About the Contributors

David Bianchini did two tours in Viet Nam as a point man on a LRRP team. He worked in the music business for eight years and mar-ried Laura Nyro. He served ten years in prison for growing pot. Presently, he paint, sculpts, and runs a construction company to make money so he can eat lobster tails and drink decent vodka.

Richard Boes is a Viet Nam veteran who suffers from Post Trau-matic Stress Disorder. The Last Dead Soldier Left Alive is his personal experiential account—a firsthand inquiry into why thousands of Viet Nam veterans have committed suicide. He has a BA in Literature and a Masters in Film. He lives alone in upstate New York, in an apartment he deems a glorified bunker.

Don Bodey was drafted into the Army in 1969. His semi-autobiographical account of survival in Viet Nam was eventually pub-lished as the award-winning F.N.G. in 1985. Bodey went on to teach creative writing at the college level and is active in encouraging veter-ans to get their feelings down on paper. He currently lives near Ft. Wayne, Indiana with his wife Annie. A newly revised edition of F.N.G. is available from Modern History Press.

Alan Farrell is a longtime professor who taught French and English at Hampden-Sydney College for nearly twenty-five years before coming to VMI. He holds a BA—Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa—from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, a Master’s in German and a Doctorate in French from Tufts University in Boston. He served in Viet Nam with the famous Fifth Special Forces Group, was wounded in action, decorated for heroism. He was designated by the Governor as Distinguished Foreign Language Professor in Virginia and earned the Virginia Associ-ation of Foreign Language Teachers’ Distinguished Service Award. Dean of Faculty from 1996 until 2000, he teaches French at VMI.

Preston Hood’s poems have appeared in Animus, The Café Review, Cyphers, Icarus, Main Street Rag, Michigan Quarterly Review, Nimrod: In-ternational Journal, Poetry Motel, Rattle, Salamander and many other literary publications. His poem, “Boats Near Hue, Viet Nam, 1997” won Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest 73rd non-rhyming poetry category. In 2002, he produced a poetry CD, Snake Medicine. In 2005, he was awarded a residency at Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island in County Mayo, Ireland where he completed his manuscript, A Chill I Understand. This book won Honorable Mention in the 2007 Maine Literary Awards for published poetry.

Richard Levine, author of A Language Full of Wars and Songs and Snapshots from a Battle, has been a finalist for the Ohio State Press Poetry Book Award, and Winning Writers War Poetry Contest. Some of his poems appear in the current BigCitryLit.com. He asks: “In times of war, do we describe the horror or write peace?”

Marc Levy served with Delta 1/7 Cav as an infantry medic in Viet Nam and Cambodia in 1970. He was decorated once for gallantry, twice for valor, and twice court-martialed. His prose, poetry and essays have been published in various online and print journals, most recently on counterpunch.org. In 2001 he was selected to attend an ACA residence. A video of his war experiences, The Real Deal, is distributed by The Ci-nema Guild. He is profiled in Inconvenient Stories: Viet Nam War Veterans, by Jeff Wolin.

David W. Powell was a computer programmer who enlisted in the Marines after receiving a draft notice in 1966. He served as a rocket-man (MOS 0351) on Hill 55 and Hill 41 in Chu Lai and Da Nang. After suffering for two decades with what would eventually be christened PTSD, he has since returned to normal life. He credits his recovery to a technique called Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR). His memoir My Tour In Hell: A Marine’s Battle with Combat Trauma was published in 2006. He currently lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife Susan.

Martin H. Ray’s four years in the Army on three continents diverted him from earlier tracks. It gave him material for a lifetime of contemplation. Afterwards he settled in Gloucester Massachusetts with an occupation as landscape gardener. Eventually he incorporated a sustaining family, granite sculpture, worship with the Society of Friends (Quaker), and membership in Veterans for Peace. Martin says, “I went to Vietnam to test my manhood and came home to test my hu-manity.”

Tom Skiens was born in Burns Oregon June 21, 1947. Graduated from high school in 1966. He joined the 11th light infantry brigade in Hawaii, September 1967. Tom became the 4.2 inch Forward Observer (FO) for Charlie Company, 4th Battalion 3d Infantry Regiment on the USS General Gordon seven days before we arrived in Viet Nam. He later attended Southern Oregon State College from 1969 through 1974. He has conducted critical incident debriefings, conducted 4 interventions, given classes and trained about substance abuse and critical incident stress.

Tony Swindell served with the 31st PID, 11th Light Infantry Bri-gade, Americal Division, during 1968-69. His unit participated in the My Lai massacre in Pinkville in 1968, and he was later a witness to in-cidents involving the murder of Vietnamese civilians by brigade commander Col. John W. Donaldson. He is currently an editor at the Sherman, Texas, Herald Democrat.

Victor R. Volkman is the Senior Editor of Modern History Press. Although not a veteran, he is committed that veterans’ stories be told. He edited My Tour In Hell: A Marine’s Battle with Combat Trauma , con-sulted with Rick Ritter on Made In America, 2nd Ed., and edited Giving My Heart: Love in a Military Family by Lisa Farber-Silk. In 2007, he helped organize the Vermont Veterans Combat Stress Symposium.

Dayl S. Wise was drafted into the US Army in 1969 and served in Vietnam and Cambodia in 1970 with the First Air Cav. He lives part time in the Bronx and Woodstock, New York with his wife, Alison Koffler, a poet; Molly, a Labrador-pit bull mix and Six, a calico cat with a bad leg. He is the editor of Post Traumatic Press 2008, a collection of poems by veterans.

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