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January 17 , 2008

Home Front: Viet Nam and Families at War


When will the war finally come to an end? Home Front: Viet Nam and Families at War recounts the private ordeals of several families who bore the brunt of America’s war in Viet Nam. Their experiences, an ongoing tragedy since the last U.S. soldiers left Vietnamese soil, reveal the physical and psychological wounds of war — wounds that don’t discriminate between soldier and family. From the backwoods of Maine to the rugged wide open landscape of Montana, we meet a dozen soldiers and their families and hear their stories. Author Willard D. Gray knows the fallout firsthand. His oldest son spent two years and eighteen consecutive days in Viet Nam as a BAMC trained medic, most of his tour served in the bush or in the grist mill of an evac. hospital. When Willard’s son returned home in April 1970 without an honorable discharge, the Gray family endured several months of tension, anger, and disappointment. Tommy Gray had come home a completely changed young man. Exhaustive efforts by his family to upgrade his discharge status and remove the stigma placed upon him and those closest to him ultimately failed to reunite the family. But Willard’s crusade on behalf of his son soon grew to include others in the community who had also been traumatized and marginalized by the war. A national tragedy became a personal quest. Others who had been left to their own devices after the war, with no help from the government or their local communities, surely needed support.
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