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Our Vietnam Wars

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This could be the most important book youll read this year. It isnt another war book. It is a book about people, and it contains the personal stories of 100 Vietnam Veterans who served there. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, from the late 1950s to 1975 we served from the Delta to the DMZ, and from Thailand to Yankee Station in the South China Sea. Infantry grunts, truck This could be the most important book you’ll read this year. It isn’t another war book. It is a book about people, and it contains the personal stories of 100 Vietnam Veterans who served there. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, from the late 1950s to 1975 we served from the Delta to the DMZ, and from Thailand to Yankee Station in the South China Sea. Infantry grunts, truck drivers, medics, helicopter pilots, nurses, clerk typists, jet pilots, mechanics, staff officers, repairmen, artillerymen, B-52 bombardiers, MPs, and doctors, we were black, white, and Hispanic, male and female. We were only in our teens and early twenties, but our stories continue to resonate through the years. January 30 marks the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, the seminal event of a war that dominated my generation and changed lives. Some of the men and women in this book are true war heroes. Most were just trying to survive. If you were there, you understand. If you weren’t, my hope is that through these stories you will. Breaking down the stereotypes, they tell who we were, the jobs we did, our memories of that time and place and how it changed us, and what we did after we came home. Over 58,200 of us paid the ultimate price, but the war didn’t end when the last US helicopter lifted off from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon. It continues to take its ugly toll on many who did come home. Instead of bands and parades, we got PTSD and Agent Orange, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, neuropathy, leukemia, Hodgkin’s Disease, and prostate cancer, and many more. As they say, “Vietnam: the gift that keeps on giving.”


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This could be the most important book youll read this year. It isnt another war book. It is a book about people, and it contains the personal stories of 100 Vietnam Veterans who served there. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, from the late 1950s to 1975 we served from the Delta to the DMZ, and from Thailand to Yankee Station in the South China Sea. Infantry grunts, truck This could be the most important book you’ll read this year. It isn’t another war book. It is a book about people, and it contains the personal stories of 100 Vietnam Veterans who served there. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, from the late 1950s to 1975 we served from the Delta to the DMZ, and from Thailand to Yankee Station in the South China Sea. Infantry grunts, truck drivers, medics, helicopter pilots, nurses, clerk typists, jet pilots, mechanics, staff officers, repairmen, artillerymen, B-52 bombardiers, MPs, and doctors, we were black, white, and Hispanic, male and female. We were only in our teens and early twenties, but our stories continue to resonate through the years. January 30 marks the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, the seminal event of a war that dominated my generation and changed lives. Some of the men and women in this book are true war heroes. Most were just trying to survive. If you were there, you understand. If you weren’t, my hope is that through these stories you will. Breaking down the stereotypes, they tell who we were, the jobs we did, our memories of that time and place and how it changed us, and what we did after we came home. Over 58,200 of us paid the ultimate price, but the war didn’t end when the last US helicopter lifted off from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon. It continues to take its ugly toll on many who did come home. Instead of bands and parades, we got PTSD and Agent Orange, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, neuropathy, leukemia, Hodgkin’s Disease, and prostate cancer, and many more. As they say, “Vietnam: the gift that keeps on giving.”

