Under the Radar
She could be any one of thousands of women of her generation-mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters who wait for their men to return home from combat. But Jennifer Shannon is catapulted into a world redefined by Vietnam, a cataclysm of distorted time, betrayed lovers, and deceived families.
In "Under the Radar," Jennifer's preconceptions about life are undermined by campus protests and social disintegration, while her heart is ripped apart by the love she feels for two men. Tyler and Jimi both serve in Southeast Asia, yet in vastly different capacities. Coping with their demons, real or imagined, proves to be more challenging for Jennifer than her university classes. Her experiences are at once unique and representational of her contemporaries.
As Tim O'Brien's novels and Broadway's "Miss Saigon" have given voices to soldiers in jungles and women they left behind, "Under the Radar" breaks the anguished silence of the forgotten element in the equation: the American women at home who wait for the incessant war to end. As recounted to her daughter Sarah during the War in Iraq, Jennifer's tale reinforces George Santanyana's warning that we who fail to understand history are condemned to repeat it.