Message From Nam
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As a journalist, Paxton Andrews would experience Vietnam firsthand. We follow her from high school in Savannah to college in Berkeley and then to work in Saigon.
For the soldiers she knew and met there, Viet Nam would change their lives in ways they could never have imagined. For the men in her life, Viet Nam would change their lives in ways hey could not escape or deny. Peter Wilson, fresh from law school, was a new recruit who would confont his fate in Da Nang. Ralph Johnson, a seasoned AP correspondent, had been in Saigon since the beginning. He knew Vietnam and the war inside out. Bill Quinn, captain of the Cu Chi tunnel rats, was on his fourth tour of duty and it seemed nothing could touch him. Sergeant Tony Campobello had come to Vietnam from the streets of New York to vent a rage that had followed him all the way to Saigon.
For seven years Paxton Andrews would write an acclaimed newspaper column from the front before finally returning to the States and then attending the Paris peace talks. But for her and the men who fought in Viet Nam, life would never be the same again.
left her alone all that day, and at six o’clock the editor in chief called her in and begged her to go. And finally, tired, jet-lagged, exhausted, and more than a little angry, she relented. She flew out the next day, just in time to meet the plane as it was arriving at Travis Air Force Base. And as she stood looking at the same scene she’d seen in Manila six weeks before, she knew just how draining it was going to be and how painful. But at least this time she was prepared, and she braced
was the kind of room one read about in books, and Paxton had had no idea that they were so wealthy. And suddenly she felt uncomfortable about her dress again, but no one seemed to care what anyone else was wearing. Whereas her own mother would have made comments about Gabby’s miniskirt, Marjorie Wilson seemed to find it amusing, and they were talking animatedly about the party she’d gone to the previous weekend, and the boy she’d met whom she considered a “serious hopeful,” her favorite term for
she lay there beside him, her hair fanned out across his arm, her face like a child’s, sleeping, as with one hand she held his, and he felt a tear sting his eye as he watched her. She was what he had dreamed of all his life, what he had wanted, what he’d hoped to find one day, and only she knew now how much he loved her. CHAPTER 6 The rest of the school year seemed to fly by, with only a few very important events to mark it. Over Christmas, Viet Cong terrorists had bombed the Brinks
people and destroying their country. And they’re right, we are.” “So why do you stay?” she asked sadly. She kept wanting to know why people volunteered to be there. No one really knew why they were there, except the boys who’d been drafted. The others didn’t seem to know, and if they had known once, they had long since forgotten. “I stay because they’re killing American boys over here. And if I stay, maybe I can protect them. Maybe I’ve been doing what I do long enough to know how to do it just
she’d heard, along with the American public, the attacks seemed to be stepping up, the casualties getting even greater. And by May, after four months at home, she couldn’t stand it. Peter had been dead for more than a year by then, and she had gone to the ceremony at his tombstone. But the worst of all was that she felt as dead as he was. At least he and Bill had lived and died, and come and gone, but she was vegetating, writing about things she couldn’t care about, and feeling that her life was