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March 23 , 2008

Through the Eyes of a Tiger

An Army Flight Surgeon’s Vietnam Journal


In August of 1962, civilian medical doctor Jay Hoyland became an active-duty captain and medical officer in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Vietnam War. For the next twelve months, Hoyland provided medical support as a flight surgeon to the Ninety-Third Helicopter Company—the Soc Trang Tigers. It was a year that would prove to be pivotal for Vietnam, the United States, and Hoyland himself. Through the Eyes of a Tiger is the story of one man’s tour of duty in the Mekong Delta from November of 1962 through November of 1963. With the help of Hoyland’s wartime journals and letters sent home to his family, he recreates an unvarnished account of his life during this tumultuous time. Whether it is a heartbreaking visit to a Catholic orphanage, the adrenaline of combat, the unique relationship between brothers-in-arms, or the horrors of the hospital ward, Hoyland’s vivid imagery and thoughtful prose paint a realistic portrait of war. Set against the broader historical context of the Vietnam War, Through the Eyes of a Tiger is a worthy addition to the scholarship available on the Vietnam War. But more importantly, it reveals the dramatic impact of war, both present and future, on the soldier himself.
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