The Three Walls Behind the Wall
by Michael Kelley
The Myth of Vietnam Veteran Suicide
© Copyright 1997
All rights reserved.
The principal difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
- Mark Twain
The origins of a myth are often rooted in fact and tangible experience. Over time, embellishment and exaggeration give life and color to a fact's humble beginnings, and before you know it, Big Foot is roaming the woods of the Northwest, the neighbors are being harvested by bug-eyed, gray-skinned aliens who haven't the sense to wear warm clothing and Elvis is frequenting Wyoming coffee shops.
Over the last three decades, a host of unscrupulous minstrels have danced heavily upon the reputation of the veterans of the American War in Vietnam, sowing rumor into fact on the fertile fields of an all too willing, gullible and complicit American press.
Saddest of all perhaps is the fact the many Vietnam veterans themselves have been duped into embracing the same folklore as if it were Gospel, tricked into believing the worst in themselves against all instinct and evidence to the contrary. Beginning in 1980, Vietnam veterans first fell victim to a particularly pernicious fable, one that has grown to startling proportions.
A typical example can be found in an article entitled Healing My Own Wounds, an article published in a 1996 issue of The California Zephyr. Among its otherwise thoughtful observations is a statement emblematic of a general misrepresentation now the cause of severe heartburn among many of us whom it colors. Without attribution of any sort, the author emphasizes our war's tragic legacy by informing us that "Since the end of the Vietnam War, approximately 150,000 veterans have taken their own lives."1
Although it has been widely reported since 1980 that over 50,000 Vietnam veterans have died by their own hand, the 150,000 figure is a substantial, though logical, extrapolation of those early estimates.
Certainly an apparent suicide rate among the survivors of a war three times higher than the war's death rate would constitute a health crisis of staggering proportions. But while it is likely the author was simply passing on a restatement of popular speculation about that war's long-term effects, that otherwise unsupported assertion serves to perpetuate perhaps the most tenacious and destructive myth to emerge from the Vietnam experience.
The simple truth is that no factual basis for either estimate (or anything in between) has ever been printed. None whatsoever.
But if the rumored figures have no factual basis, then just where did they come from in the first place and, more importantly, is there any substance to those origins? Fortunately, the primary research in that regard was published in a 1990 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry:
"Reports of large numbers of suicides among Vietnam veterans began to appear in 1980. In that year, a manual on the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder included a statement that more Vietnam combat veterans had committed suicide than were killed in Vietnam. In 1981, [the March 18, issue of the Seattle Times reported] that since their return from Vietnam more than 50,000 veterans had committed suicide. The reported number in [the June, 1985, issue of Discover magazine] was 58,000, and it was 60,000 or more in books published in 1986 [Spencer, D., Facing The Wall] and 1987 [Williams, R., Introduction in Unwinding the Vietnam War: From War Into Peace], In 1987...[CBS 60 Minutes, Vietnam 101, 4 Oct 86] broadcast that more than 100,000 Vietnam veterans had committed suicide. In 1988, a network news anchor [CBS Reports: The Wall Within, 2 Jun 88] asserted that between 26,000 and 100,000 suicides had occurred among Vietnam veterans ‘depending on which reputable source you believe..'" 2 and 3
The original 50,000+ figure appears to have drawn its first breath on the pages of a 1980 text used widely throughout the US Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Outreach Center Program (the Vet Center Program), a text regarded as the first primary reference to the treatment of PTSD.
In that first edition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders of the Vietnam Veteran appears the following statement: "...the possibility of suicide is always present. More Vietnam combat veterans have died since the war by their own hands than were actually killed in Vietnam (Williams, 79)." 4
That otherwise unsubstantiated claim is credited to an unpublished, 1979 paper entitled Vietnam Veterans, written by one T. Williams, and presumably presented at the University of Denver, School of Professional Psychology, April 1979. What makes that citation of special interest is that a Tom Williams also happens to be the editor of the PTSD text in which it appears. Moreover, the statement and its citation were removed from subsequent editions of that DAV publication.
