Reflections on the Vietnam War: A Fifty-Year Journey
In an extraordinary account of the Vietnam War, Warren E. Hunt takes readers behind the lines in his debut book Reflections on the Vietnam War: A Fifty-Year Journey. His account captures the war and his feelings regarding it from a perspective from which few have written. A plethora of books have been published about this infamous war, but few from a surviving veteran four decades after the war ended. Hunt served in the oldest and most decorated signal battaliion in the United States Army, the 121st Signal Battalion. He was a signal corpsman whose main priority was protecting a relay system against enemy attack. He spent most of his deployment at Lai Khe base camp, which resided 35 miles to the northwest of Saigon. Early in his memoir, he describes what it felt like when the lights went out in the cabin while he and his fellow comrades were in route to Saigon, flying over South Vietnam for the first time: “An eerie silence prevailed in the cabin, speaking to the fear and reality of what lie ahead.” He speaks of the fear and constant hyper-vigilance that resulted from witnessing a number of near-hits of projectile missiles, the ringing in his ears that never seemed to stop. Further, Hunt shares with his readers the emotional impact of witnessing another U.S. soldier losing his life, nearly within arm’s reach of him. And, in a war where so much was lost and so little gained, he found himself, like countless others, wondering exactly why he and his fellow soldiers were there, fighting a war that was impossible to win. He describes the politics involved and the image the American people were given, despite the realities behind the battle lines. It had a profound impact on who he was and whom he would become, though much of its impact wasn’t unraveled until he began his search for answers to a set of innocent interview questions that inevitably resulted in his distinctive memoir.
Reflections on the Vietnam War: A Fifty-Year Journey is perfect for those learning about the Vietnam War for the first time. Hunt not only outlines how the United States got involved in what arguably became one of the biggest atrocities of American history, but he tells a personal story of how it felt to be a soldier fighting a battle that was, in the end, unwinnable. Further, he shares with his readers insights into the culture of this war-torn country, how he was treated by the natives of the land, and how the South Vietnamese people felt about U.S. soldiers invading their land. Hunt also shares what it was like to come home to a country in which animosity prevailed. The divide among many Americans was considerable, and the rate at which his fellow veterans began experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder was alarming. Fortunately, Vietnam Veterans of America has been a salvation for many, including Hunt. In describing his sentiments about the first meeting he attended, he stated, “It didn’t take long for me to realize that what had been missing from my life since I returned from the war was being together with other Vietnam vets. We came together in a mutual effort to sort out the war, its effects on us and our country, and on the country of Vietnam.” Additionally, he includes details in this memoir about the Vietnam Memorial dedication and its related events. Because of the vast scope of his story, his simplistic writing style, and his ability to glean such a unique and long-term perspective on a war that holds such great significance in American history, his account is prime material for high school and college-level history teachers and professors to incorporate into their curricula. It’s relatively short and concise and has depth and insight that lend to greater understanding and knowledge.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Author||Warren E. Hunt|
|Page Count||142 pages|
|Publisher||Warren E. Hunt through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|