30 review for Our Vietnam Wars

  1. 5 out of 5

    Grady

    When we got home, no one wanted to hear about the war, and we quickly learned not to bring it up. Florida author William F. Brown has penned nine suspense novels and four award-winning screenplays. His specialty is thriller stories that step into the arena of espionage a very popular topic at this particular time. William is a native of Chicago, received undergraduate and graduate degrees in History and Russian Area studies and City Planning from The University of Illinois, and served as a ‘When we got home, no one wanted to hear about the war, and we quickly learned not to bring it up.’ Florida author William F. Brown has penned nine suspense novels and four award-winning screenplays. His specialty is thriller stories that step into the arena of espionage – a very popular topic at this particular time. William is a native of Chicago, received undergraduate and graduate degrees in History and Russian Area studies and City Planning from The University of Illinois, and served as a Company Commander in the US Army. He then raveled widely in the US and abroad as a Vice President of the real estate subsidiary of a Fortune 500 corporation. William is also a landscape artist. William’s powerful book covers the Vietnam War from 1955 to 1975 and is reported in article format by 100 veterans of that war. The articles are brief but pungent and are accompanied by the photographs of the veterans at present and at the time of service. The result is a survey of all phases of that too long and miscalculated war in Vietnam that drew such negative attention from not only the Vietnamese but also from the global communities – such as France who had just left the Vietnam landscape as we arrived. But even more pungent is the crisis at home – the flowerchild protestors who greeted returning veterans with disrespect, an aspect of returning home to the very people for whom they were protecting that simply compounded the rampant PTSD and Agent Orange illnesses that resulted from serving in Vietnam. This book is important to read for the descendants of the veterans and perhaps it will help communicate the too often buried thoughts about the Vietnam conflict. For those of us who served in that war (this reviewer was a Battalion Surgeon assigned to the USMC directly out of Internship during the peak of the war) this book provides a sense of camaraderie – a relief that some are addressing that contentious war form the stance of those who were directly involved. And as we continue to drudge through the incessant wars in the Middle East (and at home) perhaps Brown’s book will provide some insights into the mental strain and scars that war in general inflicts. As Wilfred Owen stated, ‘My subject is War, and the pity of War, The Poetry is in the pity.’ Recommended reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Blaine

    The idea behind this book is simple: telling stories of the Vietnam War not through discussions of the famous leaders, or of strategy or tactics, but through the words of 100 different people who served. It covers many of the themes familiar to students of the Vietnam War. The general disdain for the tactics imposed from above by the so-called best and brightest. The soldiers still ill or injured as a result of their service. The failure of Americans to welcome the veterans home after their The idea behind this book is simple: telling stories of the Vietnam War not through discussions of the famous leaders, or of strategy or tactics, but through the words of 100 different people who served. It covers many of the themes familiar to students of the Vietnam War. The general disdain for the tactics imposed from above by the so-called best and brightest. The soldiers still ill or injured as a result of their service. The failure of Americans to welcome the veterans home after their service, as if they had made the decision to be the wrong age at the wrong time and get boxed into fighting a losing war. These boots-on-the-ground stories are well-written. Each speaker has his or her own distinct voice and storytelling style. Some are funny, others are harrowing. Many highlight a rarely discussed feature of America’s last war fought by draftees: the actual mechanics of serving. Do you wait to be drafted or volunteer to get a more desirable post? Should you agree to extend time in country to get out of the military sooner, or go back stateside and serve for a longer period of time? It is a compelling, fascinating read. My personal favorite stories: MIKE SANNES’S WAR WAYNE PAUL LOTSBERG’S WAR DEREK SMITH’S WAR TOM KILBRIDE’S WAR (“It beats beef stew on a rock.”) WALTER SZWEDA’S WAR DR. ED SCHEIN’S WAR OTIS LANE’S WAR JACK COURTNEY’S WAR RAY PETRINO’S WAR HARRY LUMPKIN’S WAR BILL BROWN’S WAR

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Disclaimer: I received this book from GoodReads as part of the First Reads program. 100 Vietnam War veterans tell their stories about their experiences in the war, ranging from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s. My cousin was a Vietnam vet, as was my boss at the first job I had after getting out of high school. Fortunately, I turned 18 in 1972, and that year the draft ended. I wasn't about to volunteer, so I never had to go. These stories are varied and extremely interesting. Since the war caused Disclaimer: I received this book from GoodReads as part of the First Reads program. 100 Vietnam War veterans tell their stories about their experiences in the war, ranging from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s. My cousin was a Vietnam vet, as was my boss at the first job I had after getting out of high school. Fortunately, I turned 18 in 1972, and that year the draft ended. I wasn't about to volunteer, so I never had to go. These stories are varied and extremely interesting. Since the war caused so much conflict within the USA, the vets never got a chance to talk about their stories, so they kept things bottled up for decades. Now that they're in their late 60s and 70s, they have started talking about their experiences. It's amazing how many of them are suffering the medical effects of Agent Orange, which was used extensively as a defoliant, and PTSD. And it's amazing how much trouble many of them are having getting the VA to recognize that they've been affected and to pay for their treatment. They really got a raw deal, and the US government and we, the people, owe them a lot. It's not their fault that our government decided to wage this pointless war, and withdrew from it without even trying to win. Anyone who's interested in learning what the war was like from the soldier's point of view should read this book. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    a.t.m.

