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Only the Dead Came Home: Vietnam's Hidden Casualties based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Why does one write a book? To whom does the author 'aim' the book? What is the purpose, why expend the effort? To make a political, a religious, or some other statement, or just to sell something, a product, to whomever is willing to buy it? Having reviewed numerous books written by friends, commentaries on the Art of Leadership, Professional works, from Classmates, others, the reviewer has seen a LOT of emotions expressed, running the gamut from humor, frustration - from within NYPD, to outright pain and suffering, baring of the soul, from Classmates, other friends, which leads to the initial questions expressed in the preceding paragraph. WHY DID THE AUTHOR DO THIS? This is the second book published by Andy O'Meara, Jr. reflecting on his Army career; this one details his Vietnam experiences. In his prior work - 'ACCIDENTAL WARRIOR', Andy basically delivers his autobiography, touching briefly on some of the battles in Vietnam, and his bout with PTSD. In this work, 'ONLY THE DEAD . . .' he describes in greater detail, and goes into much greater depth, his experiences with PTSD and the treatment, the pain, the soul searching, involved in coming to grips with this malady. The title is a bit of an enigma, until one realizes that the servicemen who returned alive to this country came home to an entirely different nation than the one they had left, a nation polarized by lying, scheming politicians, and a media that was anti-military to begin with, and furious with the Johnson Administration for lying to them, so that truly, the only service personnel who returned to the 'home' they had left, were the 'Dead'. As the author phrases it, 'only the dead', who returned in caskets, were not persecuted and/or demonized by the zealots of the anti-war movement, or at least they never knew that they were being denounced and abandoned by those they sacrificed for; served to protect from communism. Thus, those who returned in coffins were 'home' in the sense that they were beyond the pain and emotional suffering of their comrades who survived the battles only to discover that they were hated and vilified by the enemies of America, those enemies resident within her borders! Many times the author contemplated taking his own life in a futile attempt to end the vilification and persecution, but ultimately, in the end, refused to carry out the sentence imposed by the New Left, on those who were faithful to their country. In the book he tells the story of soldiers who shared hospital wards with him while he was recovering from wounds that almost cost him his leg, soldiers who would call home seeking a modicum of emotional support, and instead be berated by a loved one for fighting in the war, or for not deserting while they had a chance; or situations where wounded veterans were debarking from aircraft, some ambulatory, some on litters, who were spit upon, reviled by the 'flower children', because they were 'baby killers'. Although the author is still alive and well, still here, as with all the other Vietnam Veterans, he feels that he has been changed forever. He writes that it was a tough time to be a soldier, and they who served did not return to the same land they left behind. 'Our comrades, our youth, our health, our sanity, our county vanished in the years we lost at war.' In his two works to date, Andy O'Meara has come forth as an apologist for the men and women in uniform who serve their nation, unheralded, often reviled, and maltreated by politicians who failed to accept their responsibility for the combat readiness of personnel and units, which were allowed to atrophy, wither through neglect, through lack of funding, lack of resources from DoD. What is particularly irksome to the reviewer are those who opine from on high that military personnel are paid too much. He writes to help Americans understand what happened back then - which seems to be happening now,
Ever wondered what it would be like to survive a war only to have your life fall apart after you got home? This is the story of one soldier's experience. It is now more timely than ever.