Once Upon a War by Joan Diehl was a fascinating story. It made a change to read a war story told from the other side and I feel she told it well. It must have been difficult for the women left behind to fend for themselves. Joan has portrayed her feelings, as well as those of her children and the others at Schilling Manor, in a way that makes you feel as though you were there with them. Very good book, nice viewpoint on an otherwise wicked subject.
When my Air Force husband, Glen, was ordered to Vietnam in 1968, he helped me and our five young children move from Bryan, Texas, to Salina, Kansas. For sixteen months, our family lived in Schilling Manor, named after an Air Force base that had closed. Part of the former base had been converted into residences for families of military personnel serving in South Vietnam. During Glen’s absence, I was sustained by the friends I made in this waiting wives community. There has never been another like it.
Diary excerpts, letters, and newspaper articles offer glimpses of life at home, in the war zone, and on the streets of our cities, where political turmoil and denigration of the military prevailed. Sadly, the war was lost. More than 58,000 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice in the nation’s most unpopular war of the 20th century.