Midwest Book Reviews April 2019 Biography Shelf includes this review of Good Afternoon Vietnam by Gary Wilhelm.
Good Afternoon Vietnam
Gary L. Wilhelm
9780692999905, $23.00, PB, 108pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A true story of adaptation, survival and the life perspective war can bring, “Good Afternoon Vietnam: A Civilian in the Vietnam War” is the personal account of a civilian technology engineer who worked with the Marines in DaNang, Vietnam, in 1968 and 1969.
Gary Wilhelm arrived in a blue suit and tie from a military chartered plane and finally found his back way to the USA for a company that resisted ending his work term and allowing him to come home. His stories are a first-person account with several being quite humorous.
Being in an active war zone Gary’s position was working with the computer technology of the time and the US Marine Corp. No one else from his company who had previously gone to Vietnam was available to tell him what he could expect. No one was even there to meet his plane!
Gary’s memories include the night sky being alive with planes circling the base, listening to a bamboo band play American military songs, learning first-hand how difficult holidays are in a war zone, whereas a civilian he was not allowed to carry a weapon. His volunteer position as a substitute English teacher for the South Vietnamese was protected by Marines with shotguns and side-arms.
Critique: Exceptionally well written and inherently fascinating, “Good Afternoon Vietnam: A Civilian in the Vietnam War” is an extraordinary account and one that is very highly recommended for community, college, and university library Vietnam War collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that “Good Afternoon Vietnam” is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).