The credibility of that statement is further tarnished by the fact that in 1983, Dr. John P. Wilson, Professor of Psychology at Cleveland State University (and one of the foremost authorities on PTSD), presented a report to a House Veteran Affairs Sub-committee which included this statement: "For many years [we] have been greatly alarmed by the seemingly large incidence of suicide among Vietnam veterans. Unfortunately, there does not exist, at present, a comprehensive study to document the prevalence of suicide among Vietnam veterans." [emphasis added] (Wilson, 1983).
If as Dr. Wilson claimed in 1983 there existed no comprehensive study on the incidence of suicide among Vietnam veterans, then what crystal ball gave T. Williams that answer in 1979?
Consider also the staggering implication of Williams' claim. If 58,000 veteran suicides had taken place between 1968 and 1979, that would indicate a rate 5,800 suicides per year or almost 16 Vietnam vet suicides every day for ten solid years! That fact alone should have sparked a serious inquiry, but silence and heads nodding in passive agreement were all it seemed to have evoked.
It is quite possible that Mr. Williams' deceivingly authoritative observation may have kindled what has become a myth unrelenting in its grip on the American psyche. But whatever their actual source, it is time these alleged facts were subjected to some long overdue scrutiny and a few simple tests of logic and probability.
The Anecdotal Evidence
Apart from the accuracy or inaccuracy of the statistical manipulations which follow later in this monograph, there is one thing that clearly should warn us all that there is something seriously wrong with either of the estimates in question. That one thing is common sense.
Actual experience offers an appropriate example of that point.
Some 45 men of the author's Infantry unit were killed in action during its more than four years in Vietnam. If either the 50,000 or 150,000 figure were accurate, then it would seem reasonable to expect that between 45 and 135 of that company's survivors should also have committed suicide since coming home. However, as far its Association can determine, not a single former member of that Company (in excess of 700 men) has committed suicide. 5
Most Vietnam veterans know intimately at least several names now etched on the walls of our memorials, yet of the hundreds this author has surveyed informally, few can give name to even a single comrade taken by suicide. How could triple the number of our comrades lost in combat go unnoticed by so many?
During seven years with the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, the author recalls that perhaps only five families of suicide victims made inquires about the possibility of their son's name becoming part of the Memorial; an exceedingly small percentage of the 5,700 Californians killed in Vietnam.
Although the author's own significant experience in Vietnam veteran related projects suggests to him that the popular numbers are greatly exaggerated, there is also substantial statistical and scientific evidence to throw a cloud on the mythical reports as well.
The Direct Evidence
Without exception, the conclusions of published medical and psychiatric studies on the subject of Vietnam veteran mortality all contrast sharply with the rates under scrutiny.
In a 1987 report notable for its complexity, the National Center for Disease Control concluded that mortality in Vietnam veterans was 17% higher than for Vietnam-era veterans (i.e., those in the military who did not serve in Vietnam) during the first five years following discharge. Thereafter, mortality among Vietnam veterans fell to levels equivalent to that of era veterans. 6
In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association immediately following the release of the CDC study, it was suggested the CDC data showed that Vietnam veterans were about 65% more likely to die from suicide than non-veterans of the same age group, for the first five years following discharge but thereafter falling to that of the non-veteran population. 7
While the predicted 65% higher risk might at first seem a stunning variance, comparing projected suicide totals based on that difference provides a much less dramatic portrait.
On average, the annual suicide rate among US. males approximates 1.11% of death from all causes. A 65% higher rate translates to only 1.83% of death from all causes (simply 1.11% multiplied by the factor 1.65). In other words, where 1.11 of every 100 US. male deaths were the result of suicide in 1987, the projected rate for Vietnam vets would only be 1.83 out of one every 100 Vietnam veteran deaths. From that perspective, the difference in rates was actually very small.
By that, I mean the following: Over the 30 years since veterans first began returning from Vietnam in significant numbers, the overall rate predicted by the CDC/AMA article should be the weighted average of a 1.83% suicide rate for five years and a 1.11% rate for 25 years. That weighted average is 1.23%. In other words, the data shows that only an average of 1.23% of all Vietnam veteran deaths between 1967 and 1997 were likely the result of suicide.
