The retrospect of history will judge the political ramifications of the Vietnam War, but understanding the war within the war—the personal side of the conflict—is the purview of memoirs and fiction such as Bloody Mama Blues.
Although fictionalize, Bloody Mama Blues is grounded in events witnessed by author Neil Howard.
In the vein of David Donavon’s nonfiction, Once a Warrior King, Howard’s novel is a behind-the-scenes look at a war waged as much against an enemy as it was against the honor of character besieged by hedonism.
Infantry officer Lieutenant Mike Hardy expected to fight an enemy about which he knew little. But upon arriving in Vietnam, he finds the battle is about not only North Vietnamese Communism, but also corruption, black market deals, prostitution, drugs and, “easy money.” Evil, he quickly learns, is the sacrifice of honor in the face of death. For some, the psychological damage was irreparable.
This is the underside of the Vietnam experience, when a generation of men and women on both sides of the conflict suffered through the things of which survivors rarely speak: What they wish they hadn’t done.
Bloody Mama Blues is available from bookstores and online retailers such as Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.