Billups’ book is a stunning piece of writing that will likely take its place as one of the best Vietnam memoirs ever written.
WILMINGTON, NC, June 29, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Vietnam War had a profound and lasting impact on the lives of soldiers and their families. It left both physical and psychological scars on many of the soldiers, while their families endured emotional turmoil and upheaval.
Some veterans faced challenges in readjusting to civilian life, including difficulties in finding employment and reintegrating into society. The war gave rise to anti-war sentiments, and veterans often faced criticism and hostility upon their return. For many, the psychological toll was profound, with a high prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans. At the same time, many families experienced anxiety, fear, and uncertainty throughout their loved ones’ deployments. The constant worry for their safety created immense emotional strain.
While many stories of the Vietnam War focus on the negative effects on soldiers and families, there are other stories that show us how even a devastating war can be the catalyst that can help unite strangers, friends and family in extraordinary ways. My Vietnam is one of those stories. It connects at a very deep level with the families of Vietnam veterans, as it explore the relationship between a daughter and her father, who served as a “grunt” in the Vietnam war.
As Jack wrote in his book, “Naomi was born with a heavy dose of adventure in her DNA. So, after she read my memoir, she called, ‘Hey Dad, how would you like to return to Vietnam, just you and me?’ It was apparent Naomi wanted to get as close as possible to her father’s experiences as a 19-year-old young man fighting for survival in the jungles of Vietnam. Now, nearly fifty-years later, could this be accomplished?”
“After My Vietnam: A Gift to My Daughter was published, messages and reviews arrived from the children of Vietnam veterans,” Billups stated. “They expressed gratitude for writing the book, then shared their own heart-felt stories. It was clear they reached out to me because of an emotional stirring when reading my memoir. Although unexpected, it made me feel good knowing that in some way, each one felt closer to their fathers. Many expressed, ‘My dad wouldn’t talk about it,’ but now I know what it was like.
“I received an email from a rock star, Brant Bjork. He began, ‘I’ve watched and read a lot about the Vietnam war. Your book is without a doubt the best I’ve ever read.’ Then, BB as he’s called, explained his passion.
‘My stepfather would take me to watch Vietnam war movies together. My infatuation with the war began early, watching movies and reading books. I never knew my real father, although alive, I didn’t know where he was. I had an intuition that he served in Vietnam. Years passed, and I began searching for him on-line. I finally located him and eventually we met. I learned he had served in the war as a grunt. We continued to come together for the following two years before he passed on. He shared many stories with me of his time in the jungle.’
“BB continued, ‘It’s my dream to educate younger generations about the Vietnam War, and those who served, while also teaching about the history of Rock music during that time.’
“BB connected with his father, and now, he reached out to me after reading my memoir. In a strange way, with Brant Bjork and the others, it felt like I had become an emotional connection, allowing them sentiment, making them feel closer to their father’s.
“One day during a book signing, a woman tearfully embraced me, and compassionately spoke of her father who was killed in the war. I take pleasure knowing that “My Vietnam” has become a soothing balm to the families of veterans who have suffered the emotional wounds created by that crazy Asian war.” “
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.
George C. Colclough, Col. Inf (retired) US Army, 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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