    5 stars for this book! I have read several books in which veterans tell their stories and no one can tell your story, like you know it. Bill Brown, the author, has really out done himself on this book. He has covered the veterans early background, how they went into the service, and how they served in country using their military training. This book is truly an amazing mixture of men, women, and cultures, that are profiled. I feel so strong about this book and all it's intimate stories, that it 5 stars for this book! I have read several books in which veterans tell their stories and no one can tell your story, like you know it. Bill Brown, the author, has really out done himself on this book. He has covered the veterans early background, how they went into the service, and how they served in country using their military training. This book is truly an amazing mixture of men, women, and cultures, that are profiled. I feel so strong about this book and all it's intimate stories, that it should be required reading by all high school students in America. The fact that our country was in such turmoil over this unpopular war leaves many naive people to think that all veterans are blood thirsty maniacs. On the contrary, every single veteran profiled, came home and did their best to improve their lives and move on despite their nightmares and agent Orange disabilities. I highly recommend this book, especially for veterans, being currently discharged so they can see what is possible and attainable with their GI Bill benefits. To the " 100", welcome home!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brown

    Grateful Fellow American Thank you will never suffice to truly express to all Vietnam War Veterans what they surely are owed and earned with their service . America still owes and apology to all of you. I missed the experience by just a couple of years and lived a teenagers life at the close of the war. My opinions were just being formed as I began to understand what was taking place in our country . My family blood lines boast service in all wars America was involved in back to the first. My Grateful Fellow American Thank you will never suffice to truly express to all Vietnam War Veterans what they surely are owed and earned with their service . America still owes and apology to all of you. I missed the experience by just a couple of years and lived a teenagers life at the close of the war. My opinions were just being formed as I began to understand what was taking place in our country . My family blood lines boast service in all wars America was involved in back to the first. My support for service is without compromise being raised by WWII veterans . One from nursing the other from Army Air Corp flying the hump of Burma. It's great to hear from the writers how their lives ended up good and bad and none seemed bitter about it which I find surprising . I enjoyed all that was written and will lol for the follow up book with as much anticipation. Thank you again for your service

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rick Colburn

    Informative I graduated in 1973 and joined the Michigan Army National Guard by the team I joined the Guard the oil embargo of 73 74 cost.me my job at GM but hoping to get rehired I didn't want to go full time military so that's why I joined the Guard hoping that I could hire back into GM and possibly get state retirement from the Guard and retirement from GM as well but life threw me a curve and I had to leave the military after 13 yrs of service as a SGT E5had I been able to finish out my plans Informative I graduated in 1973 and joined the Michigan Army National Guard by the team I joined the Guard the oil embargo of 73 74 cost.me my job at GM but hoping to get rehired I didn't want to go full time military so that's why I joined the Guard hoping that I could hire back into GM and possibly get state retirement from the Guard and retirement from GM as well but life threw me a curve and I had to leave the military after 13 yrs of service as a SGT E5had I been able to finish out my plans I could have retired from the military and GM in 2004 with 30 years of service. I know participate in the American Legion and volunteer with the American Red Cross in Cincinnati Ohio

