When Soldiers Cried by David Shea

In When Soldiers Cried: A True Story About Vietnam (Brandylane, 192 pp., $23.95), David Shea recreates his own Vietnam War story by writing it in the shape of a novel centering on a character named Kelly who was drafted into the Army in September of 1967.

We follow Kelly in this dialogue-heavy story through stateside training, to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii and to Vietnam, where he has an eventful infantry tour of duty. And, true to the book’s title, tears often are shed.

Shea wrote the book, in part, he says, as therapy, “Like so many others who served,” he notes in an afterword, “I have faced terrible demons for longer than anyone should have to endure.”

—Marc Leepson