The Wall

Ward One, 71st Evac, PleikuThe Vietnam Veterans of America have (has?) published a twenty-fifth anniversary commemoration of the opening of The Wall; it appears that this is a special issue of the VVA Veteran, the organization’s magazine, though it’s not labelled as such.

It’s an interesting document, with lots of articles directly on-topic, an excerpt from Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried, and some articles less directly about the memorial.

Quonset Hut One of the articles is by Lynda Van Devanter, who was a nurse at the 71st Evacuation Hospital in Pleiku; these photographs, both of which were taken at the 71st, are among the illustrations. (This article, too, is a book excerpt, from Home Before Morning.)


My office phone rang. Since it was an external call, and I didn’t recognize the number, odds were it was either a vendor or a wrong number. Nope; Lauren Morgan introduced herself as an editor with Boston Publishing, and she was working with Vietnam Veterans of America on a magazine issue. They’d found a couple of my pictures on Flickr, and wanted to use them to illustrate an article. I asked which photos they were planning to use, which she described, and I said sure. We talked about some details for a few minutes, and the conversation ended.

She called again last week, asking where to mail the complimentary copies. Those showed up yesterday. They’re really quite beautiful; much higher quality than I anticipated. I do find it odd that she contacted me at work; while I’ve always known it was possible (I’ve had the same work phone number for 20 years, and it’s available on the web), I’m reasonably certain it’s easier to find my home number, which is where I usually field out-of-the-blue calls.


I bought my copy of The Things They Carried shortly after the book was first published, and heard Tim talk about the book this summer at Macalester’s reunion. Delighted to share a magazine with him; certainly never expected it to happen. Haven’t read Home Before Morning, but I’ve just added it to my Amazon wishlist.