We’re getting old and dying off. We won’t be around much longer. If you want to know what we know about what happened, you’d better ask soon.
I’m talking about Vietnam vets. Most are now in their sixties and seventies. A few of us are even older. And a lot of us have died. Our memories, our knowledge of what actually happened, the searing experiences that changed us forever, won’t be around much longer.
That’s why I write and speak publicly every chance I get. I want people to know what took place during a war that altered U.S. history in ways few other wars have. For decades neither I nor my comrades in arms talked about Vietnam. It was a shameful time in our history, best forgotten. Even now, according to my younger friends, history classes in our schools leave out the story of Vietnam.
My novel, Last of the Annamese, fiction in name only as one review put it, relates my experience of living through the fall of Saigon. So does my presentation, “Bitter Memories: The Fall of Saigon,” that I will have given more than fifty times by the end of the year. My novel The Trion Syndrome, describes the life of a Vietnam vet suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Injury. And my Friendly Casualties, a novel-in-stories, tells of the war from a variety off perspectives. I want people to know what happened.
Time is getting short. Ask us while we’re still here.