. Symptoms include: stupor, catalepsy, waxy flexibility, mutism, manerism, stereotypy, agitation, grimacing and catatonic excitement.

I hope that this research can be of use in the making of the artefact.


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