Next of Kin: A Brother's Journey to Wartime Vietnam

Front Cover
Potomac Books, Inc., 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 270 pages
0 Reviews
Tom Reilly idolized his older brother, Ron. After their parents' unexpected early deaths, Ron protected his younger brother and taught him the ways of the world. Ron was a charismatic and worldly career soldier, and his kid brother thought of him as a mentor and hero. In July 1970, Ron died halfway around the world in Vietnam. When the Army provided no explanation except that Ron's death was not due to combat, the nineteen-year-old author set off on an incredible journey to war-torn South Vietnam to find answers, to seek revenge if necessary, and to come to terms with his loss. Next of Kin begins in small-town Wisconsin, where Tom's peaceful childhood is shattered by the deaths of his parents. Later, Tom makes it on his own as a runaway, has unforgettable adventures with his brother in a seedy Mexican border town, and is nearly paralyzed with grief when he learns of Ron's death. On his singular journey to Southeast Asia, Tom evades the police in Bangkok, is smuggled across the enemy-controlled Ho Chi Minh Trail into South Vietnam, fends for himself in Saigon, and survives a mortar attack and a bout with malaria all to find out the truth about his brother's death. Next of Kin is a touching story of sibling love and family tragedy that will appeal even to those without any connection to the Vietnam War.

What people are saying - Write a review

Next of kin: a brother's journey to wartime Vietnam

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Reilly's narrative of the Vietnam War is not a typical memoir of a front-line soldier sent to fight in this most difficult of America's combat experiences. Indeed, it is more a description of ... Read full review


Chapter 1First Rite of Passage
Chapter 2Strengthening Brotherly Ties
Chapter 3A Ride Towards Independence
Chapter 4Coming of Age
Chapter 5The Notification
Chapter 6SaigonArrival and Deportation
Chapter 7Escape from Bangkok
Chapter 10Long Binh Post
Chapter 11The Details
Chapter 12In Search of Mai
Chapter 13Cu Chi The Reality of War
Chapter 14An Unauthorized Patient
Chapter 15Back to the World

Chapter 8Crossing the Ho Chi Minh Trail
Chapter 9Experiencing Saigon
About the Author

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Thomas L. Reilly has spent the last eighteen years working in disaster recovery management. He continues to travel extensively and is currently doing research for another book on the Vietnam War. He lives in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.

Bibliographic information