DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle presents a unique, fictional montage of the war, and postwar, experiences of Vietnam support troops. Structurally based on Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, DEROS Vietnam (the acronym stands for Date Eligible for Return from Over Seas) is a riveting collection of 16 short stories and 16 interlinears about the GIs who battled boredom, racial tensions, the military brass, drugs, alcohol–and occasionally the enemy. From cooks and correspondents to clerks and comptrollers, DEROS Vietnam distills the essence of life for soldiers in the rear during the war and, later, back home in a divided America. Vietnam veteran Doug Bradley, a former Army journalist who served in the air-conditioned jungle at U. S. Army Headquarters near Saigon in 1970-71, tells these compelling stories with wit, intensity, and empathy. In doing so, he provides a gateway to a Vietnam experience that has been largely ignored and whose reverberations still echo across America.
In prose that is adamantly stark and spare, Doug Bradley shares this impressive collection of stories loosely centered around the rarely told experience of those American vets who served in Vietnam in the rear. That he is able to pack so much punch, emotions and poignancy in short stories that are tightly woven and compact is a true testament to his gift as a writer and storyteller. –Lan Cao, author of Monkey Bridge