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NEW BOOK: The Best of Medic in the Green Time

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  • NEW BOOK: The Best of Medic in the Green Time


    In 1970 I was an infantry medic with the First Cavalry in Vietnam and Cambodia. In 2016 I published How Stevie Nearly Lost the War and Other Postwar Stories, and subsequently, Dreams, Vietnam, and Other Dreams. Elsewhere, my work has appeared in New Millennium Writings, Cutthroat, CounterPunch, Stone Canoe, KGB Bar Literary Magazine, Review LISA and other publications. It is forthcoming in Stand (UK) and Paterson Literary Review. I won the 2016 Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families Writing Prize, judged by Brian Turner.

    My latest book, The Best of Medic in the Green Time, is a collection of the best fiction and non fiction on my website. which showcases my work, as well the voices of other combat veterans. Among the chapters are vivid first hand accounts of a fire base in Cambodia overrun; battle tales; traveler's tales where Vietnam haunts the narrators every step; an essay on war humor complete with grisly jokes; thirty veteran's respond to the phrase "thank you for your service;" former grunts describe drug use (including LSD) while on patrol; a handcuffed Viet Cong's unforgettable attempted escape; not one but two interviews with the acclaimed Vietnamese writer Bao Ninh. A dozen war poems, including work by Richard Levine, Preston Hood III, Michael Casey, and Dave Connolly round out this collection on war and its consequences.The introduction is by Janet McIntosh, Chair, Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University.

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    Andrew Bacevich has said of Best of Medic: “Reading this collection of Vietnam-related stories and recollections is excruciatingly painful — which is precisely why it demands to be widely read.”


    From the back of the book

    The author transformed what could have been one veteran’s story into a chorus of voices bearing witness to war and its aftermath. Here are chilling, first person accounts of a firebase in Cambodia overrun. An MP describes the astonishing attempted escape of a handcuffed Viet Cong. Grunts tell of drug use (including LSD) while on patrol. An essay on war humor complete with a half-dozen grisly jokes. Postwar, an RTO recalls his months long recovery from grievous wounds. A former grunt is interrogated by the same U.S. Army he served with in Vietnam. In fast-paced traveler’s tales the war haunts the narrator’s every step. Veterans say what they feel about the phrase “Thank you for your service.” Fake vets are unmasked. The author has breakfast with Muhammad Ali. There are two interviews with the acclaimed Vietnamese writer Bao Ninh. A half dozen war poems, with work by Richard Levine, Preston H. Hood III, and Dave Connolly round out this collection on war and its aftermath.

    From the Introduction

    In this book Marc Levy…takes us so far beyond rituals and salutes and “thank you for your service,” far beyond any “baby killer” confessional, to the everyday sounds and smells of that war, starting with the “dim rustling of one hundred packs, helmets, weapons, reluctantly lifted, slung, shifted to place” (“The Quiet Time”). Levy has been writing poetry, reminiscences, fiction, and analysis for decades…partly for himself, but also with the archivist’s sense of social purpose. Levy’s essays and poetry tell us of the intimate costs of war, how it creeps into the soul, and the complexity and contradictions of an Army medic’s experience within the massive structure of the military machine.

    Janet McIntosh, Chair
    Department of Anthropology
    Brandeis University

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