Walter John Almgreen
Walter John served in Vietnam August 1968 to August 1969. He returned home after being at Fort Carson, Co, in March of 1970. My mother and I have talked at length regarding this and several important things she remembers regarding this would be: Upon his return home, my brother had multiple open sores on both legs. They were open, draining, and infected. My mother remembers going to the drug store and getting medicine to treat the sores, and getting my brother in the bath tub the first thing to soak them. He told her they were just from the bugs. He also received an injury to his head in Vietnam, apparently he was in a river and was hit by a log, we are uncertain of the location and date of the injury. We do know that it was an open head injury that required treatment and stitches. My mother also said, when he first seen a doctor, for not feeling well they never said anything about him having any sinus problems. After long periods of not feeling well at home, and trips to the doctor, the hospitalizations started in February 1971, at a nearby hospital in Litchfield MN, for approximately one week, he was transferred to the University of Minnesota, after a seizure. During the transfer by ambulance he suffered a cardiac arrest. He underwent several surgeries. After several months, he was transferred to the Veteran's hospital in Minneapolis, where he remained for several months. From there he was transferred to a rehabilitation center, where his tracheotomy tube plugged, resulting in his final transfer back to the Veterans hospital. During all of these hospitalizations there were many doctors, and many different explanations and diagnoses. After more than 7 months of seizures, contractures, and bed sores my brother lost his final battle, and died on September 1st, 1971. My brother never had the chance to fight through the demons that he may have brought back from that war, or if like so many others, he may have succumbed to them. However, I believe he did harbor something else when he returned, that eventually did contribute to his illness and resulting death. At the time of his death, after months of extreme stress and confusion, my parents did not pursue the etiology, and the years passed. Can Walter John's illness and resulting death be associated with Vietnam? On the other hand, how can it not?