A GIFT OF HEROISM REMEMBERED
With the many inevitabilities of 2012 breathing down our necks, one inevitability is particularly poignant to me. It is time, well past the time actually, that we give the children of America a gift of heroism remembered from the chapters of the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War rests like a dark pall over the collective memory of all who lived through its harrowing years. And to the children who were born years and decades after its close, it remains as impenetrable and negated as any war in our history. It is a black splotch on the complex tapestry of the American experience. Its human truths and stories of heroism put quietly aside by the men and women who lived them, with the supposition that the ears and minds of young children should not have to bear the tragedies and contradictions of Vietnam.
Hundreds of books; historical non-fiction, novels, commentaries and analyses, journals, and hit pieces, have been written about the Vietnam War. But in my research I have been able to find little or no literature about the Vietnam War written with little children in mind. So I am writing my own series of children’s books called “The Heroes of the Vietnam War.” My goal is to write 12 books for the series. I have a publisher with whom I have contracted to write the first two. The series will consist of high-quality picture books geared for children ages 5-12, and suitable to be read to any age as a storybook. The stories will focus on the heroism of the United States Military and all will have a happy ending. They will all be historical non-fiction, and I’m pleased to let you know that countless stores of heroism, big and small, came out of the Vietnam War, and that square-shouldered valor was no less evident in Vietnam than any other American conflict. I am planning on an April 2012 release of the first book to coincide with the 37th anniversary of Operation Frequent Wind.
My reasons for writing “The Heroes of the Vietnam War” are many. My oldest brother was killed in a firefight when his Swiftboat came under attack on the Dam Doi river in 1970. I was a child at the time, but my childhood was shaped by the Vietnam war, the anxious years, and the lives it took. I came from a family who was genetically patriotic. Patriotism and love of country came as naturally to us as anything, and we resoundingly rejected the social upheavals, and pop-culture slander of America’s military during the 1960s and 70s. Above all, the veterans of Vietnam are my friends, my neighbors, my buddies. I admittedly harbor a good deal of projected admiration for all who served during those complicated times, whether voluntarily, reluctantly, or involuntarily, they are my heroes.
My books are self-published, which translated means I am taking a big risk with a good deal of my own money in pursuit of this venture. I will accept donations from those who find this effort as worthy as I do. My goal is to get this series into the hands of every grandchild of every Vietnam veteran in the country. That will take a lot of marketing, which takes a lot of money. Your help will be greatly appreciated. It’s about time that children in America begin to form positive and uplifting notions about the war in which so many of their granddaddies and great-granddaddies fought. Please help me provide our Vietnam veterans with beautiful storybooks which they can read to their grandchildren and teach them that America is good, America has always been good, and fighting for America in the Vietnam War was the right thing to do.
By Marjorie Haun 8/14/13
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