Tours of Duty - Vietnam War Stories, ed. Michael Lee Lanning

Tours of Duty - Vietnam War Stories, ed. Michael Lee Lanning

This book contains a large number of short Vietnam War stories, all provided to the editor (himself a Vietnam veteran) by other veterans. They range in size from a single paragraph to several pages, and in scope from single short incidents to a summary of someone's entire service in Vietnam. There are combat stories, base stories, land and air stories, humorous stories and tragic stories.

As far as I can tell there is no structure to the order of the stories - an anecdote from Okinawa in 1972 comes between two stories from Vietnam in 1968 - times, locations, topics and units are mingled at random. The result is a rather scatter-gun or kaleidoscopic view of the war,

Don't expect a balanced picture of the war. That isn't the aim here, which instead is to provide a selection of the veteran's own memories of the war. I find the random order of stories rather effective, giving an impression of the chaotic nature of the conflict that you don't always get. There is no editorial content, so you do need to have some idea of the course of the conflict to make sense of some of the stories and the units involved, but most of the stories will make sense even without that background.

Vietnam War Stories

Editor: Michael Lee Lanning
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 259
Publisher: Stackpole
Year: 2014

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