Have you ever been troubled by an event in your past? Troubled enough to revisit it? I did. I needed to make sense of why antiwar protestors would attack a hospital bus carrying wounded troops. The discoveries I made have had far-reaching effects. Here is the story, published in Vietnam magazine about my 2007 visit. Tomorrow I will post a recent development as a result of that 2007 visit.
(double click on page to enlarge)
Armor Troop Carrier
Mobile Riverine Force, Vietnam
About a month ago I received an email from “Snipe,” the engineman on the boat I was cox’n on, ATC 112-11 in Vietnam. We’ve exchanged a few messages, he has not heard from any of the other crewmembers either. Perhaps one day—
June I participated in Bemidji Library Week “Author Showcase.” Later in the month I spent a weekend at a regional Gun Show. Many interesting comments and stories shared by folks who stopped by my table.
Early July I received an order from University of Indiana, South Bend. Muddy Jungle Rivers will be used Fall Semester in an American History class. Hawthorn Petal Press, LLC, is now an authorized vendor with Barnes & Noble College Bookstores and Follett Higher Education Group.
Mid-July I attended Northwoods Writers Conference at Bemidji State University. Joni Tevis, Professor of Creative Writing and Literature, Furman University, was our instructor. It was a great week of learning, sharing, making new friends, and attending the Evening Reading Series.
This past week I spent time at the Minnesota American Legion State Convention; again, a great weekend of meeting new people, listening to many stories from veterans as they visited my table.
Later this month Patti and I will attend the Mobile Riverine Force Association Reunion in Indianapolis, Indiana.
I am deep into the manuscript of the first-in-a-series of memoirs about my mother’s life. As I learn more about our past each day it saddens me at how this past century’s wars have impacted our family. It is a universal truth that people do not learn from the past.
See my other Blog Page, Chickenhouse Chronicles—
I was honored to be guest speaker.
I was surprised at the large crowd on such an overcast windy morning. It was refreshing to see youth groups participating in the memorial service.
Bagley residents should be proud of the tribute they pay their veterans.
Click on the title and listen to the 11 minute talk.
I am humbled by the comments I received after the ceremony.
Tuesday, April 16, will be a busy day:
At 8:30 AM I will be on “Coyote Country Radio” KKWB 102.5 FM discussing Muddy Jungle Rivers.
At 7:00 PM Fosston Community Library and American Legion have teamed up to host a book reading and discussion. The public is invited.
This past month I visited with two classes at Bemidji State University who used Muddy Jungle Rivers as a text book Spring 2013 semester: Thank you Professor Marsha Driscoll and Professor Tom Murphy. I recently received an inquiry from University of Indiana, South Bend about purchasing Muddy Jungle Rivers for the Autumn 2013 semester for a History class.
This past weekend was very successful at the Bemidji Gun Show. I have booked for two up-coming gun shows in other cities.
We’ve been working on electronic marketing these past few months with great success. This past week we ran a Facebook promotion titled “Remembering Vietnam Forty Years Later.” 12,778 people clicked on it, many following through to purchase the Kindle edition. Others went to my web site for signed copies.
Thank you TJ Design Studio, Bemidji, MN and Hofmann Consulting, Edina, MN, for a job well-done.
Blackduck Community Library and AMVETS have teamed up to host a book reading and discussion by Wendell Affield, author of Muddy Jungle Rivers, a Vietnam War memoir. The event begins at 6:30 PM, March 14, at Blackduck Good Samaritan Senior Living in the “great room.” The public is invited.
Muddy Jungle Rivers is a close-up look at life on a gunboat during 1968, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War. It is the story of a seven-man crew captained by a volatile pro-war enlisted man, told from a twenty-year-old Cox’n’s point of view. In Muddy Jungle Rivers the reader will glimpse the genesis of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Steve Almond wrote the Foreword.
Affield recently visited classes at Bemidji State University and discussed Muddy Jungle Rivers, writing, memory, and research. He is currently studying Abnormal Psychology at BSU to gain insights into human behavior as he works on his latest writing project. Affield and his wife, Patti, live on a farm west of Bemidji.
Affield will donate a portion of the evening’s book sales to the Blackduck Community Library.
To learn more, go to http://www.krls.org/branches/branch_bl.html
The first paragraph on the Acknowledgements page of Muddy Jungle Rivers reads “This memory journey began with a series of essays I wrote while attending writing classes taught by Dr. Mark Christensen at Bemidji State University (BSU). His suggestions and prompts were instrumental in illuminating those nocturnal conversations I had with “Buddha” Ed Thomas. Mark’s encouragement allowed me to explore depths I had shied away from.” (“Buddha” Ed Thomas was the captain of the riverboat I served on in Vietnam. Ed Thomas and I reconnected twenty years after Vietnam—before he died in 1999 he would call me in the early morning hours, troubled, intoxicated, reliving those days on the boat.)
Today’s Bemidji Pioneer features an interview with Dr. Mark Christensen. “Five decades later: BSU English professor to give senior voice recital.”
This article provides some insight to this gifted, humble man.
Today I count Mark as a friend and mentor. Thank you, Mark.