Jeremy Shoff was a typical youth of the 60s. With the Vietnam War going on at full speed, Terry decided to get away from it all and join the US Marines. Somewhere along the way he decided to join the Navy instead and enjoy the next few years cruising while enjoying the many ports of call. Tragically injured in an automobile crash, he found himself in a military ward with wounded Vietnam veterans. The story of his guilt and his compassion for the wounded veterans he shares space with makes a solid appeal for understanding what sacrifices these men made. Lost youth and crushed dreams went unappreciated by the general public. This book calls for long overdue recognition, understanding, and appreciation for their sacrifices.
Well written. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of the wounded Vietnam veteran who had to also suffer the uncaring attitude of a nation in a highly conflicted period of our history.
Reviewed by: E. Franklin Evans (2010)
How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is a story about young American boys who left their homes for Vietnam and returned to the comforting and healing shelter of a military hospital; wounded, frightened and proud.
It is a story about their longing to recapture the spirit of boyhood and rekindle the optimism and fearlessness of youth. And, it's about their struggle to be whole again--or at the very least, to feel whole.
How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is a based on a true story. It takes the reader into the world of a military hospital in 1969 and traces the lives of these Marines on a fifteen-month journey to recovery--and their triumph over the physical, mental and emotional wounds of war.
The hospital and the nearby streets and bars of south Philadelphia, became their home, and like any home, it was a place to gather, to belong, to struggle, to play, a place to find support and ultimately, a place to heal. And every day of healing brought them closer to the day they could go home. A day they would both cherish--and fear."