The importance of this book is the voice it gives to Vietnam War veterans. It validates our service and puts the black and white honesty of what we did in print for all to see.
The courage of all the men and women in this book is raw, naked, awesome, and an encouragement to all who served to stand tall and be proud of what we did.
Jack McCabe has done a marvelous job of interviewing and telling these stories. This is a book that scholars of war and politicians would do well to read to see that war is not just a “tour” and learn about how the trauma taking part in a war causes can last a lifetime.
Reading the book and I want you to know that I am only 68 pages in, but it has already helped me more than you know. I now know that I am not the only person who truly loved my husband and tried to understand his anger, being withdrawn from social situations and difficulty trusting people. I met him after his service. It was hard staying with him at times, but I always loved him and still do. He died 2 years ago from throat cancer because of Agent Orange exposure.
Jack, as a brother vet I was quick to order my copy of your book from Amazon and when it arrived I immediately began to read it. I enjoyed the format that you used and have to say I thought the brothers were “spot-on” with their recollections and memories. A tearful, enjoyable read my friend, Congratulations on a job well done.
Jack, My power was out a few days (Kind of like being out in the bush out of contact with the rest of the world) so I had the time to read your book from cover to cover. It was so engrossing that I regretted that I had finished reading it. It got me thinking about a lot of things, nearly every story had something to relate to in it. The Brotherhood that is veterans is more than just wearing a uniform & signing your life away for a while, it’s a collective experience of a relatively small part of the population that the rest of the country has no clue or conception of what we have gone through during our hitches. When Hurricane Irma was looming many people were getting skittish & they asked me why I was so calm. my response was “It don’t mean nothing, after getting overrun anything else in life is downhill!”. Since they couldn’t phantom what being overrun was like they were left clueless by my answer-maybe they’re better off not knowing what it’s like. Anyway, thanks again for all the time & effort you put into your book, it was a very good read!
I wonder how many non-military watched Ken Burns Vietnam War on PBS to learn how politicians wasted over 58,000 lives and along with the media cast those of us who were there as baby killers and treated us like mad dogs when we returned. Jack McCabe has just had a book published titled “When We Came Home” depicting what individuals faced upon returning home from Vietnam and how the war affected us adapting back into the civilian population. It’s a must read to realize what a soldier must endure when returning from war. I am not trying to promote his book but would like before I die to have our society know the real problems war puts on our military.
Many of the stories I could relate to. And many of the stories made me cry. But your story on the last page about the Vietnam Veteran on the 18th hole of his life and suicide really brought on the tears. The whole Vietnam experience including coming home will be read hopefully by countless future generations. Thank You, My Brother!
Dear Jack, I am so humbled and feel totally inadequate to be in your amazing book. Bobbie and I had agreed that “the process” to write something for you was so cathartic that we felt fulfilled. My account was chronological and lacked the depth and insight that I have a little bit more of now a year later, thanks to you and your book.
Thank you Jack for being my friend and more importantly for honoring the tens of thousands of guys (and a few girls) who never got to return home by “making” the rest of us dig deeper to look at our experience and by doing that, honor our service in a positive, meaningful way that had never happened.
We are very proud of your huge accomplishment. This is life changing for us and hopefully, for the many who hear about the book and have the opportunity to read the book. This needed to be said. And you made that happen.
This book is very important to read for those that were there and those we want to understand our experience, although tough in parts to read admittedly.
I want to see this book on the New York Times bestseller list!! It deserves to be read and admired by all, but especially our generation, who lived during this inexplicable war and a time that we all want to better understand.
Spending my weekend reading this book written by my new friend Jack McCabe. My dad fought in Vietnam. I spent my entire life hearing bits and pieces of what he went through but never truly understanding. I never knew what questions to ask him so I just left it alone. Every once in a while my dad would tell a story and then we wouldn’t talk about it again. This book is like the key to opening the door my dad spent my entire life hiding his Vietnam experience behind. As I read it, I write down questions for him and we talk about it. I’m learning so much about him and why he does and says the things he does. He seems a bit relieved that there is this book to describe how he feels and what he went through but was never able to express. I’m extremely proud of my dad and that he fought through the trauma and raised me as well as he did! I highly recommend this book to anyone that has a loved one that fought in Vietnam! Thank you, Jack, and all the Vietnam vets that shared their stories in this book!
