Vietnam Reflections is a haunting account of the effects of the Vietnam War. Written with such vivid imagery and detail, the reader will feel every heartbeat, every squash of a soldier’s boot in the Delta Rice Paddy, and will hear the whistling of incoming rounds as they find their mark. At times inspiring, and at times bringing the reader to tears, Vietnam Reflections is a collection of stories that trace the evolution of several eighteen-year-old farm boys who went off to war. When they finally returned home, they found that their service and sacrifices were for naught. Following their return to the States, the soldiers were left to survive on their own. Many found that the only way out of Vietnam for good was to end their own lives or to live homeless. These stories are their voice- their screams- about a distant place and a distant time, about a war that went amok… a war that many Americans wish to forget.
There are many books available for the reader interested in the Viet Nam war, many written by historians or Officers that were there during the war. They cover the commanding of Soldiers or the events that led up to the war, not many are written by the ‘boots on ground’ Soldier; this is one such book and is a debut ‘novel’ from this Author.
I use the word ‘novel’ in a loose term when talking about this book because, as I read it I realised this wasn’t a fictionalised account of the war, but the thoughts and feelings of one of the veterans of a war the country would rather forget.
This book grips the reader from the first page and takes them inside the mind of one of those ‘grunts’; you remember them, the ones who on returning home found a nation that turned their collective backs on them. Through the Authors words I was made to feel the emotions he experienced when his friends died in arms; be a party to the thoughts that when through his mind whilst enduring day-to-day living in country that didn’t want him there.
This book pulls no punches, but should be a must read for anyone who thinks the veterans of that era are not deserving of our respect. By the time I finished this book my emotions were raw, and I felt a connection with this Author that was really unexpected. I’m not sure if this was due to the fact that my Husband is an Active Duty Soldier, or the fact that this Author manages to convey the horrors of war in such a way that the reader can’t help but be moved; I have a feeling it was both.
This Author lays bare his soul for all to see. I hope it helps him on his road to healing. I would highly recommend this book to any who are looking to read about how the war really affected those who fought it.