The second book of mine that I want to discuss is Friendly Casualties. I published it as an ebook in 2012 after I had tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to find a publisher willing to bring it out in hardcopy. It’s the only book of its kind that I have ever come across: the first half is a series of short stories; second half is a novella that resolves the issues left incomplete in the stories.
The central concern in the book is, as in so much of my writing, the Vietnam war. I wanted to express my sense of loss that we were defeated in that war after so many I knew died trying to win it. I devoted my youth to Vietnam. I first arrived there in 1962 at age 26 and left for the last time at age 38 under fire when Saigon fell in 1975. During the intervening years, I spent more time in Vietnam than I did in the U.S. I had two accompanied tours there with my wife and four children—my kids still remember living there.
Friendly Casualties has a new life: Adelaide Books of New York will be publishing it in hardcopy sometime this year. The cover they chose for it is shown above. The background is a portion of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., known to so many of us just as The Wall. It displays over 58,000 names of American servicemen who died in Vietnam. I am deeply moved and humbled.