Combat and Campus: Writing Through War by Annette Langlois Grunseth
Summary from author:
An infantryman’s riveting letters from Vietnam, preserved for fifty years by his family, share experiences of living the war that are honest, raw, and graphic. A journalist and soldier with the 25th Infantry Division, riding armored personnel carriers into rice paddies, engaging in night time sweeps of the combat area, Sgt. Peter Langlois chronicles the smells, sights, and sounds during some of the darkest days of the war from 1968 – ’69. He would return home to a nation still protesting the war in which his younger sister, Annette, had walked to class behind National Guardsmen marching across the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Their correspondence and her poetry offer a unique perspective of the war in Vietnam and social change happening at home. Together, they share what was learned and what was lost.
This book is a combination of letters, poems, and historical depictions of the Vietnam War. It is woven together masterfully to create a quick and insightful read. The letters that Peter wrote from the front lines shed light on the atrocities of war and the mental and physical turmoil that soldiers endure. The book concludes with heart-wrenching poems by Annette that say so much in just a few words. It was well worth the read and I feel more informed about Vietnam and their families at home after having read it.