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As Vietnam vets age, Traverse City author asks Americans to hear their stories of war, coming home

Author Doug Stanton
Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio
Author Doug Stanton


The last American troops left Vietnam on March 29, 1973.

America's direct intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end, after many bloody years, and 58,220 American lives lost.

Afterward, the nation, and those Vietnam veterans, had a tough time processing and talking about this war that did not end with victory.

Those veterans are now entering their seventies, and time is growing short for them to tell their stories.

Traverse City author Doug Stanton's book, The Odyssey of Echo Company, brings us the story of an Army recon platoon fighting its way through the Tet Offensive of 1968.

Stanton says whatever opinion a reader may have on the war, readers “have to simply be in witness of the story and listen.”

Stanton views now as the right time to share this story. He says that it’s imperative to tell the story, calling it one of the “unfinished narratives for us as a country.”

“When you ask a Vietnam veteran what happened, often they don’t know how to begin to talk about it,” Stanton said. “And if you can’t tell your story, it’s not your story.”

Listen above for the full conversation. 

*This story was originally broadcast on Oct. 25, 2017.

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