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By Larry Heinemann

Paco Sullivan is the one guy in Alpha corporation to outlive a cataclysmic Viet Cong assault on hearth Base Harriette in Vietnam. every body else is annihilated. while a medic eventually rescues Paco nearly days later, he's ready to die, flies and maggots overlaying his burnt, shattered physique. He lands up again within the US together with his legs jam-packed with pins, day-by-day rations of Librium and Valium, and no experience of what to do subsequent. One night, at the tail of a rainstorm, he limps off the bus and into the small city of Boone, made up our minds to discover a true activity and a true bed--but regardless of how demanding he works, not anything muffles the soreness in his brain and physique. Brilliantly and vividly written, Paco's Story--winner of a countrywide publication Award--plunges you into the violence and informal cruelty of the Vietnam battle, and the ghostly aftermath that frequently dealt the cruelest blows.

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Sample text

J. 9. We all detest war and its monstrous results, but some wars have to be fought and won. Omaha, Nebraska November 30, 1965 Dear Sir: I realize that my action is about as effective as a fly on an elephant but perhaps if enough flies took aim it might make you realize that in all the years you have been writing books, columns, making speeches, etc, in my book the good has all been undone because of your present stand, politically. I for one have used your advise for the last time, how can a doctor, a well known and much respected authority for so long allow himself to become associated with such questionable personalities.

Gunfire in the Distance, 1965 27 III. Early Misgivings about the War If the writers of the preceding letters expressed more concern for containing communism or supporting American troops in the field, the following writers saw reasons for concern in Johnson’s Vietnam policies. Some expressed pacifist sentiments, urging peaceful resolutions of all conflicts, while others worried about war’s effect on children and the national character. Others took great pains to research the origins of American intervention in Vietnam and, on political and strategic grounds, question the wisdom of the White House’s policies.

I am terrified by the end result of the escalation of the war in Vietnam. It is obvious to me that our national leaders will use the ultimate weapon if it becomes necessary to win the war. They will even act to destroy the world in order to save our face. That shows the madness of the nationalism that is gripping our nation today. I fear that Americanism is becoming the same kind of demonism that German Nazism was 25 years ago. Obviously, the opposition cannot do much to halt the trend. It is just possible that the opposition may modify the madness and keep us from going beyond a semi-demonism.

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