SIX DEGREES OF THE BRACELET: VIETNAM'S CONTINUING GRIP
Author: John A Siegfried
Publisher: Xlibris, Corp. (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 386 pages
Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from, or connected to, any other person on Earth.
While the Vietnam War was raging, silver bracelets were created to raise awareness of, and show support for, American servicemen who were prisoners of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA). After the war, black bracelets were produced to pay homage to any of our armed forces killed in action (KIA). The orange bracelet is more recent and symbolizes all those, living and deceased, who have suffered from diseases, combat wounds, and post traumatic stress resulting from their Vietnam service. These bracelets honor the memory and sacrifice of our troops—one of the central goals of this book.
You will be riveted by the indescribable stories told by veterans, about veterans, and for veterans, and by the families of the lost or still missing MIAs. More than 3,400,000 men and women served in Southeast Asia. Although close to 60 percent of all Vietnam veterans who served in-country are no longer alive, the families of all these veterans will continue to be affected by the Vietnam War for generations. This book illustrates the misery and despair experienced by both soldiers and victims of this visceral war, but also the exhilaration of combat, and the camaraderie felt, during their respective tours, to present day
In 2009, Author John Siegfried uncovers a memory bracelet and sets out to meet the F4 Phantom pilot shot down in ’68 whose name was inscribed on the memorabilia. Siegfried plans to write just this one autobiography. Instead, the inspired author extends his journey cross-country for countless interviews and delves into research to discover a treasure-trove of hidden personal connections shared but rarely exposed from the Vietnam War. Siegfried didn’t serve in the armed forces but validates his inherent commitment to understand our Vietnam fighters, their families, and the Vietnamese. His stories show the heavy toll paid by those in this war and he dignifies those still seeking closure. A unique writing style lets the reader know each character’s upbringing, war time actions, and lifelong affects from the war … the uncovered associations are remarkable. This book ultimately displays an impactful collection of deeply personal, intertwined autobiographies. The Acknowledgements and Bibliography are impressive. Like most any Vietnam-era veteran, I read to seek understanding … SIX DEGREES OF THE BRACELET: VIETNAM’S CONTINUING GRIP helped me further understand, pause and remember. Anyone should read the book. We are all connected.
Reviewed by: Hodge Wood (2012)