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Publisher's Summary

A Different Face of War is a riveting account of one American officer in the Medical Service Corps during the early years of the Vietnam War.

Assigned as the senior medical advisor to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in I Corps, an area close to the DMZ, James G. Van Straten traveled extensively and interacted with military officers and non-commissioned officers, peasant-class farmers, Buddhist bonzes, shopkeepers, scribes, physicians, nurses, the mentally ill, and even political operatives. He sent his wife daily letters from July 1966 through June 1967, describing in impressive detail his experiences, and those letters became the primary source for his memoir.

The author describes with great clarity and poignancy the anguish among the survivors when an American cargo plane in bad weather lands short of the Da Nang Air Base runway on Christmas Eve and crashes into a Vietnamese coastal village, killing more than 100 people and destroying their village; the heart-wrenching pleadings of a teenage girl that her shrapnel-ravaged leg not be amputated; and the anger of an American helicopter pilot who made repeated trips into a hot landing zone to evacuate the wounded, only to have the Vietnamese insist that the dead be given a higher priority.

The book is published by University of North Texas Press.

©2015 James G. Van Straten (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"These stories are poignant and range from heartwarming to soul-crushing and everything in between." (H-WAR)

"This book is gold. The reader is privileged to peer inside the personal thoughts and experiences of war from a different perspective." (The AMEDD Historian)

“Provides an excellent case study of the successes and failures of the US Army and NGOs in trying to provide medical care." (Journal of America's Military Past) 

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  • disbuys
  • 06-03-2020

painful listening, horrible reader

While the information is interesting the narrator is awful! He put lots of emphasis on words that don't need it, making it very hard to listen too! Its hard to follow what the author is saying because of this. I am finding the book interesting but had to quit listening to it because of the narrator!

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  • Jenn Johnson
  • 19-06-2019

Easy Listen but Lacks Depth

This book has the potential to be great, but the read through is slightly off beat and the story lacks depth at critical points.

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