JACKSON, Miss. — On a special television episode of Southern Remedy, host Dr. Rick deShazo and guests discuss the Vietnam War’s health impact on Mississippi soldiers. “Healing the Wounds of War” airs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, and at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, on MPB Television.
Viewers can screen the program before it airs by watching it on MPB’s website on Thursday, Nov. 2.
Featured guests are Vietnam veteran Dr. James Hughes and Dr. David Walker of the Veterans Administration in Jackson. Viewers will also hear from other Mississippi Vietnam veterans including Rep. Manly Barton, who received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star; Joseph Pierce, John Latham and James Young.
Immediately following his surgical training, Hughes was deployed directly to a combat zone and later to surgical hospitals in Vietnam. Besides gunshot wounds, he said soldiers faced deadly injuries from punji traps, unusual infections, foot problems and psychological changes.
“There were moments when you considered both the joys and the horrors of serving,” said Hughes. He along with others in the Medical Corps learned to treat bullet wounds that did unusual damage. They also aided Vietnamese villagers. “It was a real privilege as a physician to serve the people for whom we were fighting for,” Hughes said.
Walker reveals health issues Vietnam veterans still face today such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how the VA works to help these veterans, especially to prevent suicides.
“PTSD may worsen for Vietnam veterans in their 70s because they are no longer working. Those things that allowed them to cope may be gone,” Walker said.
Veterans can receive treatment at any of the VA facilities in the state regardless of where they live. The Memphis VA Medical Center also treats Mississippi veterans.
Southern Remedy is underwritten by the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
For more information regarding MPB, visit www.mpbonline.org.