The reader reviews on Amazon.com and the comments I’ve been seeing on my Facebook page have been overwhelmingly positive, which allays many of the fears I’ve been entertaining lately. About the time “Saigon Kids” was set to debut I realized that, as much as I might want to see my book in print, publishing my memoir was also a thing to be feared.
Saigon Kids is a history book of sorts: a slice of untold history from the Vietnam War, stories about the kids I went to school with and their struggles to lead a normal life (in a country that was turning into a madhouse), and more personally, the history of my family. Readers who are total strangers get to learn much more about me and my family and friends than I am sometimes comfortable with, but I suppose this is the price one has to pay to publish a memoir. I’ve read hundreds of memoirs, and in the best of them, I have begun to feel like I know people I have never met, and probably never will. They are all friends, these memoir-ists, friends I’ve never met, but people with whom I now have a bond, of sorts.
Another aspect to this memoir is that although there are millions of military, Foreign Service, and Diplomatic Corp Brats from the Cold War era, little has been published to reveal the trials and tribulations these Brats experienced on a regular basis, stateside, and overseas. A few self-published Brat memoirs can be found if you look hard enough, but there are none I know of available in Barnes and Noble or independent booksellers. Certain themes in Saigon Kids will be familiar to any Brat, but the events described in the book are unique to that time and place.
I only hope that the larger community of military Brats will discover and enjoy “Saigon Kids.” In many ways, it is their story, too.
October 16, 2017