The fireplace after dark was where we thawed. Chocolate steamed in mugs we wrapped our hands around.
Our children slept. The news came on. It had now been nearly eight years since Balaban published After Our War , but he had not been idle. In the intervening time, he had published two collections of translations: Vietnamese Folk Poetry and the bi-lingual Ca Dao Viet Nam both from Unicorn, and respectively. And in , his Blue Mountain also from Unicorn ably demonstrated the growth of his own poetry over the years. Still, lingering memories of Vietnam persist.
Oh, big sighs. Windy sighs.
The wide Pacific flares in sunset. Somewhere over there was once your home. It had been 21 years since Jan Barry first went to Vietnam, and even the youngest of the vets were approaching their mids. But the appearance in of D. Former medic Brown is particularly interesting, having remained in the Army from to , and one can only wonder why he stayed in and why he got out.
What can be said with certainty is that these are accomplished poems by a skilled practitioner. All of them deal with Vietnam and its aftermath. I sleep strapped to a. I never mention the fun, our sense of humor embarrasses me. Bruce Weigl had already demonstrated his mastery of other subjects and other themes in A Romance , and his newest collection, The Monkey Wars University of Georgia, , gives further proof of his considerable talents.
Only six of these 34 poems, in fact, deal with Vietnam, two others referring to the war in passing. Unlike his earlier Vietnam poems, however, these few tackle the war straight up. Absent are the dreams and illusions, the surreality.
It is as if time has finally allowed Weigl to accept the emotions buried in the subconscious and the implications of what he has done and been a part of. Still I close my eyes and see the girl Running from her village, napalm Stuck to her dress like jelly, Her hands reaching for the no one Who waits in waves of heat before her. Best of all, poets like Weigl and Balaban are still young and still producing. One hopes for the same from Brown, McCarthy and others. And other poets may yet emerge. Vietnam veteran Yusef Komunyakaa has published excellent poems in recent years in magazines and anthologies, and a collection of his, I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head , is forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press.
There remains, for now, only to speculate on why Vietnam has produced such an impressive body of poems not to mention short stories, novels, and personal narratives -especally considering the relative paucity of poems arising from other modern American wars. Korea produced almost nothing at all. The contrast is even more remarkable when one considers how very few members of the Vietnam Generation ever actually served in Vietnam in any capacity at all. Surely it has to do with the peculiar nature of the war itself.
Most had been in grade school or junior high school when John F.
All of that was about to change forever. Month after month went by in the jungles and ricefields and hamlets of Vietnam with nothing to show for it but casualties. Men fought and died for nameless hills, only to walk away from them when the battle was over.
Men taught to believe that American soldiers handed out candy to kids found themselves killing and being killed by those very kids. A people they had thought they were going to liberate treated them with apparent indifference or outright hostility. Progress was measured in grisly official body counts, and any dead Vietnamese was a Viet Cong.
Torture, assault and battery, malicious destruction, murder and mayhem—the very things young Americans had always been taught only the enemy did—were widespread and tacitly or openly sanctioned. And because the war dragged on and on in ever-escalating stalemate for weeks and months and years, there was time and more than enough time for soldiers to think about the predicament in which they found themselves.
Who in the hell was fighting whom? Then, however, a credibility gap was considered unusual and bad. By the end of the war, it was still considered bad, but it was no longer unusual.
When politicians lie today, fact checkers might point out what is true, but then everyone moves on. One could argue that they are opposites, but I think not. Cynicism, however, stops you before you start. It threatens democracy, because it destroys the power of the people to even want to make change. I live near Seattle, hardly Donald J. Trump territory. Most of my friends cynically deride Mr.
We were greater then. It was the war — not liberalism, not immigration, not globalization — that changed us. In December , I was on a blasted and remote jungle hilltop about a kilometer from the demilitarized zone. A chopper dropped off about three weeks of sodden mail and crumpled care packages. In that pile was a package for Ray Delgado, an year-old Hispanic kid from Texas. I watched Ray tear into the aluminum foil wrapping and, smiling broadly, hold something up for me to see.
I was from a logging town on the Oregon coast. Racial tension where I grew up was the Swedes and Norwegians squaring off against the Finns every Saturday night in the parking lot outside the dance at the Labor Temple. President Harry Truman ordered the integration of the military in By the time of the Vietnam War, the races were serving together. But putting everyone in the same units is very different than having them work together as a unit. Our national memory of integration is mostly about the brave people of the civil rights movement.
Imagine arming all those high school students from Birmingham, Ala. During the war there were over fraggings in the American military — murders carried out by fragmentation grenades, which made it impossible to identify the killer.
Almost all fraggings, at least when the perpetrator was caught, were found to be racially motivated. And yet the more common experience in combat was cooperation and respect. White guys had to listen to soul music and black guys had to listen to country music. And the experience stuck with us. Hundreds of thousands of young men came home from Vietnam with different ideas about race — some for the worse, but most for the better. My grandpa and his brother didn't have their dad.
Even if it's just taking time out of your day to write them letters to be delivered.
As difficult as such a situation is, it is good for writers. Now we have no shortage of Vietnamese Americans writing in English, as well as translations of Vietnamese-language literature into English. The most powerful are the personal messages sent to loved ones back home, written perhaps as a final note if the owner paid the ultimate price in battle. Perishable goods such as food, flowers, newspapers or magazines cannot be returned. Just came across this list, and while it is interesting and informative about what Aussies find classic-worthy , my greatest reaction after reading it? Most watched News videos Horrific video shows moment man shoots woman dead in Brazil Driver tries to get through deep ford despite 'do not cross' sign Shocking moment naked motorist in Brazil runs after woman Sondland says he never heard Trump link military aid to Biden probe Impressive drone footage captures inside huge volcano crater Van driver rams car into a motorway barrier in 'road rage attack' Prince Andrew reveals he met Jeffery Epstein in in TV interview Security guard assaults girl for allegedly shoplifting Man punches student on Sydney private school bus Prince Andrew says he stayed with the US consular general in Prince Andrew says 'I let the side down' over staying with Epstein Emergency services arrive at Oxford Circus tube station. He moved easily then; was surer and less thoughtful.
If the veteran was enrolled in a VA-sponsored life insurance policy, call the VA at Ellen had a big surprise for this sweet family -- they got to see their father and husband while he's serving overseas! Don't miss this emotional reunion. It might be a former employee or student, or even a family friend.
My two cents: Oh, this book was so hard to put down! This surprised me, as “ The Wind Whispers War” is a novel written by Kgcummings. It is romantic fiction. "The Wind Whispers War" is a novel written by Kgcummings. I do highly recommend to anyone that wants to read a love story of two teenagers This book will make you laugh, cry, shake you head, sigh, scream, in other words it is a page.
If you're looking for an appropriate way to honor a veteran in your life, or would like to Mark Giersch's father, Leo fought in WWII and he died at 51 in the late 's. My first holiday without him. Veteran Obituary. Writing a letter to someone in the military is the best way to let him know that he is appreciated and missed at home. If you are sending the letter as an email, you do not need to include this heading.