Veterans 'Speak Their Peace' on the Realities of War

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"Made in America: Sold in the Nam" brings together the personal writings of dozens of Vietnam-era veterans and their family members as they try to clear their pain and confusion, while healing from the past.

With present day military conflicts issuing strong comparisons to the Vietnam War, certain questions must be asked -- Have we learned anything since then? Do we have a better understanding of how war affects combat veterans? Is their better support for family members who suffer in silence? As a society, what have we done to break the cycle of the war as a viable means-to-an-end?

With nothing to hide and a unique chance to speak their peace, dozens of Vietnam era veterans, in varying areas of conflict, voice their innermost thoughts in "Made in America: Sold in the Nam" (ISBN 978-1932690248, Modern History Press; 2nd Edition, 2006). For these warriors, their lives remain shadowed in some way by the past as they continue to represent the conscience of a nation: patriotic, duty-bound, and mired in a swamp of confusion and pain.

Originally released almost 25 years ago by co-editors Rick Ritter (1948- ) and Paul Richards (1944-1984), "Made in America, Sold in the Nam" has been reissued in a second edition by Modern Healing Press as a part of their Reflections of History Series. This series provides a venue for authors who have lived through significant times to reflect on the impact of events and lessons learned. The original essays, diary entries and poems of the contributing authors reflect the real-life thoughts of veterans who felt they were "sold down the river in Vietnam."

The 2nd edition more than triples the size of the original due to its wealth of new materials by the spouses, adult children, other wartime survivors and author updates; as well as pictures, drawings, maps and resource lists. The additional stories and information bring a genuine depth to the holistic nature of this book that intends to bring greater awareness and understanding the overall experience of war and how one copes with its indelible marks.

There is a commonality of experience for those who have served in war, whether in Vietnam or more recent military actions. "Made in America, Sold in the Nam" is a plea for wisdom in how we address conflict. It is a voice for current vets to know that they are not alone, and as Ritter eloquently puts it, "It is a request, that as a people we must develop the capacity to critically think instead of being so easily led down this destructive path."

Rick Ritter lives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and has been working with veterans and their families for over 25 years. He entered the Marine Corps in 1968 with 2 ½ years on active duty prior to a medical discharge, and spent 5 months as an inpatient at Bethesda Naval Hospital (1969-70). Ritter was an outreach counselor at the Ft. Wayne Indiana Vet Center from 1980-88. He continues to work today in varying capacities helping veterans and other traumatized populations. Ritter is also the author of "Coping with Physical Loss and Disability" (2006). "Made in America, Sold in the Nam" (ISBN 978-1932690248, Modern History Press; 2nd Edition, 2006) can be purchased through online bookstores, or Review copies available upon request.


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