In this episode a story found in The Daily Press of Newport News, Virginia titled: ‘Viet Man’ gives readers a different picture of war by Christine Verderosa is featured. The article tells about an autobiographical novel of the Vietnam War by D.S. Lliteras.
One of the purposes of this podcast is to tell the world about the Vietnam War and the veterans who participated in that troubling conflict. One of the most effective ways, in the writers opinion, to do that is to read books written by Vietnam veterans. I have written two books myself about the Vietnam War. One was “Vietnam Veteran Memoirs” and the other was “Conversations with Vietnam Heroes.” Writing those books was a very educational experience and made me appreciate even more the value of reading books in gaining a deeper perspective of a situation like the Vietnam War.
Lliteras wrote a different book about his Vietnam experience and called it “Viet Man.” Rather than telling his story as a conventional narrative, he presents a series of fragments with scenes of men slogging through the jungle eating C-rations and smoking endless cigarettes, facing boredom and terror as they search for an elusive enemy. He arrived in country as a young Navy medical corpsman and made the unexpected decision to leave the more comfortable conditions of working in a Navy medical clinic and serve his time with a Marine combat unit. He survived a tough year of combat that seared many horrific scenes in his mind. One incident had him going into a tunnel complex and coming out with a bloody knife and no memory of how he killed an enemy soldier in the hole.
The writer’s battles did not end when he left Vietnam. When he returned to the Miami airport he got into fights with antiwar protesters and had to be pulled out by his father, a Marine veteran of World War II. You must get a copy of “Viet Man” and read it. You will be realistically educated about that war.