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet Graham

    The Truth is in the Telling This is the most haunting of books! I did not serve, but many of my friends did. My brother-in-law died of Agent Orange 45 years after the fact. Other Vietnam veterans that I have known didnt last that long. One thing I have learned from my combat-veteran Marine husband is that we will never know what serving is truly like. And, judging from his PTSD and nightmares, Im glad for that. This book helped me understand a little more what it was like to be there. I believe The Truth is in the Telling This is the most haunting of books! I did not serve, but many of my friends did. My brother-in-law died of Agent Orange 45 years after the fact. Other Vietnam veterans that I have known didn’t last that long. One thing I have learned from my combat-veteran Marine husband is that we will never know what serving is truly like. And, judging from his PTSD and nightmares, I’m glad for that. This book helped me understand a little more what it was like to be there. I believe that I will re-read this book every so often as it is tough to comprehend in just one reading. Thank you so much for telling their stories!

  8. 4 out of 5

    D & J Nuss

    Honest and abbreviated tales of diverse Vietnam experience I was in Vietnam from Jan. 1969-Jan. 1970, with the 459th Signal Company. We supported the ROK Tiger Division near the Charang Valley, approximately 60 kilometers west of Qui Nhon. Nice to hear what my fellow vets experienced, especially the non-grunts. I've never been proud of being a REMF, but deep down knew we all had a role to play to achieve success, and minimize casualties. Unembellished and very interesting read. Thx. Mr. Brown.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Burgin

    Life events The style is interesting, showing the various ways men and women entered the service. College indifference and drop out account for many and then there were those that enlisted and those that were drafted. Surviving the normal living conditions was a challenge. The scope and pace of patrols and engagements surprised me, particularly how much it exceeded WW II. So much of survival seemed due to luck. Then the poor treatment upon returning to the world. Our politicians should read this. Life events The style is interesting, showing the various ways men and women entered the service. College indifference and drop out account for many and then there were those that enlisted and those that were drafted. Surviving the normal living conditions was a challenge. The scope and pace of patrols and engagements surprised me, particularly how much it exceeded WW II. So much of survival seemed due to luck. Then the poor treatment upon returning to the world. Our politicians should read this. Only go to war to win.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    First person narratives by those that served in the war. Quibble about Air Force ranks. There were no senior airmen during the war. E4s were Sergeants then. Changed to Senior Airmen much later. Elsewhere correctly ranked. Also in an instance E5 was identified as a Tech Sergeant when in fact that was a Staff Sergeant. I was an E4.....a Sergeant in the United States Air Force. My DD 214 confirms that. For much of my time in Southeast Asia I was an E4 5 level journeyman Sergeant with 7 level First person narratives by those that served in the war. Quibble about Air Force ranks. There were no senior airmen during the war. E4s were Sergeants then. Changed to Senior Airmen much later. Elsewhere correctly ranked. Also in an instance E5 was identified as a Tech Sergeant when in fact that was a Staff Sergeant. I was an E4.....a Sergeant in the United States Air Force. My DD 214 confirms that. For much of my time in Southeast Asia I was an E4 5 level journeyman Sergeant with 7 level supervisory responsibilities. I received a complementary copy via #GoodreadsGiveaway

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aleta

    Just finished reading the 100 veterans stories of their military time spent in Nam. My generation! This read was well worth my time. And it should be yours as well. While I was getting my college education, some of my high school friends, some of my cousins, and even the Navy man I married were serving our country in their military roles in Vietnam! Learn more about their different roles in this heart-wrenching book about a thankless nations heroes and the war they still fight today! Just finished reading the 100 veterans’ stories of their military time spent in ‘Nam. My generation! This read was well worth my time. And it should be yours as well. While I was getting my college education, some of my high school friends, some of my cousins, and even the Navy man I married were serving our country in their military roles in Vietnam! Learn more about their different roles in this heart-wrenching book about a thankless nation’s heroes and the war they still fight today!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mickenzie Jensen

    A really good collection I found this book very interesting and informative. I feel like I learned a lot about the experiences of the men and women who served in Vietnam. I was especially impressed by the fact that there were stories from women who served! The only thing I found a little disappointing was how very short the stories were and how vague some were, though I am grateful for the fact that these people shared their stories in any form.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Barnett

