Author: Jim Stewart
Publisher: Publish America
Reviewer: Bill McDonald – President of the MWSA
A Touching Memoir by a Vietnam Veteran MP
In The Ghosts of Vietnam, author Jim Stewart reminisces back on his life, which included 4 years in-country. It is not your normal combat action story but actually a warm and at times tender loving story of a young man seeking to find himself during the war and the years afterwards. It is about a journey and not just a diary of where he has been and what he has done. You get inside his heart, as well as his head.
There is a touching scene from his experience as an MP in the Saigon area when he witnesses a little girl on a bike get killed by a truck. He never forgot that little girl, nor the image of her lying on the ground with half her skull missing. It haunts him in the background of his heart; and in a strange twist of fate, that tragic scene gets played out again later in life when he seeks to find his own daughter whom he left behind in Vietnam.
This book is both funny and sad. It is at times, spiritual as well as being very worldly but it is always entertaining. It reads very easily and for people who do not like typical war books, this is the one to read. This is not one of those blatant “I am a hero” with blood and gore stories. This book shows a different side of the war—the kind where crime, black markets and life behind the battle lines in Saigon and the cities are the focus. It is also about love and the loss of love.
This is a story of a man who never really got to enjoy being a father to his daughter; a man who lost his youth many years ago in a far-a-way place that still dreams inside him at night. Yes, there are still ghosts of Vietnam within him but he is finally at peace.
OUTSTANDING BOOK! TOP 5 STAR RATING FROM THE MWSA!
2005 Distinguished Honor Award!
Raised in rural northeastern Maryland, Jim Stewart spends his childhood playing baseball, catching frogs in the woods, and learning to play guitar. A personal tragedy strikes the day he graduates from high school. Jim finds the need to leave home and joins the army in February of 1966.
After a grueling stint in basic training, Jim is shipped off to Vietnam as a military policeman. He endures mortar shelling, takes part in Operation Cedar Falls, and makes lifelong friends along the way. While stationed at Saigon, he even meets a girl, falls in love, and has a child.
After his tour of duty ends, Jim returns to Vietnam determined to be with Mai. When he starts working at the Army Post Exchange in Saigon, Mai gives birth to their daughter. Jim insists they move to America, but Mai refuses. Jim then makes a decision that will haunt him the rest of his life.
Rich with detail and brimming with emotion, Jim shares his extraordinary journey through a tumultuous time, revealing his internal struggles as he copes with The Ghosts of Vietnam.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Stewart was born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1946 and was raised in the countryside north of Elkton, Maryland. Jim enlisted in the Army in 1966 and spent four years in Vietnam. He retired as a police officer in 2001 and is married to the love of his life, Carmen Fregoso.