Although those initial studies form the nucleus of documented Vietnam veteran mortality studies, there is other hard evidence we can review. Shelby Stanton's Vietnam Order of Battle indicates that US Army lost 37,895 dead from all causes and, of that total, 354 dead were reported as suicides. 9 Additionally, a search of the CACF (the Department of Defense Combat Area Casualty File) database reveals that the combined suicide total for all branches of the military in Vietnam is reported to be only 382 deaths. 10
It would seem reasonable to presume that stress levels within a combat zone would likely equal, if not surpass, those of civilian life, and yet less than one percent of all Vietnam Army deaths during the war were attributed to suicide?
There is little doubt that for compassionate reasons combat zone suicides are often under-reported by the military (though the same is likely true of the civilian world as well). If the in-country rate had been identical to CDC/AMA's 1.23% predicted rate, its total would have been closer to 713 deaths, or almost double the reported total. That figure may more accurately reflect reality than the CACF's number does. Still, the adjusted rate is simply dwarfed by those of popular folklore.
The 1997 Australian Study: Mortality of Vietnam Veterans - The Veteran Cohort Study
In 1997, the Australian Department of Veteran's Affairs published a comprehensive report on Vietnam veteran mortality covering all Australian Vietnam veteran deaths from the start of the war until December 31, 1994. 11 This study ranks as perhaps the most important study of Vietnam veteran mortality to date.
Among its four conclusions was this observation: "4. Although the estimated excess risk is statistically not significant, this study does not preclude an excess risk of death from suicide."12 In other words, this exhaustive study found nothing to suggest that the risk of suicide was higher among its war veterans than among the general population!
Of particular importance is the fact Australian researchers were able to identify their entire Vietnam veteran population (59,036) and to verify the status of 57, 231 of those veterans as of the date of the study. Of that 57,231 total, 3,840 died during or after the Vietnam War. Those figures are of great significance because they show the total mortality of that veteran population between 1965 and December 1994 was about 6.71% (simply 3,840 divided by 57,231); our first, clear and direct look at an actual Vietnam veteran population's overall total mortality.
Applied to our own 3.1 million total Vietnam veterans, the Australian data suggests US mortality as of January 1, 1995 (including KIA) should have been about 208,010.13 Subtract our 58,000 KIA and the remainder suggests only 150,010 of us have died since returning from Vietnam.
If the Australian experience reasonably mirrors our own (and it's difficult to imagine why it would not) and the 150,000 suicide myth were fact, then apparently 100% of all US Vietnam Veterans deaths are the result of suicide. If the 50,000 suicide myth were fact, then roughly 33% of all US Vietnam veterans deaths should be the result of suicide.
Absent other published data, we can also test the claims indirectly.
The Indirect Evidence
Over 58,000 US soldiers died within the Vietnam combat zone or as a direct result of wounds and disease incurred within the combat zone, while an estimated 3.1 million men and women served in the South East Asian Theater between 1964 and 1975.14
Citing National Center for Health statistics, the 1994 World Almanac reports that of a total U.S. population of 252 million in 1992, there were 24,260 male suicides and 2,177,000 deaths from all causes in the United States. Total male suicides then were about 1.11% of all deaths that year.15
Presuming the suicide rate matched the population growth curve between 1967 and 1992, then on average, the annual US. male suicide rate was about 20,500 male suicides per year. If we expand that per year average to account for population growth over the years between 1992 and 1996, the annual average increases to about 20,800. In other words, roughly 603,200 male suicides were reported in the US between 1967 and 1996.
If those calculations are reasonably accurate and the 150,000 suicide figure is fact, then about 24.9% of all male suicides in the US. since 1967 have been committed by Vietnam veterans, even though they constitute a mere 2% of total US. male population. Does that seem plausible?
Males suicides constitute approximately of 85.1%16 of all US suicides; therefore, if we divide the 603,200 male suicide total by .851, we should derive an indicator of the combined male and female total for the same period. That total is 708,813. Our analysis then suggests that if the 150,000 myth were fact, then 21.2% of all suicides in the US. since 1967 have been committed by 1% of the total US. population.
According to the Summer, 1996 VANTAGE, the Oakland VA's Regional Newsletter: "More than 9.2 million military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era [including in-country vets], a period of 11 years from August 5, 1964 and May 5, 1975. Over 8.3 million are alive today; their median age is 48. An estimated 3.1 million served in the Southeast Asian Theater [Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and South China Sea], [and] an estimated 2.6 million served within the borders of Vietnam and its adjacent waters."17
In other words, total combined Era and Theater veteran mortality to date is estimated to be 900,000 deaths (9.2 minus 8.3), including those who were killed in Vietnam.18 If we remove the 58,000 who died in Vietnam from the 9.2 million total, we're left with 9.142 million.
