I am the wife of a Viet-Nam veteran...I think I have a story to tell other wives. Since Don suffers PTSD severely and now has Parkinsons, for most of our married life, which is 43 years, we have struggled financially. During his working life at General Motors, he was laid off almost as much as he worked. We raised two boys during that time. When General Motors became Delphi, he took an early retirement so he could get GM benefits, which was a good thing. However, our youngest son was just finishing high school and then on to college. Simply put, IT WASN'T ENOUGH MONEY to live on and put a son through college. Working was always hard for Don as he always had issues with authority and I believe it was too hard on his nerves anyway. There was no way he was going back to work, ANYWHERE!! I was at my wits end trying to figure a way to survive, I am not qualified for a high paying job, so I prayed and started thinking of ways to get more income to get us through whatever future we have in our "golden years" We had no savings to live off from! The future didn't look to bright!!! I began to wonder if he would qualify for compensation and brought it up to him...Met with anger and a lot of foot dragging, I insisted he look in to it. He got the process started through the VA hospital in our fact he switched all his medical care there and now all his medicine is covered, no co-pay. I had to contend with correspondence which he hid from me, because he didn't believe after all these years he would be entitled to anything. Having a lot of Al-anon as my foundation, I got tough and insisted this wasn't just about him, but me also! To be fair, there was a lot he had to bring up, which he would rather have forgotten, so it was tough on him. But all I could see were the streets! So I pushed, HARD...after all marriage is a two way street!!!!!! After one year, he was awarded 60% disability, to his great shock, mine too...I absolutely was taking a risk and knew I was pushing something that was unbearable for him to face....but it paid off! And within a couple of years he was also diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, we reapplied and he is now 100% disabled. PRAISE BE TO GOD, we can now only live comfortably, we've been able to take a couple of very nice trips...What I want to say is this, that wives of veterans have a lot to do with getting their husbands through this and it takes A LOT OF TOUGH LOVE, to do it!!!!! I understand that the divorce rate among Viet-Nam veteran's in somewhere in the 90% range. For wives who have survived our own war, and have trod that dark valley even longer than their veteran actually fought in the jungle..I say hang tough, it's the only way to help for your husband and yourself!!! More important, BELIEVE IN GOD, I have! Thank you for the opportunity to write my experience, I hope it will help someone.

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