Life Interrupted by War Thomas van Hees

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MWSA Review

Beginning as a seventeen-year old Marine, Thomas van Hees presents a sobering account of a common man's journey through Vietnam, mainly serving as an M60 machine gunner. The author interestingly portrays the uneventful, but then in a split-second, bullets zip through him and his platoon. Life altering chaos adds to the story and to the complexity of young van Hees. He and his Marines carry on, but there are fewer as time passes. The author details many experiences - guard duty at the wire, walking patrol, and flying onboard a medevac chopper enroute to a hospital ship for a long stay. I hoped the author's duty was over by then ... but he returned, exactly where a sniper shot him months before. I wonder how and why he and other men gave and lost so much in Vietnam. Thomas van Hees relates that many didn't care about the returning soldier's suffering, sacrifice, or acts of heroism. I recommend his book to those who would care to learn.

Reviewed by: Hodge Wood (2011)


Author's Synopsis

Beginning as a seventeen-year old Marine, Thomas van Hees presents a sobering account of a common man's journey through Vietnam, mainly serving as an M60 machine gunner. The author interestingly portrays the uneventful, but then in a split-second, bullets zip through him and his platoon. Life altering chaos adds to the story and to the complexity of young van Hees. He and his Marines carry on, but there are fewer as time passes. The author details many experiences - guard duty at the wire, walking patrol, and flying onboard a medevac chopper enroute to a hospital ship for a long stay. I hoped the author's duty was over by then ... but he returned, exactly where a sniper shot him months before. I wonder how and why he and other men gave and lost so much in Vietnam. Thomas van Hees relates that many didn't care about the returning soldier's suffering, sacrifice, or acts of heroism. I recommend his book to those who would care to learn.