War was a stressful time for those at home in addition to those away from home. Vietnam was no exception. Many back home did not approve of this war making the support minimum, if at all. Many resulted in smoking and drinking to deal with the stress that they encountered. Drinking after their “shift” could make them forget about the horrible events that they had witnessed. This was something that would follow many of the soldiers home. Later being the reason behind their health complications. If you are struggling with alcohol, please visit https://www.alcohol.org/alcoholism/how-to-stop/ .
The United States did not want to be able to be tracked when on the move. Meaning that they either had to take their trash with them or even use items from Vietnam. One of those things that could easily be used to track would be cigarettes. Majority smoked meaning that if they found empty cartridges, they could use those to track the United States. Often, they would ship them to troops with no labels. Those that lived on larger bases could get Vietnam cigarettes. However, Ron’s motor pool made sure that they were extra careful when smoking off base. “We would have to strip our cigarettes. You would flick off the end, then you would roll it between your fingers meaning that the only thing you leave behind is the tobacco. We did this because if we left the whole thing on the ground anyone that came by could tell how many people they were there and how long were there by how many cigarettes were on the ground.” (Ron, 2018) If you need help quitting smoking, please visit www.cdc.gov/tobacco.
Little did Ron know that these in addition to Agent Orange would cause him life threating issues later on. If you are looking for help to quit smoking please visit; www.cdc.gov/tobacco If you are looking for help to stop drinking please visit https://www.alcohol.org