What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has a long and complicated history. During the Civil War it was call DaCostas Syndrome, named for the doctor who published about the troubling symptoms he was seeing in soldiers from both sides of battle. They suffered shortness of breath, rapid pulse, and fatigue during times of stress, and especially when recalling certain aspects of battle. Shell shock, Battle Fatigue, Post Vietnam Syndrome, and Gulf War Syndrome were all names given to symptoms of PTSD before it was officially added to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as an anxiety disorder in 1980. It has since been changed to a trauma and stressor related disorder.



PTSD Awareness Day

Be the Light in the Dark

Some left Vietnam but Vietnam didn’t leave them. Nearly 3 million service members served in Vietnam and most returned home. But since then, thousands of Vietnam veterans have battled PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – and it has impacted their lives and the lives of their families in many ways. Returning without a proper homecoming compounded the issues veterans faced upon their return.

Join us on June 27, 2023 – National PTSD Awareness Day – as we will bring light to the continuing dark toll of the war. The Vietnam War may be over, but the battle continues for many Vietnam veterans and their families to this day.

This event will run from 7:00 – 9:00 PM EST at The Wall in Washington, D.C.

PTSD Awareness

Candle Messages 2022

From Debra: “Army Spec4 Richard A. Luyk 67-68”

From Rosalind: “Bless your heart, always in my thoughts and prayers………..RCL, Louisiana”

From Mayona: “Bob, You will never be in darkness again because you are now in the light.  Forever My Love,    Mayona”

From Lois: “Brian A. Russo always in my heart”

From Jan: “Daniel Diridoni, USMC, Vietnam 67-68, Husband, Father, Nonno & Baboo, always our HERO”

From Sherri: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  You are not alone.”

From Daniel: “For all of those who came home from war but the war never left them. God bless my dad, 2021 In Memory honoree, John J Finley. Love and miss you Pop!”

From Brian: “For all Vietnam Veteran Brothers who lost their mental innocence in a land far away, many years ago, and still suffer”

From Denise: “For Dar. Loved beyond all measure.”

From Linda: “For my brother Albert E Ayres. He made it home from Vietnam. He suffered from PTSD and later took his own life. Love you always brother!”

From Sarah: “For my father Sgt. Malcolm F. Armstrong(USMC); who is now at peace and free!”

From Joseph: “For those who have no one”

From Carol: “God Bless and THANK YOU for giving us your protection and commitment. Be well.”

From Alan: “God Bless each and everyone of you! Thank you for your Service.”

From Duery: “God bless the medical staff. Because of your intervention, I am here”

From Jennifer: “Gone But Not Forgot”

From Hannelore: “Grant Morrow Wideman”

From Teresa: “I love ? you dad and we miss you so much! I think of you everyday and I hope I am making you proud down here by taking care of our veterans at the VA! Also, by the way I take care of mom too! Love you! Your one and only daughter, Teresa”

From Peter: “I will never forget you”

From Gaynell: “In honor of my brother, Robert Dale Spencer, and all the brave & patriotic young men & women who sacrificed for our freedom. Let us not forget.”

From Debbie: “In honor of Rodger Crow, and all who served in Vietnam”

From Lucretia: “In loving memory of my brother, Anthony and father. I miss you.”

From Elizabeth: “In Memory of Dennis A Kelly”

From Patricia: “In memory of Jack Horner, Gary Burgess, Steven Para, Bill Kauffman and Rob Heath who came back from Vietnam only to die an early death.  And for my son who has PTSD from the Gulf War.”

From Michael: “In memory of Leroy James Westra”

From Mrs. Mel: “In memory of my beloved husband, Jack Berdell Edgar, Army Ranger, Viet Nam 1967-68. PTSD haunted him until he died in 2009. He said, ‘I have to live a good day today for those who didn’t come home.’ He is missed every single day. May he rest in God’s lovi”

From Diana: “In memory of my dear brother Raymond M. CASE III, drafted nto the Army and sent into Viet Nam as a Screaming Eagle. He earned Bronze Stars and served a total of 18 years. He was the kindest, gentlest young man, trained to do the unimaginable. He lived wel”


From Linda: “In memory of my husband, Franklin J Passantino, an Army combat medic… who served in Vietnam 1967-68, who suffered with PTSD from age 20 to his death at age 69, his life was forever changed… Frank, I love you, I hope I was able to help you at least a l”

From Jo: “In memory of my late husband Daniel G. McCarthy.”

From Irene: “In Memory of PFC James J. Rice of the United States Marine Corps who lost his life in Vietnam on 2/7/68. He was slated to go home on 2/10/68. (Panel 38E/Line 12)”

From Bethany: “In Memory of Steven Zalewski 1947-2021. 173rd Airborne Brigade 66-67. Your long battle with PTSD is over. Rest in peace. We love and miss you!”

From Mackinlee: “James Alexander Myers Jr. never had the chance to see life after the war.  May his soul forever rest in peace and the inner turmoil of lasting impacts on the veterans come to an end.  Thank you for your sacrifice.”

From Elizabeth: “Joe, your PTSD was so much harder on you than your physical problems, but you never gave up.”

From Sara: “Keith Allen Campbell- You  died before you got to hear me call you Dad.   Thank you for being brave and teaching me the true meaning of what a hero should be.   I hope you’re as proud of me as I am of you.  Your Daughter”

From Dale: “Mac, You’re always in my thoughts and heart.  Dale”

From Kathy: “May God’s grace surround you and the light from the candle guide you through the darkness to a brighter tomorrow.”

