According to some estimates, over 150,000 Vietnam Veterans have ended their lives prematurely, either through suicide, drugs, alchohol or a self-destructive lifestyle brought on by the Vietnam experience. This is an estimate and impossible to verify, but if it is true, this number of deaths, plus the 65,000 killed in the war, totals 215,000 dead and to give this perspective, approaches the 292,000 killed during World War II. For a certain generation, all of us were victims of a very bad war. Vietnam brought out deep emotions no matter which side you were on. Whether warrior or protester, most of us who allowed ourselves to be take up in the events of that tumultuous time have suffered one way or another.
There are deep wounds for anyone who lost a brother, father, son, other relative or friend. And there are scars left on those who didn’t go as well. These are the scars of guilt from using quasi-legal ways to avoid the draft, (college deferments for the rich, exaggerated mental and physical disabilities for many others).
This book takes a modern day look at these scars. The story centers around two pre and post war friends, one who went to Vietnam and one who got out of it on bad knees. The story occurs during a weekend trip to Reno. For the veteran it is a desperate attempt to win money for a far fetched idea of building a memorial wall to commemorate those who have died by their own hand after the war. For his friend the trip starts as a get away from a life of less than honest living. How these two reach a modern day resolution of their wounds from vastly different experiences in the 60′s is the basis of this, at times humorous, very poignant book.