W.I.A. (Wounded in Action), by Thomas C. Robison

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MWSA Review

Wounded in Action was written by a traumatically wounded Vietnam vet.  Written decades after his service ended, it is, accordingly, a thoughtful compilation of many years of introspection of not only the war itself, but its effect on him over 40 years since his service.  With a professional life behind him, he has taken the time to look back and put his world, with its life changing injury, in perspective. The author, T. Clement Robison, very articulately recounts his first person experiences as a LURP (Long Range Patrol) team member in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, and the arduous, dangerous nature of such an assignment.  His team mates were boys like him, and hardened jungle fighters who would go out into the field in small numbers to pinpoint enemy troop movements, and infiltration routes.  For vets with similar combat experience, the author's words paint an all too familiar, chilling picture, complete with repressed sounds, smells, and emotions from so long ago.  Eighty percent of the almost 400,000 casualties (KIA and WIA) in the Vietnam War were boys 18, and 19 years old. The author was one of them. He writes beautifully for all the soldiers who did not come home, and who did, changed forever.  For decades Vietnam combat veterans have been disappointed by Hollywood's inane attempts to "interpret" their war, and while there have been some outstanding books written about those days, there are a lot of holes in the historical account that need filling in so that ultimately a complete set of works is "out there" to complete the picture for future interest. W.I.A. takes its' place on the shelf beside those few that are truly worthy.

Reviewed by: Bob Flournoy (November 2011)

Author's Synopsis

Based on actual events and set against the historical backdrop of America’s longest war, Wounded in Action tells the compelling and gripping story of courage and determination of one of the Army’s most elite combat soldiers as he faces the realities of surviving near fatal wounds and struggles to overcome the life changing devastation inflicted on his mind and body from the explosion of an enemy landmine.