From Susan: “My Best Friend and Soulmate Brian Timothy Connolly”

From Linda: “My heart will always be with you and that which you did for all of us in our country, the finest of one of all, the USA.”

From Susan: “No PTSD for my husband. He died. His own country killed him with Agent Orange.”

From David: “Please remember and pray for Charles Duane Saylor, Muncie, IN./1st Lt. William Brooks Kiser, Arizona,/ Gordon Rightler, Detroit. MI killed while serving in 1967 with Battery A, 1st Bn. 11th Artillery, 1st Brigade,, 9th Infantry Division, APO SF 96370, LTC”

From Glenn: “Semper Fi”

From Stephen: “Stay strong brothers and sisters!”

From Samuel: “Thank you for your service.  I’m so very sorry that this country did not value your service when you came home.”

From Marsha: “The Miller family Thank you for your service and welcome home. Your demons are gone and now you can rest in peace. I love you and miss you.”

From Renee: “This is in honor to my late grandfather and all who served in Vietnam. I appreciate you all.”

From John: “Those that gave their lives and were wounded with the 3rd. Brigade, 82nd. Airborne Division during their time in Viet Nam.”

From James: “To all my comrades. You are not Forgotten!”

From David: “To our Brothers and Sisters who gave their Lives for us returnees, you will never be forgotten. To those of us who returned broken, fight on for there will be light at the end of the tunnel at some point.”

From Christin: “We miss you, but cherish our memories.   Love,   Christin Ann & your grandchildren”

From Charles: “We somehow passed the greatest confidence course of our life. Be at Peace. I will always be here for you! Welcome Home!”

From MARIANNE: “We will always remember.  From the Major Hugh Dinwiddie Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution”

From Gail: “You are gone but not forgotten. You suffered for over 40 years from PTSD before you found help. Then you helped may others while you could. Now you are at peace. Your demons are gone. I love and miss you”

"Be the Light in the Dark"

PTSD Awareness Shirts

Shirt orders are currently closed.

In recognition of PTSD Awareness Day, VVMF is offering two shirts for your order and show your support.

How it works:  

  • You place your order for one or both shirt designs.  You can order multiple sizes but each shirt design requires its own order.
  • Once the order window closes on PTSD Awareness Day (June 27th), the printing of shirts will begin.
  • Starting in mid-July, the printed shirts will begin shipping directly to you.
  • You must place your shirt order as part of this fundraising campaign.  This shirt will not be sold anywhere else.
  • All proceeds from the shirts benefit VVMF’s programs.

All shirts will be printed and shipped directly to you once the order window closes (with an approximate arrival window beginning in mid-July).  Please check the email provided during your order for shipping updates from CustomInk.  If you do not receive your order or shipping information by July 29th, please contact CustomInk’s customer service at 1-800-293-4232.  

“Be the Light in the Dark” version: 

More details coming soon.

“Some Left Vietnam, Vietnam Didn’t Leave Them” version:

More details coming soon.

Echoes of the Vietnam War Podcast

PTSD Podcast Episodes

EPISODE 7: “Rocket Man” – Part 1

Three years ago, LCpl Bill Klobas showed up unannounced at the home of his daughter, Casey Byington, and proceeded to have what she calls “a meltdown” at her kitchen table. She had never seen him like this, and neither one would ever be the same after. In honor of National PTSD Awareness Month, this episode is the first in a two-part series following Rocket Man’s journey from Paradise to Charlie Ridge, and from the morass of despair to the fingerhold of hope.

Learn more about the PTSD

See this episode and all of our previous episodes at

EPISODE 8: “Rocket Man” – Part 2

LCpl Bill “Rocket Man” Klobas left Vietnam in 1969, but Vietnam never left him. Nearly 50 years later, his daughter Casey is fighting like hell to get him the care he needs and the benefits he deserves. In the conclusion of this two-part series, Casey also takes on the U.S. Marine Corps over the Purple Heart that her father earned but never received.

Learn more about the PTSD

See this episode and all of our previous episodes at

EPISODE 30: You Are Not Alone

June is National PTSD Awareness month. Vietnam veterans often have a hard time getting help for this condition, and having someone in their corner can make all the difference in the world. Cyndy Hollender-Stancliff married two Vietnam veterans, both of whom suffered from PTSD. She shares her story of love and support, loss and healing.

Learn more about the PTSD

See this episode and all of our previous episodes at



There are a number of ways to spread PTSD Awareness and you can do it right in your own community. The following are just some examples of how individuals and communities across the nation came together to raise PTSD Awareness last year.

  • Organize a candle event at a local memorial site, park, or wherever you can gather.
  • Ask your neighbors to display teal porch lights.
  • Organize a walk/run event.
  • Organize a motorcycle ride event.
  • Organize banner/sign hangings around the community.
  • Ask businesses to display awareness on their signs.
  • Organize a breakfast, lunch, or dinner event.

If you are interested in obtaining teal, battery-operated candles, feel free to visit to order them.

In Memory Slider - Folded Flag


Since the Vietnam War ended, thousands of Vietnam veterans have died each year due to Agent Orange exposure, PTSD and other illnesses as a result of their service. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s (VVMF) In Memory program honors those who returned home from Vietnam and later died.

The plaque on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in Washington, D.C. that honors these veterans was dedicated in 2004 and reads:  In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice. 

In Memory was created in 1993 by the group – Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. VVMF began managing the program and hosting the ceremony in 1999. More than 5,000 veterans have been added to the In Memory Honor Roll since the program began. To see all the honorees, please visit the In Memory Honor Roll.