VVA member Wayne Purinton volunteered for the draft in October of 1966. “I was well aware of the many dangers of combat,” he writes in his worthy memoir, Journey Back From Vietnam: One Soldier’s Long Road Home from War (Langdon Street Press, 232 pp., $15.95 paper), “but I was willing to lay my life down as so many others have in past and present wars, defending the freedoms that all Americans cherish and enjoy today. I wanted my family and country to be proud of me.”
After Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Purinton underwent Infantry AIT at Fort Polk. He arrived in Vietnam in April of 1967, and served an eventful year in Company C, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry of the First Cavalry Division. Purinton describes that year very well in his book, in which he inserts many of the letters he wrote home to his family and friends.
Purinton also covers his severe readjustment problems, including his PTSD diagnosis. And he writes of his trips back to Vietnam in recent years, healing occasions during which he has worked on humanitarian projects.