A Patriot after All: The Story of a Chicano Vietnam Vet / Edition 1

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Juan Ramirez always believed he would die in Vietnam. As a teenager growing up in the San Francisco area in the early 1960s, "Nam was there, just over the horizon, like the distant thump of artillery." His father and uncles had served in World War II, another uncle in Korea. Numerous cousins had enlisted. At nineteen, Ramirez decided to embrace the war. In 1968, the year of the Tet offensive, Ramirez joined the U.S. marines.

Two bloody tours later, Ramirez survived, but at immense cost. Twice wounded, undesirably discharged, and plagued by survivor's guilt, Ramirez surveys the toll of Vietnam on flesh and spirit in this captivating memoir.

Ramirez tells his story in a voice not often heard from the war, that of a Chicano soldier. By tracing his roots, and exploring the cultural pressures and social demons that weighed on his family and community, Ramirez offers an unflinching look at the fall and redemption of one Mexican American veteran.

"Ramirez has given us a rather unique and clear-eyed view inside the life and times and thoughts of a young Chicano who joins the marines and goes to Vietnam to find his destiny. . . . Fascinating reading."--Joseph L. Galloway, author of We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young.

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Editorial Reviews

Joseph L. Galloway
Ramirez has given us a rather unique and clear-eyed view inside the life of and times and thoughts of a young Chicano who joins the aimes and goes to Vietnam to find his destiny...Fascinating reading.
— Author of We Were Soldiers Once...And Young
Kirkus Reviews
An introspective memoir in which the first-time author bluntly and self-critically examines his life before, during, and after his service in Vietnam.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826319593
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,511,631
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Juan Ramirez owns a landscaping business in Watsonville, California.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    A Patriot After All is a must read for any History fan or war fanatic. In this reading you will find the main character, Juan Ramirez, venturing out to war at age 18. Expecting to die during his journey, he claims he lost his faith, innocence, patriotism, and most of all, his will to live, during his first couple tours in Vietnam. He was wounded twice in battle and faced the guilt that came along with surviving, along with having to see many close friends' lives taken so brutally. Ramirez tells the story in a way that really helps you relate to his roots and gives you a good sense of family and how he was raised, which was what I liked most about the book. I cannot think of any reason for anyone to not read this book and I could not really find anything to dislike about this reading. The major theme in this book is staying strong through the good and bad times in life and shows that a person can make it through even in the most dire situations. I give this book a 5 out of 5 and strongly recommend it to everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2002

    a must for american history

    a story put well together. gives out excellent explanations from family to the horror lived in tough times. highly recommended for anybody that want's a different point of view from the usual viet nam experience stories. thank you mr.Ramirez

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