Official indifference to war veterans
War-time mobilization of citizens, followed by military training and active service for a number of years, causes an interruption in peoples' lives. This affects marriage, employment, education and, to a certain extent, behaviour patterns. The returning veteran may find that he has marriage or family problems, may face unemployment, or find that he is unable to study any longer or to finance further studies if his wishes. His military experience may also overqualify him for his civilian work opportunities. He may have sustained physical injuries that require ongoing medical attention. The processes of having to kill time and again and of frequently and unexpectedly having his life in danger may lead to emotional problems that require long term treatment. All of these veterans' needs, and others, are not met fully by society, and post-war periods often evidence a forgetfulness of the men and women who served their countries.
Many of the middle-aged eye-witnesses in the film [La Guerre sans Nom] (1992) break down and cry as they speak of their experiences during the 8-year long Algerian War in which 27,000 French soldiers died. The defeated French army suffered much the same traumas as the USA after Vietnam and the former Soviet Union after Afghanistan, but the impact has been greater because of disclosures of official indifference. Most received no help for mental disturbance because post-battle shock had to be reported within 30 days. Many suffer remorse for killing Algerians. Some have never before been able to talk openly about the war, even to their families.