Presuming that the mortality rate has been the same for both Era and Theater vets (a presumption supported by the CDC study), then 33.9% (3.1 million divided 9.142 million) of that mortality was suffered by Theater veterans. That suggests the total mortality among all Theater veteran survivors has been about 305,100, or 10.16% of the Theater vet population.
If 150,000 are now suicides, then about 50% of all Vietnam veteran mortality has been the result of suicide. That is 44 times the national male suicide rate (49.18% v. 1.11%)!
If 58,000 are now suicides, then roughly 20% of all Vietnam Veteran mortality would be suicide. That's almost one of every four and still a staggering 17 times higher than the national male suicide rate (19.02% v.1.11%)!
The Vet Center Experience
The historical experience of the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program also provides an important perspective. Vet Centers funded by that program provide psychological counseling for Vietnam and era veterans, many of whom suffer moderate to severe PTSD.
During the Sacramento Vet Center's first eleven years, Dr. Michael Cohen and Office Manager John Middlesworth report that only two patients (both inactive clients) have committed suicide. A former patient is rumored to have provoked a gun battle with the police, so to err on the side of caution let's stipulate that during that period, the Sacramento Vet Center suffered three, inactive-client suicides.
Of the approximate 4,400 different patients the Sacramento Vet Center counseled during that period, patients who presumably represent a cross section of the most psychologically damaged segment of the Vietnam Vet population, only three have committed suicide. 19
If we apply the VA-derived overall mortality rate (10.12% overall mortality over 29 years prorated for 11 years) to Sacramento's 4,400 patients, it suggests that a total of 3.83% should have died from all causes between 1988 and 1996. That total would be 168 predicted deaths from all causes. The mythical suicide rates suggest that of those 168 predicted patient deaths, somewhere between 20% and 50% should have been the result of suicide. In other words, the predicted suicide totals for the Sacramento Vet Center should have fallen somewhere between 33 and 84 of its predicted patient deaths, and yet the actual total was only three.
IIf we apply the Australian study's overall mortality of 6.71% using the same line of reasoning, the predicted overall mortality (all causes) falls to 2.54%, or 111 patients. The myth-based predicted suicide totals then fall in a range of between 22 and 55 clients as compared to three actual suicides.
It should come as no surprise that when we apply the national average male suicide rate of 1.11% to either VA or Australian predicted overall mortality (111 patients or 168 patient), the predicted range falls between 1.2 and 1.86 predicted suicides, much more closely matching the actual Vet Center experience. 20
It is the author's opinion that to accept the mythical rates is to abandon intellect and common sense altogether.
Of no small significance in that regard is the fact that high-rate claims remain completely without substantiation of any sort. In all the exhaustive research and reading that went into the preparation of this monograph, not so much as a single shred of verifiable data was ever unearthed that would even remotely suggest Vietnam veterans were killing themselves in greater numbers than our enemy could.
Absent evidence to the contrary, it is impossible to conclude other than that the popularly reported rates of suicide among Vietnam veterans form an urban myth of colossal dimensions. And yet underlying question remains unanswered for us: just how many Vietnam veterans have committed suicide since coming home?
For the sake of argument, presume that one third of all Vietnam veterans are now deceased (a number far above the actual total). If 1,000,000 Vietnam veterans were now dead from all causes, then the AMA/CDC 1.23% overall rate suggests that only 12,300 of those deaths would be the result of suicide.
