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Deros Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle Paperback – September 7, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Doug Bradley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based Vietnam veteran who has written extensively about his Vietnam and post-Vietnam experiences. He also has more than 30 years of experience as a communications professional in higher education, principally with the University of Wisconsin. Doug was drafted into the U. S. Army in March 1970 and served as an information specialist (journalist) at the Army Hometown News Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and U. S. Army Republic of Vietnam (USARV) headquarters near Saigon. Following his discharge and tenure in graduate school, Doug relocated to Madison where he helped establish Vets House, a storefront, community-based service center for Vietnam era veterans.A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Doug earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Bethany College. He also holds a Masters in English from Washington State University. In addition to writing a blog for the Huffington Post, Doug is the co-author of We Gotta Get Out of This Place: Music and the Vietnam Experience with Dr. Craig Werner, UW-Madison Professor of Afro-American Studies, with an anticipated publication in 2013. The two also co-teach a popular course at UW-Madison entitled The Vietnam Era: Music, Media, and Mayhem. Doug and his wife, Pam Shannon, are the parents of two adult children. DEROS Vietnam is his first book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Warriors Publishing Group (September 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985338814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985338817
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,695,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a great book for anyone looking more a more personal, intimate view of the experiences of the Viet Nam veterans far from the front lines. The stories may not be as dramatic, horrific, and heroic as those in daily combat, but they are equally compelling in a very different way. A must read for both Viet Nam vets and for those who were fortunate enough to have missed the war, but are continually trying to better understand the toll it took on all those who did march off into the jungle.
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Format: Paperback
DEROS was the militaryspeak in the Vietnam era for the date that your overseas tour ended and you boarded the "Freedom Bird" often a Northwest Airline charter, for home. In spite of their current "Northworst" rep, it still brings me joy to see one landing at the airport. And you can see from the central metaphor what Doug Bradley's fine collection of short stories and vignettes from his tour in Vietnam is all about. These are wonderful, clear stories in the mode of Hemingway's Nick Adams stories, that tell it like it was for anyone who was in the military during that time. And it was a lot of disillusionment, alienation, and self doubt.

This book is unique in the Vietnam canon. There are gripping infantryman novels, like Caputo's, and there are brilliant intellectual and reportorial works like Hoerr's Dispatches, to cite personal favorites. But Bradley's book is neither. It is about what was probably the most typical Vietnam experience, the soldier relatively safe in the rear but nevertheless fully exposed to the belly of the beast which was the US Army in Vietnam. The Army lied, cheated, and lost in Vietnam. But they expected every "swinging dick," as the phrase went, to drink the Koolaid. Which wasn't going to happen with college educated draftees in the rear who had the relative luxury of contemplating their situation. And so you basically had a war within a war, with the military establishment on one side and the disrespectful, but idealistic and smart, headquarters clerks on the other. Clerks versus jerks. Mr. Bradley tells what that was like and they are true stories in every sense of the word. Some are funny. Some are tragic. Some are poignant. All are good.

In that vein, I also recommended the book to my wife for one of her many book clubs and got the puzzled "What?
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Format: Paperback
I am certainly not an historian or expert on the Vietnam war, but this gave a very different perspective from anything else I've read on the subject (or any other war). It shed light on the human-ness of war, the fact that each soldier is an individual with a story that started way before basic training.

The way the author writes feels very natural, like he is in the room telling me the story. My favorite was "Malaria," a very human look at the relationship between a father and son. This is also one of the rare books where the introduction was just as good as the main stories, you can really tell that the author put part of himself into each of the stories.

A great read, definitely recommend.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this collection of very true short stories from Vietnam. Almost every Vietnam memoir or history I've read has had disclaimers of reconstructed conversations from decades past. So which is fact and which is fiction? That's why I recommend Deros to readers who want to know the real Vietnam. The stories are of human interest and varied perceptions, and that is real enough.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There isn't a lot written from the perspective of the vast majority of troops who served, those in support units. This collection of stories hang together and tell an important perspective on the Vietnam experience. The stories keep your interest and move through the variety of experiences that make the whole of the soldier's life in the military and particularly in Vietnam.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great stories! As a Vietnam combat vet who was drafted right out of my first month of my freshman year in college, I found these stories riveting. While never volunteering, I wound up in an all volunteer unit performing gunboat patrols in the rivers and canals of Vietnam. All of this of course is an example of profound military logic. As I read, I compared Mr. Bradley's tour of duty with mine.

Obviously, I enjoyed this book because of it's parallel view of service in the war zone. The stories are spot on for their dates and setting. The politics are etched deeply in my memory of those days, and the human military behavior side of the stories are just what would be expected based on my own military experiences.

Regardless of political views regarding Vietnam, this is a book that is a great read. Hat's off to Mr. Bradley for both writing this book and for his service to his country.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, Deros Vietnam was a very different perspective (support troops) rather than combat troops!
The U.S. army headquarters correspondents created many of their stories from 2nd or 3rd hand accounts
of actual battles, casualties, etc.
Therefore, the book is a compilation of random "short stories" rather than a typical chapter-by-chapter book account of the Vietnam War.
Finally, the author - Doug Bradley does a great job of blending military jargon, humor and darkness into each of these short stories!
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