Vietnam Voices volume 3 is now available

November 19, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: books, history, journalism.

Vietnam Voices, the project of the Blount County Public Library with which I am associated, now has its third volume of interviews in both print and ebook form.

Vietnam Voices: Stories of Tennesseans Who Served in Vietnam, 1965-1975 (volume 3) is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats and on Barnes and Noble in hardback and ebook formats.  These books are a part of the Vietnam Voices project that has sought to interview local residents in served in the armed forces in the Vietnam region. The project has conducted more than 50 interviews, and these unedited interviews can be heard on the library’s website at this link.

Volume 3 contains edited transcripts of 15 of these interview. The Amazon page has this description:

This third volume of Vietnam Voices continues the quest of the Blount County Public Library to record and archive the memories of those who served in the military in Vietnam during that conflict a half-century ago.

Much has been written about the war in Vietnam. At home, it was politically and socially divisive, creating fissures in American society, some of which have never been healed. Many volumes about the history, strategy, tactics, and effects of the war have been published in the years since the conflict ended.

Relatively little, however, has been written about the war from the point of view of the soldiers, sailors, and Marines who served there. The reasons for that are many and varied. Chief among them is the fact that when servicemen returned to the United States, they rarely wanted to talk about their experience there. Most simply wanted to get on with their lives, which they felt had been interrupted by the conflict.

A related factor in this silence is the fact that the servicemen were not invited to talk about what had happened. The society to which they returned was too divided to discuss the war rationally. A strong current feeling that blamed the soldiers for the war ‑ rather than the politicians ‑ had gripped the thinking of many Americans.

Consequently, a silence enveloped any discussion of the war with veterans. That silence has prevailed for much of the last 50 years.

The Vietnam Voices project, then, is an effort to break that wall of silence and to give the veterans who served in Vietnam a chance to tell their stories.

A fourth and final volume of Vietnam Voices is now being edited.

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