One VA study indicates that as of 1983 there were fewer than 9,000 Vietnam veteran suicides, and that "...no more than 20,000 Vietnam veterans died from suicide from discharge through 1993" (emphasis added). It goes on to say that even if all Vietnam veteran reported accidental death (only 5% of all veteran deaths, including single-driver car accidents) were presumed to be suicide and included in the suicide total, that total could not exceed 24,000 through the year 1993. 1
Based on the 1997 Australian mortality study and our own VA's 1996 mortality statistics, the actual total mortality of Vietnam veterans (including KIA) as of January 1996 appears to lay in a range of from 208,010 to 363,100. Net of KIA, the range is 150,010 to 305,100. When we apply the overall average suicide rate of 1.23% predicted by the CDC/AMA studies to those totals, we see the following predicted suicide totals for the period ending January 1, 1995:
Total predicted suicides based on US VA data - 1.23% of 305,100, or 3,752
Total predicted suicides based on the Australian data - 1.23% of 150,010, or 1,845
Given what verifiable data is now available, it would seem reasonable to estimate that as of 1996, a total of somewhere between 2,000 and 20,000 Vietnam veterans had taken their own lives and that the most probable total is less than 4,000, but in any case does not exceed 1.23% of all Vietnam veteran deaths.
Beyond that, it could be argued that existing VA mortality studies tend to overstate the totals because 1) they all appear to be based on the suicide rates derived from VA hospital in-patient data and not the general veteran population and, 2) their samples are typically quite small. As a result, Department of Veterans Affairs estimates are given the least weight in drawing conclusions here.
For a number of important reasons, the author also believes that despite the fact the 1997 Australian mortality study covers a veteran population living over 10,000 miles from our own shores, its relevance cannot be ignored:
The US and Australia share remarkably similar cultural heritage
Drugs (particularly alcohol) show about the same abuse rates in both cultures and contribute greatly to both suicide and accidental death rates
The war was equally unpopular in both countries
Australian veterans suffered the same sorts of alienation experienced by their US counterparts upon returning home from the war
Moreover, Australia has been plagued by the same suicide myths pervasive here in the US, myths put to rest in that country once and for all time by their 1997 mortality study.
For those reasons the author believes the veterans of the US and Australia are much more alike than they might be different. Because of those similarities, great weight must be given to the Australian study's overall calculated mortality rate for its Vietnam veterans as it may relate to our own. That overall mortality figure was 6.71 % as of January 1, 1995, including war dead.
In the final analysis, Vietnam veterans likely die from suicide at about the same rate and for the same reasons that everyone else in America does. On the other hand, the data does reveal that the relatively small percentage who were exposed to actual combat in Vietnam (likely no more than 20% of the total who served in-country) suffer a substantially higher risk of suicide than their Vietnam veteran counterparts who were never exposed to significant combat.
For me, the most shocking aspect of this research was my exposure to the repeated and blatant complicity of the media and Vietnam veterans themselves in perpetuating these myths. The apparent general disregard for accepted source verification practices on either side of the fence was simply appalling.
Virtually all the published scientific studies on Vietnam veteran suicide rates are readily accessible in virtually any public library and yet it seems most remain completely ignored by both the popular press and by most, if not all, veteran organizations.
How could it be that some of the most respected and powerful magazines, TV news journals and veteran organizations in this country apparently never made any substantive effort to verify the accuracy of the obviously staggering suicide rates they in turn were passing on to the American people as fact? How could there not have been doubt or concern that we were being asked to believe that the same Vietnam veterans who fought so ferociously to survive a war were then coming home and surrendering to death at their own hand in far greater numbers than the enemy had been able to take? Why were we so accepting?
Of equal shock was the indignation and contentiousness often met when presenting the evidence I was finding to those individual veterans and veteran organizations extolling the suicide folklore. Few open minds were encountered in the journey; no hunger to explore the data, no sign of hopefulness that the data might be accurate and the mythical numbers wrong.
That circumstance has puzzled and saddened me greatly. I had presumed going in that the Vietnam veteran community would embrace with ferver any tangible evidence that a widely circulated slander on their character was patently false. Instead, it soon became apparent that many veterans want to believe the myth and some were even angered that anyone might dare to suggest our suicide rate was anything but astronomical! It was disheartening to discover that not only has the general public fallen victim to the popular stereotype of the Vietnam veteran, but so have many Vietnam veterans themselves.
I will let this final image speak for itself: if 150,000 Vietnam veterans were suicide victims between 1967 and 1997, that would mean that on average, fourteen Vietnam veterans would have committed suicide every single day for thirty solid years!
While it is difficult for me to believe any serious investigation would substantiate the veteran suicide rates of folklore, there remains still the need for a direct and more thorough inquiry into the issue. To let the dissemination of these wildly exaggerated rumors continue unfettered would perpetuate a great disservice to the truth and to the veteran community.
