Bill Lord’s new book "50 Years After Vietnam" is the irreverent but poignant memoir of a young draftee. Lord and his fellow soldiers were 19- and 20-year-olds fighting on the front lines in 1968. The country that sent them there had erupted in violence after the Tet Offensive and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. As casualties mounted in Vietnam and the anti-war movement grew back home, Americans increasingly directed their anger at the very soldiers who were fighting the war.
“We were orphans out there on the battlefield,” Lord writes. “No one could tell us what we were fighting for and many of our fellow Americans had begun to hate us.”
"50 Years After Vietnam" features excerpts from the letters Lord wrote home from the war, which became increasingly cynical and fearful as his time in Vietnam continued. The book provides a brutally honest assessment of what these young soldiers, who were little more than children at the time, did to survive.