August 18, 2009

Soldiers Once

Whitney writes about her brother, Jim Schuler, a Vietnam veteran. In addition to telling the story of Jim's struggle to find a place for himself in the world, she writes about what happened to him after he returned from Vietnam. Jim drowns himself in alcohol, alienates himself from his family, and never quite recovers from the trauma of war. Unable to successfully integrate into society, Jim becomes increasingly isolated, finally dying in poverty at the age of 54. While telling her brother's story, Whitney puts it into the context of an American society that did not support the Vietnam war and does not recognize the human casualties within the men who faught there. She shows the differing priorities of the military community in which Jim lived, contrasting them with those of her family. Finally, Whitney comments on the way that military personnel and veterans are treated in society today.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Soldiers Once: My Brother and the Lost Dreams of America's Veterans
Catherine Whitney
DS 559.73 .U6 W47 2009