2140 36th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817
Aug 18, 1998 revision - 3walls99.doc
The author spent eleven months as an infantryman with the 101st Abn Div in Vietnam and was retired from the Army as a result of wounds suffered there. He is of the firm conviction that as a group, the men and women who served in Vietnam are no better, but certanly no worse, than those who served this country in any other time of war. Since 1978, he has been active in the arts related to the Vietnam experience and was an Associate Member of the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, 1984-1991. His artwork hangs in museums throughout the world, he is the author of a number of articles and author of a soon to be released encyclopedia of military installations of the Vietnam War entitled, Where We Were.
1. 1994 World Almanac, Funk & Wagnalls, NY: 956.
End of Bibliography
2. Bullman, Tim A. MA, Han K. Kang, DrPH. A Study of Suicide Among Vietnam Veterans, The Federal Practitioner, Mar 1995: 9-13.
3. Hearst, Norman, Thomas B. Neuman and Stephen P. Hulley. "Delayed Effects of the Military Draft on Mortality", New England Journal of Medicine. (March 6, 1986): 620-624.
4. Laurent, Pauline, Healing My Own Wounds, The California Zephyr (VVA, Fresno) California newsletter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, 1995(?): 23-24.
5. Lehmann, Laurent, MD, A. McCormick Ph.D., McCraken, L., Suicidal Behavior Among Patients in the VA Health System , Psychiatric Services, Oct 95, Vol 46, No.10: 1069-1071
6. Mason, Patience H. C., Recovering from the War: A Woman's Guide to Helping Your Vietnam Vet, Your Family and Yourself, 1990, Viking Penguin, New York: 302: 409-411.
7. National Council of Churches, 1971 press release or pamphlet cited at p. 302, Recovering from the War: A Woman's Guide to Helping Your Vietnam Vet, Your Family and Yourself , Mason, op. cit.
8. Pollock Daniel, MD, Rhodes, P., Boyle, C. Decoulfe, P., McGee, D., Estimating the Number of Suicides Among Vietnam Veterans, American Journal of Psychiatry, 1990; 147:772-776
9. Post Service Mortality Among Vietnam Veterans, 1987, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Service Center for Disease Control, Center for Environmental Health, Atlanta, GA 30333 (zip 30341-3724 as of 1996)
10. Postservice Mortality Among Vietnam Veterans: The Centers for Disease Control Vietnam Experience Study. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 257, Feb 13, 1987: 790-795.
11. Stanton, Shelby, Vietnam Order of Battle
12. Star, Jerry, et al, Lessons of the Vietnam War, Unit 10, The Wounds of War and the Process of Healing, 1988 ed. Center for Social Studies Education, Pittsburgh, PA: 3-30
13. The Lessons of the Vietnam War: The Wounds of War and the Process of Healing, 1988 Center for Social Studies Education: 2-30
14. Williams, T., Vietnam Veterans, Unpublished paper presented at the University of Denver, School of Professional Psychology, Denver Colorado, April, 1979.
15. Williams, Tom, Editor, The Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Chronic and/or Delayed (chapter), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders of the Vietnam Veteran: Observations and recommendations for the Psychological Treatment of the Veteran and his Family, 1980 (1st ed.), Disabled American Veterans National Headquarters, Cincinnati, OH: 11.
16. Wilson, John P. Ph.D., Post-Traumatic Stress Syndromes Among Vietnam Veterans: The Implications for Future, Research, testimony before the House Veteran Affairs Sub-committee on Hospital & Health Care, Washington, DC. (March 24, 1983). p. 6.
17. Vietnam Era Veterans, VANTAGE, Oakland VA Regional Newsletter, Summer 1996, Vol 17, No.1: 1
18. Mortality of Vietnam Veterans - The Veteran Cohort Study 1997, Australian Department of Veterans's Affairs, 1997
19. PTSD, Point Man Ministries Website
20. Webb, James, The Media's War on the Vietnam Veteran, the Wall Street Journal, July 15, 1998, p A-14
21. US Veteran Post-Service Mortality and Suicides. A Selected Specialized Bibliography compiled by John Tegtmeier