Voices of the Vietnam POWs: Witnesses to Their Fight

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Oxford University Press, Sep 30, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 304 pages
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Unsure whether they would be greeted as traitors or heroes, POWs returning from Vietnam responded by holding tight to their chosen motto, "Return with Honor." "We're giving the American people what they want and badly need--heroes," said a Vietnam jungle POW. "I feel it's our responsibility, our duty to help them where possible shed the idea this war was a waste, useless, as unpopular as it may have been." In the first book to explore the entire range of memoirs, biographies, and group histories published since America's Vietnam POWs returned home, Craig Howes explores the development of a collective history. He describes how these captives drew upon their national heritage to compose a unified, common story while still in prison, and how individual POWs have responded to this Official Story. Examining what racial, cultural, and political assumptions support this shared Official Story, Howes places the POWs' experiences squarely in the center of American history, and within those larger clashes of opinion and belief which characterized the nation's response to the Vietnam War. The result is an engrossing study of what these captivity narratives can tell us about the POWs, their captors, and America's Vietnam legacy.

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I am the daughter of Kenneth Roraback, whom is mentioned in this book. I don't believe the author did accurate research. It seems that he was using Smith's views only. Smith told many untruths in his book, which all of my family have read. We have heard direct accounts from McClure, and Camaccho. McClures account differs quite a bit from Smiths. McClure advised us that my father actually stayed in a pit because he refused to sharpen sticks even after the others had agreed. When he finally came out(days later) he sharpened the stick, and then broke it.
Smith was anti-American, defiant, not sticking to the code of conduct. His writings have been read by friends of the family that have literary knowledge. They have told us, Smith was making a scapegoat of our father to hide his own cowardice actions. (how dare he write such things of our father, when my father was not alive to defend himself.He even had the audacity to give a copy of the book to my mother, and sign it saying "saying sometimes when you look back, you see things differently")
I have read other writings of this event, and it is repulsive to me that people who weren't there, listen to this one side, and shame my father who gave his life for his country leaving four children fatherless, with our mother to raise us alone, the stress of which killed her at the age of 67. I understand that maybe America should not have gone to Vietnam, but my father was doing his job the way he was trained to do it, and should be honored by fellow Americans, not shamed.
I ask that anyone else attempting to write about this research all the facts, before writing what may not be true. You never know what family may read this.


Americas Vietnam POWs
The Code the Rules and the Body
Camp Authority and the Rules of the Game
Torture and Wars Body
The Official Story and the Big Picture
The Big Picture
A Prophet Returns to His People
The Storys Other Sides
Keeping the FaithJames Bond Stockdale

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