Dr. Tom’s War by Lucia Viti

Dr. Tom’s War: A Daughter’s Journey
(Rogue Books, 355 pp., $19.95, paper) is author Lucia Viti’s tribute to her father, Dr. Gaetano Thomas Anthony Viti, who served as battalion surgeon with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines of the 1st Marine Division at the An Hoa combat base from December 1966 to December 1967.

The book, Lucia Viti’s first, came about after she was cleaning out her attic in 2001, fourteen years after her father’s death. “I stumbled upon a box containing his Vietnam memorabilia,” Lucia Viti says. “The contents of which left me breathless, for nothing that I discovered was anything that I had ever known.

“I knew I had to infuse these dormant memories with the life and recognition that they so richly deserved. From the pieces gathered from this treasure trove, I traveled America interviewing 2/5 Marines who stood alongside ‘Dr. Tom.’ In an effort to reconnect with the man I loved more than life itself, I gathered quips and quotes from those who knew him best.”

The result is what Lucia Viti calls “a narrative memoir,” of her father’s Vietnam War tour and some of the men with whom he served. It also is filled with photos of Tom Viti and the Marines, along with letters written from Vietnam to family and friends back home.

—Marc Leepson