A new book about the Vietnam War focuses on the journey of one Midwestern man.
WKAR’s Peter Whorf and Traverse City, Michigan author Doug Stanton bring us a story of
the horrors of war and its aftermath…through one citizen soldier.
New York Times bestselling author Doug Stanton just released his newest, The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War.
Stanton spoke recently with WKAR's Peter Whorf.
PW: When you first talked to Stan Parker about writing his story, he hesitated. When you came back later, Stan said "I've been waiting for you". How did that make you feel?
DS: Well. I thought...it's about time. Vietnam is this secret that a whole generation is holding tight to its chest. The costs of this, I think, are tragic. It really was the beginning of a long journey for Stan and his platoon mates...and for the. The question is: were you in Vietnam and what happened there? It's about time we put a period on the end of that sentence. It's a searing story, it's an emotional story. Ultimately, it's a story about people. You don't really have to know much about Vietnam to know Stan Parker and what he went through, because his journey is universal.
PW: I was so moved by the way you contrast unimaginable horror with humanity and tenderness...scenes like those talking about his beloved mother, his high school sweetheart...a nurse who washes and mends a sweater that is practically shot off his body after that experience at Trung Hoa.
DS: Well, I think ultimately this is a book about people, Peter. I really wanted to separate the war from the soldier. As a reporter and a writer, I sat and listened. Also, the irony is that the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, DC is the most visited memorial, yet it's the least talked-about war that we have. That's what I'm trying to do with this book. It creates a conversation that's important.