1st Air Cavalry Lieutenant Joe Abodeely shipped off to Vietnam at the beginning and height of the Tet Offensive in January 1968. He kept a diary and wrote letters home recounting his experiences in real time about the patrols, the combat air assaults, the discomfort, the anxiety, the elation during major military operations, and his experiences with the Vietnamese people.The year—1968—was one of the most volatile years in Vietnam. It was an interesting year, a year of idealism, a year of protest, a year of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll—the bloodiest year of the war.

In the U.S., antiwar protests raged; there was rioting at the Democratic National Convention; the Women’s Liberation Movement progressed; the Civil Rights Movement was in full force; and Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated.

Young men waited with great anxiety for announcements from the lottery. Some got drafted or enlisted. Others protested against the war, burned their draft cards, or ran off to Canada. Two-thirds of those who served in Vietnam enlisted; one-third was drafted.

The NVA were great fighters. They fought the Japanese, later the French, and now the Americans. But the U.S. soldiers were better. It is a truism that the U.S. won nearly 100% of their actions in combat and controlled the areas they chose to control.

Dear Mom and Dad, Love From Vietnam, will allow you to experience the Vietnam War from the eyes of someone who lived through it and recorded actions and events in real time in a year-long diary and over 50 letters.

Abodeely went to Vietnam to help the South Vietnamese people fight the Communist invasion from North Vietnam and Communist Vietcong insurgents. He writes:

 “There is no “one” Vietnam experience—there are as many as there are those who went to Vietnam—but this is mine—the combat, the excitement, the discomfort, the fear, the accomplishments, the hubris, the politics, the challenges, and the sex. This is 1968—MY Vietnam experience.

“The Vietnam War was just, legal, and truly to defend the freedom of the South Vietnamese. The American military won the Tet Offensive in 1968; brought the war to a successful end in January 1973; and left Vietnam promising to logistically support the South Vietnamese if the North invaded again. Watergate occurred; a newly elected Democrat Congress ended all funding to South Vietnam. The Communist North invaded and took over South Vietnam. These are facts.

“Those who say they care about veterans should speak out and show their appreciation for the service of our nation’s largest group of living veterans—Vietnam veterans. I have a personal mission to educate everyone about the Vietnam War—its history, its reasons, its battles, its soldiers’ heroism and accomplishments, its politics, and the shameful conduct of those who maligned an entire generation who honorably served their country.” 

Dear Mom and Dad, Love From Vietnam is a must-read for anyone interested in a true, unique, human, on-the-spot account of action and experience of a 1st Air Cavalry combat unit commander in the Vietnam War.

Testimonials for Dear Mom and Dad, Love from Vietnam:

Excellent READ. Although many talk about Vietnam experiences, few write about it. Joe is an excellent writer and historical authenticity is provided with his diary entries and letters home. He vividly portrays the life of a 2 Lt Army Platoon Leader in the Air CAV… Awesome time in the war when Joe is the first soldier to break into the besieged Marine Base of Khe Sahn… The pace doesn’t stop for the Army and he is soon writing from the A Shau Valley. He details life at Camp Evans near Quang Tri where they have to build their own facilities to upgrade from tents. A typical unannounced deployment sends Joe to the south… meanwhile, many soldiers will identify with his encounters with politics and procedures.” Ralph H. Bell, an Amazon.com reviewer”Interesting day by day exposure to the VN ground war. Found it to be somewhat repetitious when same details were found in diary, letters and personal comments. I agree with feelings about the political side of the war and clashes with those above the author.” P. J. Hanson, an Amazon.com reviewer

Joe sincerely has written a fine book about his combat experiences in Vietnam. these are not the experiences of an ‘era’ veteran or a China Beach veteran. but of someone who served in combat in 1968. More people should read this book. I recommend it.” John M. Yoakum, an Amazon.com reviewer