Pride (4)

As more time elapsed since the end of the Vietnam war, more and more books on the war saw the light of day. Apprentice House published my The Trion Syndrome, about a Vietnam vet suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI), in 2015. And the Naval Institute Press brought out my Last of the Annamese, set during the fall of Saigon, in 2017.

Meanwhile, another novel on a related subject, No-Accounts, was published by Apprentice House in 2014. It tells the story of a straight man caring for a gay man dying of AIDS. The novel resulted from work I did to help me cope with my PTSI. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, I volunteered to take care of men dying of AIDS. I found that when I was focused on people in desperate need of my help. my intolerable memories faded into the background. I learned that compassion heals. In a five-year period, I had seven AIDS patients, all gay. They all died. The experience moved me so deeply that I wrote a novel to express my anguish.

My success in getting my books about Vietnam published and the change of attitude of the American public about the war have helped to ease my sense of shame and restore my pride in the work I did under fire for the good of our country. Today I am openly proud of having served in Vietnam. And I go out of my way to honor other veterans who sacrificed as I did. They deserve the best our country can give them. And they have every right to their pride.

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