The author of The Boys of '67: Charlie Company's War follows up with a story focused on the wives of those "boys" as they struggled to keep their families together during their husbands' service and after—when post-traumatic stress and other consequences of battle began to appear.
[W]hat shines through the muck and mud of their husbands’ often miserable experiences in Vietnam is the quiet fortitude, resilience, and determination of the wives to create a better life for their spouses postwar ... The author gives light to so many of the wives’ stories that it is difficult at times to keep everyone straight. (The 'Cast of Characters' list at the end of the book might have been better placed at the beginning.) It is only natural that an historian would want to do justice to each of these unique women, but there are perhaps a few too many stories to grapple with. A smaller collection would have better enlivened the overall narrative ... Wiest has written an important work about veterans and their courageous spouses, preserving their stories for us to analyze and reflect upon.
Using oral interviews, letters, diaries, and other primary resources, Wiest provides a compassionate look at how the conflict impacted these individuals to the present day. Although specific to this Vietnam experience, readers will appreciate the common threads that run through the sacrifices of military duty during conflict ... Although there are plenty of other works that discuss the home front, the uniqueness here lies in the cohesive yet distinctive experiences of the Charlie Company itself, offering a deeper understanding of the soldiers through the actions of their wives during their year away ... Historians, military spouses, and those impacted by Vietnam will find this work sensitive, familiar, and uplifting.
Wiest, a history professor at University of Southern Mississippi, offers something rare in the literary canon of the Vietnam War: an in-depth look at the families—primarily the wives ... Wiest writes well and with empathy for what the women went through. This is a novel look at the Vietnam War’s legacy that speaks to the experiences of military families today.