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WILMINGTON, NC, June 11, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Vietnam War is an event that has been immortalized in countless books and a vast number of hit movies. A mere sampling of these fictional and semi-fictional accounts include:
Apocalypse Now starring Marlon Brando
The Deer Hunter starring Robert De Niro
Forest Gump starring Tom Hanks
Born On The Fourth Of July starring Tom Cruise
We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson
Good Morning, Vietnam starring Robin Williams
Full Metal Jacket by Stanley Kubrick
Platoon starring Charlie Sheen
The public can't seem to get enough, as interest in the Vietnam War still runs high today. But many of these tales are complete fiction or have been massaged to increase their entertainment value. The question remains: What was Vietnam really like for those who had boots on the ground?
Bestselling author Jack Billups, as a 19-year-old Army volunteer, received the Bronze Star with the V attachment. He was awarded the Air Medal, which went to those who participated in combat aerial missions. Assigned to the 1st Air Calvary infantry as an M60 machine gunner, Jack served in the steamy jungles near the Ho Chi Minh trail along the Cambodian border. Recently he received a number of awards and official commendations for his service during the Vietnam War, a story that eventually became a bestselling Vietnam memoir, My Vietnam: A Gift To My Daughter.
It is a stunning piece of writing that will likely take its place as one of the best Vietnam memoirs ever written.
"From what I've been able to tell, most people see the Vietnam war through the prism of two-hour movies," Billups wrote. "Its blood, guts, firefights, and death the entire time. Hollywood, how they distort things! The reality was different; it would be more accurate to select any Vietnam movie and stretch it out over a year."
My Vietnam is, at its core, a love story, combined with a dramatic and searing account of the Vietnam War experience. That experience is shared with a family member, in the most intimate way possible - a return trip to the battlefields of Vietnam.
Billups' memoir puts the reader into a pair of combat boots, and allows them to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the Vietnam combat experience in vivid detail. That is but part of the story.
"Hey Dad, please share your Vietnam experiences?" Naomi's request set into motion a journey, 50 years into the past, as a "grunt" in the steamy jungles of Vietnam. Four months later with his memoir completed, Naomi asked, "Dad, let's go to Vietnam, just you and me?" Could the ghosts of Vietnam past morph into a father and daughter blessing in the present?
George C. Colclough, Col. Inf (ret) USAR, former president and CEO of Smith & Wesson, stated in the introduction to the book, "Just another Vietnam War book? Certainly not, Jack takes you down two roads as he embarks on one remarkable journey with his daughter. First, Jack effectively articulates his story in such a way that puts the reader into the boots of a grunt, causing them to feel what he felt, and understand the daunting challenges of those who traveled the Vietnam jungle.
"Secondly, Jack and his daughter continued this remarkable adventure as they traveled back to Vietnam to return to the places where her father had so many vivid experiences. A wonderful story!"
What really sets this bestselling memoir apart is Billups' writing style. There is no pretense; nothing feels forced or contrived, made up or embellished. Billups presents his real-life characters in such a way as to make the reader feel intimately familiar with each of the members of his very young band of brothers, warts and all. Billups tells it exactly as it was.
His style holds through the second part of the book, describing his return to Vietnam and the jaw-dropping changes now evident in modern day Vietnam. One of the highlights of the second part of the book is the reunion, bringing those somewhat innocent young men back together many decades later as mature men. Readers will get a vivid look, from many points of view, at how the Vietnam experience changed the lives of those who lived through that experience.
It is also a compelling memoir that reconciles America and Vietnam, then and now, including the culture shock of seeing Vietnam as it exists today. It offers a heartfelt and heartwarming message to the people of both countries, and a greater understanding of what the old song "Ruby" called "that crazy Asian war."
Readers and reviewers alike have praised 'My Vietnam: A Gift to My Daughter'. It has been called "A beautiful journey to healing," and "A thought-provoking and introspective Vietnam memoir". One reviewer said, "The book was so good, I was sad when I finished it." Another stated, "Jack's memory of his time in Vietnam has been beautifully detailed in his book. Not everyone wants to relive such a terrible page in our American history, but Jack was able to do a remarkable job talking about actual events that he lived through and came back home in one piece to give such a wonderful gift he has given to his daughter."
Another wrote, "The book delivered on my husband's hopes for a healing response to what our Armed Services faced over there. My husband usually can't read much Vietnam War material due to PTSD. He read this in just a few days; it was that good. Our thanks to the author for undertaking this topic and telling his story."
The book will make for an engaging read for veterans, spouses and children of veterans and others who have been impacted in any way by serving in any branch of the military, as the memoir includes the years leading up to, and after his service in Vietnam, including the effects his tour in Vietnam had on his family.
Jack Billups is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. 'My Vietnam: A Gift to My Daughter' is available at Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audio formats. More information is available at Billups' website at https://myvietnambook.com.
About Jack Billups:
As a 19-year-old Army volunteer, Sgt. Jack Billups received the Bronze Star with the V attachment. He was awarded the Air Medal, which went to those who participated in combat aerial missions. Assigned to the 1st Air Calvary infantry as a M60 machine gunner, Jack served in the steamy jungles near the Ho Chi Minh trail along the Cambodian border.
Jack grew up during the 1950s and early 1960s in a peaceful Southern California community populated by many senior citizens and dotted with chicken ranches. He is a dependable and talented "everyman" who makes no claim about his service in Vietnam except for being a patriotic American who did "the right thing" as he saw it. He maintained that attitude throughout his life. Asked to talk about his military experience by his daughter, he began writing it out, and ended up exposing 50-year-old forgotten memories and emotions about the jungle war, concluding with a trip back to Vietnam with his daughter.
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