    A great read for my dad who served with 5/7 Cav in 66 & 67 in Vietnam I started reading this book on my iPad about a year ago I would read several stories at a time then stop and try to absorb these these great stories of these heroes of the Vietnam war. I want to thank my daughter for talking me into reading this great book and also you Mr Brown for doing a great job looking forward to Vol 2

  14. 4 out of 5

    Danny Riley

    Survived to tell the story. I find it ironic that we lost so many young lives due to an incapable Military . Pressured by politics that should never have been able to connect and allowed to control what they never understood. I hope America can learn from the hard lessons of Vietnam. Yet to be resolved

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Chilcott

    Good quick read. We need to hear their voices. Thanks! We need to hear their stories.This book is a quick read. Full of concise recounts of our GI,s experiences. Thanks to those who serve!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dominic Ottavi

    A very sobering read. As a Viet Nam era veteran, I had some understanding of of the hardships experiened by in-country personnel, but nothing close to what was portrayed in their stories. All GIs should put this on their to read list. A very sobering read. As a Viet Nam era veteran, I had some understanding of of the hardships experiened by in-country personnel, but nothing close to what was portrayed in their stories. All GIs should put this on their “to read” list.

  17. 4 out of 5

    LJ Waguespack

    Strong accounting of personal experiences of different people in different places, in combat or if not directly in combat, how the war affected each person individually. Poignant, thoughtful and unfortunate, in that we as people, do not learn from our past.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard Carter

    interesting diverse perspectives I always wanted to learn more about Vietnam and was fascinated by the personal accounting from our service men and women. The sacrifices made including long term physical and emotional impacts of this misunderstood war was educational.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth A. Morris

    Great read Very interesting stories from many who served. I learned a lot about the war from this book. Well worth it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    jim flack

    Great collection of memoirs by those who lived them. Very interesting and thorough cross section of people who, like me, did their duty as best they could. None of us had much of a say of where we served, but we all made the best of it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David L. Ferguson

    A really good read! The chapters are told by the subjects. The roles of these men and women adds great diversity to the puzzle of what it was like in Vietnam. . It is an easy read and very interesting. I recommend this book without any reservation. O ur

  22. 5 out of 5

    diane cooney

    Excellent when people that actually server there write and tell the truth about their experience there!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Don Woods

    . Very good book. I had a cousin in Vietnam.. After he came home he was diagnosed with blood cancer from the exposure to agent orange. He died about 2. Years after he came home.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Edward T. koehler

    Wpw Powerful book. The real story of what our service men faced during their time in Very Nam. Powerful book A must read

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Phillippe

    Great book! Great book! I enjoyed the stories the veterans shared. It was interesting and definitely put the war in perspective coming from the veterans who served.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jon K.Stather

    A good a good read . A good read, it was a well written story,with emphasis when necessary. You could relate to the situation and feel that you were there.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    The stories of 100 Veterans who served in Vietnam.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Edward C Peddie

    Summarizations of war experiences. I found the choice of events selected by the 100 individuals very interesting. I am sure the brevity requirements affected the choices. But everyone saw the war from where, what, when and how they were deployed. It was very easy to self identify. Summarizations of war experience’s. I found the choice of events selected by the 100 individuals very interesting. I am sure the brevity requirements affected the choices. But everyone saw the war from where, what, when and how they were deployed. It was very easy to self identify.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Nethery

    This was a very hard to read. You could feel the pain, the frustration, the loneliness, the heart break, and anger. It was made even harder when you realized this was not fiction, this was real, it happened. William Brown has put together a strong group of inadvertent authors. Their stories are real, the stories are real. This is a must read collection of what we as a generation lived through as members who all had roles to play. Thank you Bill, this was a real eye opener.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Clark

    What an outstanding way to tell the real story of Viet Nam! Bob Brown has come up with a brilliant idea to have 100 Viet Nam veterans each tell their own story. There is no better way to get a feeling for that war, the people of Viet Nam, the country itself, and the feelings and emotions of those that were there. A 5-Star effort.

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