Kenn’s PTSD started after his Vietnam tour. He did his first tour as a Door Gunner on a helicopter which basically means his job was to gun down people from the open door of a helicopter. One of the problems (besides the obvious fact that most people don’t enjoy killing other people) was that the enemy shoots back… and typically tries to take out the Door Gunner first.
ACCORDING TO CMELO,
THE LIFE EXPECTANCY
OF THAT PARTICULAR JOB
IS ABOUT 90 DAYS.
HOWEVER, AFTER A LITTLE RESEARCH,
WE FOUND THAT
A DOOR GUNNER'S
SHORTER THAN THAT.
Maybe that’s why Cmelo was so relieved as he neared the end of his tour of duty. However, what happened next was unexpected and earth-shattering for the young Cmelo. He reflected on the moment. “I was just about through my tour. I thought to myself, just a few more days and I will have made it out alive. That’s when I received my ‘letter’. I read it and I nearly went into shock. Basically it stated in a roundabout manner, hey, thanks for your service. You’ve done such a good job we are volunteering you for another tour. I was frozen in shock in that moment.”
Fortunately Kenn Cmelo made it through both his first and second tours. As he says, he is very blessed. Kenn says he is considered to be 90% disabled. “Whenever I go for 100% I get guys in black suits visiting and me reminding me that I don’t exist because of the type of job I had to do over there. Of course, I’m sure that I’m not the only guy that served in an unusual capacity that doesn’t exist according to our government. Today if you ask Kenn about his experience in Nam he has little to say. “That was yesterday. If I’m going to live, I need to live for today and put the other behind me.”