Letters Home

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Kristin Strickland
History 370
Book Essay
March 21, 2013
Letters from Vietnam
I found that trying to find a book to read about the Vietnam War was rather difficult because there are so many of them out there. I chose Letters from Vietnam edited by Bill Adler because it was a point of view from many soldiers in the war and they were what they were truly feeling at the time. It is not one point of view when you read this many letters and a little background on each of the authors, but there are many points of views, feelings and emotions to help us better understand what they were going through emotionally and physically while overseas.

When I first opened the book to the introduction section I was not sure what I was going to find because a lot of times they filter what is out there for us to read or stick to one scheme. This book has went any should us how many of the people felt and under different schemes. I know that Dr. Lofthus always says, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, while in class but reading someone else’s words is worth much more and when done correctly you can feel what they were feeling when they wrote them. One of the first letters that I read that really stuck out and made me understand that they had to define things to their families and explain what some terms and other things were that maybe they were hearing from the news stations, was a letter written by First Lieutenant James Michener. He wrote the letter in the book while he was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam from 1966-1967. The letter was dated November 17, 1966 from Tuy Hoa, Vietnam and he starts by explaining the reason that he hasn’t written in a while is because he was away from his base for over a week. He goes on to say, “We were there to furnish air support to units of the IV (Fourth) Infantry Division (“Ivy Division”) and the 101st Airborne Division (“Screaming Eagles”). These units were making a general sweep of an area about one hundred miles square....
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