For the first time, nine women who made journalism history talk candidly about their professional and deeply personal experiences as young reporters who lived, worked, and loved surrounded by war. Their stories span a decade of America’s involvement in Vietnam, from the earliest days of the conflict until the last U.S. helicopters left Saigon in 1975.
They were gutsy risk-takers who saw firsthand what most Americans knew only from their morning newspapers or the evening news. Many had very particular reasons for going to Vietnam—some had to fight and plead to go—but others ended up there by accident. What happened to them was remarkable and important by any standard. Their lives became exciting beyond anything they had ever imagined, and the experience never left them. It was dangerous—one was wounded, and one was captured by the North Vietnamese—but the challenges they faced were uniquely rewarding.
They lived at full tilt, making an impact on all the people around them, from the orphan children in the streets to their fellow journalists and photographers to the soldiers they met and lived with in the field. They experienced anguish and heartbreak—and an abundance
of friendship and love. These stories not only introduce a remarkable group of individuals but give an entirely new perspective on the most controversial conflict in our history. Vietnam changed their lives forever. Here they tell about it with all the candor, commitment, and energy that characterized their courageous reporting during the war.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: War Torn|
|Release Date: 08-20-2002|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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From Walking Point
by Denby Fawcett
Those were the days when all of us were young, very pure, and very sincere. -Bao Ninh
The Sorrow of War
One afternoon in the fall of 1966, I went to the Saigon Zoo. Walking past the cages of lethargic, dusty animals, I was drawn to a group of Vietnamese soldiers standing around a cement pit. They were watching two captive bears dancing on their hind legs, begging for candy and fruit. The soldiers threw the bears peanuts; then one of them casually tossed a lighted cigarette into a bear's mouth. The soldiers laughed as the bear struggled to cough up the burning cigarette.
In Vietnam, I tried hard not to dwell on the plight of the poor bears or think too long about the dramatic deaths of friends I expected to know forever. There was no forever there . . . just one surprise after another. You had to fortify yourself for what was coming next. Only now, so many years later, do images drift back with mighty and haunting force.
In the night when I can't sleep, I see the smiling face of my friend Riley Leroy Pitts, the handsome black army captain we called Pittsie Old Boy, a Medal of Honor winner. Pittsie threw himself on a grenade to save his men at Ap Dong, a dud Chinese grenade that failed to explode. After escaping death once, Pittsie got up off the ground and moved forward to kill the Vietcong machine gunners who had trapped his company in a jungle so thick, they could not fire back effectively. Pittsie Old Boy, dead at age thirty, mortally wounded while trying to prevent the Vietcong from shooting more of his men.
On other restless nights, I hear the voices of marines at the Rockpil...