When Andy Nigut first saw his face after the wounding, he was horrified. A Vietnamese rocket propelled grenade had removed nearly 80% of his jaw and most of his teeth. He breathed through his neck, and his tongue was stitched down. He couldn’t scream, even if he wanted to. “I was not prepared for what I saw,” he now says, after many long years of recovery.
Despite the everyday reminder of the Vietnam War, Andy Nigut holds no animosity to toward his former enemy–their government, yes, and ours. It’s almost beyond comprehension, that war, and why so many your men and women were there, dying and leaving parts of their bodies in a foreign land.
But understanding the plight of his Vietnam “brothers and sisters,” as Andy refers to his generation of fellow warriors, is something Andy has made a career of as veterans counselor–and simply being there for someone else who’s “been there” and struggling to make sense of their experiences.