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Hard Men Humble: Vietnam Veterans Who Wouldn't Come Home
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684842645, Hardcover)Some Vietnam veterans returning to the United States were so scorned by their fellow countrymen that they decided to make lives for themselves in Southeast Asia, reports Jonathan Stevenson. "There are close to a thousand expatriate veterans" in the region today, mostly in Thailand (which is "certainly pro-American"), but also in Vietnam and Laos. This collection of profiles reveals that many of them are losers and misfits, though there are a few real heroes in the bunch, such as Major Mark Smith, a former POW who won the Distinguished Service Cross and now devotes himself to tracking down MIAs. The book is mainly about the expatriates, but the best passages reveal everyday life. Stevenson describes old men in Saigon who let passers-by use their bathroom scales for a fee: "Vietnamese are generally rail-thin and do not need to diet; the commercial enticement is the prospect that a customer has gained weight, as a little extra fat prestigiously indexes prosperity." Nuggets like these fill Hard Men Humble; it is a unique entry in the literature of the Vietnam War and its legacy. --John Miller
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:26 -0400)
Tells the stories of twenty-one American Vietnam veterans who for various reasons would not, or could not leave Southeast Asia after the war, and refused to leave behind the people they had fought and defended.
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