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After the Flag Has Been Folded: A Daughter Remembers the Father She Lost to War--and the Mother Who Held Her Family Together Paperback – May 2, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
In December 1965, David Spears said good-bye to his wife and three children and went to fight in Vietnam; he returned "in a cargo plane full of caskets" in July 1966. His family has never been the same. "He was the center of what made me feel safe," Zacharias, then in third grade, explains. Her mother cried nonstop and never spoke of her beloved again. There wasn't much time for grief, anyway. Spears's paltry life insurance money was soon gone, and Zacharias's mother was a high school dropout living in a cramped trailer home in Tennessee with three kids. She put herself through nursing school while working and raising those youngsters. Although Zacharias's brother struggled with drugs and the teenage Zacharias had to have an abortion before realizing getting pregnant wasn't the best way to find reliable love, they all turned out fine eventually. Readers may enjoy Zacharias's mom's trailer park smarts (a woman's best protection is "a good padded bra") and her colorful Southern-isms (her hungover brother was "sicker than a yard dog with scours"). But while Zacharias entertains, her main point—that a soldier's death brings pain and sorrow to many generations of his family—is a sad truth that Americans are beginning to relearn. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Zacharias' moving memoir opens in July 1966 with the arrival of a jeep bearing news of her father's death in Vietnam, a loss that affected Karen and her siblings all the way into adulthood. Karen was especially in need of nurturing following her father's death; unfortunately her mother reacted by withdrawing from her children, throwing herself into her work, and acquiring numerous boyfriends. So Karen looked to others for support: a grandfather who soon suffers a stroke; youth leaders at church, who later move away; and a boyfriend who abandons her when she becomes pregnant. After college Karen and her mother resolve their contentious relationship, and soon after, Karen begins to seek out the details of her father's death--details her mother could never face. Zacharias' research leads her to an organization called Sons and Daughters in Touch, which brings together adult children of those killed in Vietnam. Her subsequent 2003 journey with members of the group to the very spot where her father died finally concludes her long and emotional quest. Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Karen's younger brother also missed hunting and fishing with his father, and their uncles did not fulfill their responsibility to fill in the gaps for this family. Frankie "went off the rails" in adolescence and got into alcohol and drug abuse, and it took a long time for him to bring his life back to rights.
This book is very important as it shows in daily detail what happened not only to the men who fought and died in VietNam, but how life was changed for their families. Magnify this by all those men who died, and you have some idea of the effect on the country this war still maintains