More Than a Memory: Reflections of Viet Nam
Edited by Victor R. Volkman
Modern History Press (2009)
ISBN: 9781932690651 (hardcover) $34.95
9781932690644 (paperback) $21.95
“More Than a Memory: Reflections of Viet Nam” is a stunning anthology of writings by veterans that includes first-person non-fiction narratives of serving in Vietnam, fictional stories about the war, poetry, tales of adjusting to civilian life after the war, and many memories of the war and how it continues to affect veterans’ lives today. The diversity of “More Than a Memory” provides a more thorough understanding of the war experience than any one soldier’s story could provide. Twelve authors have contributed forty-five different pieces of Vietnam war literature that leave a reader both shocked, grieving for the veterans’ experiences, and better educated about what war does to an individual and a nation.
It is impossible to discuss the merits of all the works included in this anthology. Many of the stories are what the reader might expect—depictions of veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder upon their return home, veterans trying to understand what it meant to have to kill other people, soldiers coping with the loss of comrades in battle, and soldiers returning home to a nation that failed to treat them with respect. In addition are many unexpected themes that add to a fuller understanding of the Vietnam War and how war haunts a person for the rest of his life. If the book is lacking in any way, it is the absence of women explaining how the war also haunted “her” life as a soldier or soldier’s wife, but that is a small complaint compared to the multiple voices in this volume. Continue reading Tyler Tichelaar, PhD reviews MTAM→
Regret to inform you that Richard Boes, whose work opens More Than A Memory: Reflections of Vietnam passed away on 21 Feb 09.
Richard Boes died yesterday at the VA Hospital in Albany NY. Richard enlisted into the US Army and served in Vietnam in 1969 – 1970 with the First Air Cav. He is the author of two books, The Last Dead Soldier Left Alive (2007) a first hand inquiry into why thousands of Vietnam Veterans have committed suicide and Last Train Out (2008). Right up to his death Richard was writing a third, In the Valley of Dry Bones.
You can read Richard’s recollection “POW Remembered” which was published in the VVAW publication The Veteran in Fall 2004 (Vol. 34, No. 2)
“Above the line I know enough to know I know nothing. Less is missing, no greater than the whole, hole I’m in, bullets, buttons, and apart from. I’m dumber than a stone like a crumpled page, blood for ink at the price of fleshy gooseflesh. It’s a beautiful day, yeah, but I only want out. A simple song, a clear view to the bottom, out from the glass. The water’s deep, wiggles and divides, I’m a stick in the mud, a new-found mind set. And the gold finch in a feeding frenzy smacks up against itself. All vanity is glass. There’s no one I’m looking for, but most likely Myles is dead like all us good soldiers.”
–Richard Boes, Last Train Out
The Press Release has been posted on PRWeb for general distribution. A copy of the body text is below.
Veterans Recall Viet Nam in Diverse Poetry and Prose Anthology
Viet Nam shaped a generation, yet decades later, the soldiers’ experience remains difficult to grasp. Now fifteen veterans have collaborated in recalling, through poetry, fiction, and personal essays, their war experiences in “More Than a Memory.”
Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) February 23, 2009 — No book on Viet Nam has ever completely captured the experience of that war because no one can speak for every soldier. A new anthology resolves that limited viewpoint by capturing the diverse experiences of veterans in “More Than a Memory: Reflections of Viet Nam” (ISBN 9781932690644, Modern History Press, 2008). Continue reading Press Release→
Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is pleased to interview Victor R. Volkman, Marc Levy, Tom Skiens and Tony Swindell who are here to talk about the new book “More than a Memory: Reflections of Viet Nam.”
Victor R. Volkman is Senior Editor of Modern History Press, a publishing house dedicated to empowering authors to speak about surviving conflict and seeking identity in modern times. Although not a veteran of any service, he is committed to seeing veterans’ stories told.
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 Cinema Guild.
Tom Skiens joined the 11th light infantry brigade in Hawaii, September 1967 a year out of high school. 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 they arrived in Viet Nam. He later attended Southern Oregon State College from 1969 through 1974. He has conducted 50 critical incident debriefings which provided trauma related information to over 600 people. He also brought the drug free workplace program to the National Forest where he worked. This led to four interventions. Tom has given classes and trained others about substance abuse and critical incident stress.
Tony Swindell served with the 31st PID, 11th Light Infantry Brigade (LIB), Americal Division, during 1968-69. His unit participated in the My Lai massacre in Pinkville in 1968, and he was later a witness to incidents involving the murder of Vietnamese civilians by brigade commander Col. John W. Donaldson. He is currently an editor at the Sherman, Texas, Herald Democrat.
Tyler: Welcome, Victor, Marc and Tom. I’m happy you could join me today. Let’s begin by your telling me about what is contained in “More Than a Memory”-are they individual recollections of the Viet Nam War? Continue reading Interview on Reader Views→