WELCOME TO THE WAR ZONE
When they say that war changes a man, they're being euphemistic. War makes a man insane by civilian standards. When the man comes back, he may return to civilian norms again. After a while.
I'm not proud of many of the things that happened in Nam. I'm not proud of some of the things I did myself. But the men I served with were, for the most part, doing the best job they could with the cards they'd been dealt. I'm proud of them, and I'm proud to have been among them.
Anybody's got a right to criticize the things that happened. But don't criticize the men who did them unless you've been in their shoes. Ever since I came back, the object of my military fiction has been to put somebody as normal as you, or as I was, into a war zone.
And I hope to God neither you nor your son ever has an opportunity to compare my fiction with the real thing.
A shorter edition of this book was published under the title The Military Dimension.
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