Went out this morning to get the mail -your books arrived -I broke down reading the Preface.
So far, I just have opened it up and read the story on whatever pages I turn to. I have read of an Army infantry platoon commander, a nurse, and a Red Cross Donut Dollie. Each story is filled with the same haunting memories and the same difficulties in readjusting and moving on that are in common with my own story. Powerful, deeply moving testimony from those who were lucky to come back home, at least in body.
Your book came today Jack and after just a half dozen pages the tears were coming. I am in only about 30 some pages and looking forward to some more free time to continue. Bravo to you and your wife for putting this together. My children will now read from true accounts on what really happened.
This book is a MUST READ for anyone who lived through the Vietnam era, those who served and those that didn’t serve. This book might help those wives, family members who never really understood the experience in which over 50,000 men and women lost their lives in a country we had never even heard about until “the war.” This is the story of the men and women, including a chapter written by our wonderful Australian servicemen, who were drafted or volunteered to serve and came home to chants of “baby killer” and worse….the interesting makeup of the book contains first-person stories but also intermittent chapters called Veteran Voices of service people with significant thoughts to which all Service people regardless of rank or country can relate. As a Donut Dolly who served, I think this book is a best seller for its conception, its mission and the healing it can provide to those who served and those that didn’t. It truly honors the 50,000+ that we lost and allows the perspective of time to those who served to heal and understand the mutual experience of a “war” that seemed to have no meaning at the time.
Well, where should I start? Jack McCabe has put together, a story about Americans in the middle of the 20th Century, that has long needed to be done. There are countless numbers of men, who have lived for 40+ years with a belt tied around their waste and dragging Viet Nam behind them. It has been 55 for me. I am sure many of them thought they were the only ones. His book of stories, Marines, Army, Navy, Airforce, etc. tell a story, that if you listen closely, weaves a thread of sameness through it. Same impressions, for some, the same depressions, fears, mixed with pride for what they had been a part of for a year, or two, maybe more. The same feeling coming home, what to do, not feeling at home anymore, not being able to hold a job, and all the others. I read for several nights, the writers brought back memories, they brought tears to my eyes. I knew none of them, yet they felt as if I did. I am grateful for the service of each and every veteran, regardless of what his MOS was or is. I think every vet should read this, then I think you should sit down at your computer, or pick up a notepad and write their own story, who they were when they raised that right hand, some of what they experienced, all of it if you can, and how you felt then and when you came home, and who you are now. Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will want to know, they would rather hear a story of you and what you thought. Thanks, Jack!
The media has frequently reported the general post-war experiences of Vietnam vets and how they were shunned in many ways, I’ve not read many personal stories, and yet here is a collection of many dozens of such stories, mostly reflecting similar experiences: PTSD, mistreatment (by protesters, family and friends), being shunned by the VA and the job market, frequent alcoholism. I returned from Vietnam after a year’s duty in 1970 and experienced none of the negative things in these stories, but their experiences may have been more common than mine. However, I do wonder how many among the returning two million or so veterans would tell similar stories.
Actual interviews from us Vietnam veterans as we arrived home to an ungrateful nation after having served our Country honorably. At 10:30 AM, Thursday, August 31, I received the two books I ordered from Amazon. Within an hour after I received my two books, a customer whose husband is a Vietnam veteran came in my Office. I showed her the book, she opened it, read a little, and had tears in her eyes as we talked. Jack, your book will touch many…. More than you will ever know! Thank you, Jack McCabe, for providing a platform for us to tell our stories.
Excellent view of what happened to veterans of the Vietnam War. Although the experiences varied, the common thread was one of relief at surviving their part in the war, dismay at how they were treated at home ranging from hatred to indifference, and concern for their friends still in harms war. It is a story of a generation caught between duty and the horrors of war, along with the continued trauma of disdain from fellow citizens.
I am on chapter 3 and I had to write a review! This book is amazing.. being a child of a Vietnam veteran I am glad their stories are finally being told.. thank you, Jack, for writing this book!