Vietnam stories, books, poems, and more

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This time of year brings back many memories, especially of my first Christmas away from home -- in a place far away, untouched by the sentiment or the innocence of Christmas. This is a stream of consciousness that is writing itself, while I let my thoughts just wander and remember. Read More
When I left Edinburg (Texas) in 1968, at the age of 18, on a Greyhound Bus to San Antonio to join the Army, I was not just leaving behind my childhood and my childish dreams, I was also headed to adulthood, or so I thought. Unfortunately, I found that adulthood… Read More
Military journalists are just that. They are service men and women working for the military, and assigned to put the military’s best face forward. That was our job at the Public Information Office (“PIO”). I was one of those military journalists, working in a war zone – Vietnam. Unlike the… Read More

Poem / Poetry

September 05, 2021

At the age of innocence, when dreams were beginning to sprout, and ideas and thoughts were beginning to blossom and bloom, I was thrust into a nightmare of madness and absurdity. Into a world without boundaries or limitations. Into a boiling cauldron of smoldering and untethered passions and unchained rage.… Read More
There is a human instinctual sense of survival, self-preservation, a lust for life. And, then, there is the very real phenomenon called “survivor’s guilt.” I believe that we have all experienced a variance of this phenomenon. It is inherent in our DNA. We are relatively sensitive and sympathetic beings. We… Read More
Vietnam was certainly a dark and ominous place to be, especially in 1968-1969, during the height of the war. But even then, in between seeing the agony of war, and waiting and hoping for a dreamless sleep that might come with the night, for some of us, there were those… Read More
Looking back at my tour in Vietnam in the late 1960s, I now realize that as American soldiers there, we were perceived like “bowling pins,” to be knock down to win a kewpie doll at a carnival. And when we were knocked down, a Mom or Dad somewhere back home,… Read More
The sight of a rainbow after a rain is a beautiful and awe-inspiring sight. To see the infusion and precision of colors against the natural canvas of the sky, stirs the curiosity and awareness of nature’s power and splendor. Read More
In 1965 The Animals had a hit song entitled “We Gotta Get Out of this Place.” A specific verse in the song quickly became an anthem for soldiers serving in Vietnam. That particular verse or stanza from the song was almost certainly the ending lyrics sung by most performers entertaining… Read More
Vietnam was foreign and exotic, mysterious and frightening. American GIs were not only confronted with an “enemy,” but also with new words and terminology: Words such as “Chuck” or “Charlie” for the Viet Cong. And then, there were the derogatory terms for the Vietnamese people themselves. Here we were, tasked… Read More
As Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” would say, “Aren’t we special!” Yeah, we were. Or at least it sure felt like it, and a lot of the time we were certainly treated like it. Read More
Sitting in the plane on the runway at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon, awaiting one final takeoff on the “Freedom Bird,” I was oblivious of the young men sitting around me. There was a quietness on board that was deafening to my mind. I felt an emptiness in… Read More
In 1975 the war for the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people came to an end. America’s self-induced nightmare had also come to an end. The American and South Vietnamese governments’ efforts and strategy had failed. The war was over. Read More
As a young boy of 15, living in a valley bordering Mexico, I was coming of age. I was adventurous and curious, like most other boys by age back then. It was the era of rock and roll, Friday night football, and cruising down main street with your buddies. Read More
War is always ugly and unclean. The Vietnam war was no exception. However, there was one major difference with this particular conflict. There never was, nor had there been, an intention to win. And, unfortunately, it was evident to the boys and men in the fields, swamps and jungles of… Read More
I felt so insignificant when I arrived in Vietnam. I was a naïve, short, 120-pound Mexican-American kid from the Rio Grande Valley. And here I was playing with the “big boys.” Guys from big sophisticated cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles. Guys with “war experience.” Some of them had… Read More

Short Story / Memoir

June 11, 2021

Reads: 78

Comments: 1

The Booksie Classic House

In the twilight of my life, I had envisioned a life of leisure and carefree existence in the Valley where I was brought up and where I learned about life, friendships, love and even death. A retirement in the place that nurtured my mind, my heart and my soul. Read More
In an atmosphere of high anxiety, vulnerability and exposure 24/7, military men and women in a war zone immediately find themselves stripped naked of their individuality, privacy and intimacy. Service in Vietnam was no exception. Read More
It is hard to imagine a 20-year old kid from the Rio Grande Valley walking with and talking to an out-of-this world American hero. A hero who had been given ticker-tape parades in New York City and Washington, DC. In 1969, while serving in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam,… Read More

Tags: hero, vietnam, walk, glenn

In Vietnam the days were long, hot and humid. The nights brought with it the shadows of despair and the sounds of solitude. Sometimes, when the lights went out the night unveiled the demons within for many of us. Read More
Gettysburg. Bull Run, Gallipoli, Antwerp, Anzio, Pearl Harbor, Hu? (Vietnam), A S?u Valley (Vietnam), Baghdad, Kabul, and the list goes on and on. Battlefields and killing fields, and fields of shattered dreams. Fighting and dying. Crying and shouting. Moaning and whimpering. And silence. Always the silence came. Read More
Have you ever seen a rainbow that left you speechless and in utter awe? Have you ever looked up toward the sky at night and seen a star that twinkled and glittered and made you feel the texture and sensation of the immensity of space and all that lays beyond?… Read More
In Vietnam grief was brief. I learned this through my visits with the troops in the field. . . . Friendships were genuine, but not deep. Close friendships were not recommended. Sometimes there just wasn’t time to really get to know someone. It was a different world altogether. Men coming… Read More
I have walked upon a field of dreams and felt the tranquility of silence and of reverence, in a place beyond the rainbow, where skies are blue and where dreams remain forever. Read More

Reads: 70

Comments: 1

The Booksie Classic House

I remember the days I spent in Vietnam as a young boy, not yet a man. I remember the first day and the last day, with the days in between just numbers on a calendar filled with visions and with sounds that still haunt me and wake me in the… Read More
Although young and innocent, I had seen how death comes and takes away the soul. And left behind were tears and loneliness and sorrow. I was too young when my grandmother passed way and I felt an acceptance and acknowledgement of what it meant to die. And there was closure. Read More
A fellow combat journalist who served with me in Vietnam confided in me not long ago, about how absolutely nothing could have prepared him or probably other young soldiers, for a place called Vietnam. Read More
It amazes me how we remember moments in our lives years and even decades after they have occurred. We can recall faces and places, voices, sounds and even smells that bring back images, sensations and emotions of long passed traumas or joys. How powerful the mind can be. Read More

Tags: vietnam, boy, young, valley

As a writer I have my good days and my bad days. My good days are those where I can sit behind my computer and write about things that inspire me or motivate me. Things that stimulate and arouse my intellect and passion. My bad days are those where I… Read More

Tags: war, vietnam, friends, bad, day

Church bells ring, and a new born day rises in the east. It is the dawning of Christmas Day. It is the birth of new hope in the midst of the unaccustomed disquiet that plagues the American spirit. It is the ghost of the distant sound of Christmas past, wrapped… Read More
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