Monday, July 5, 2010

Fortunate Son (1992)

by Lewis Puller (Wiki Bio)
From Amazon:  Son of the famous World War II Marine commander "Chesty" Puller, Lewis Puller proudly followed in his father's footsteps. It was his misfortune, though, to serve in Vietnam in a war that brought not honor but contempt, and exacted a brutal personal price: Puller lost both legs, one hand, and most of his buttocks and stomach. Years later he was functional enough to run for Congress, bitterly denouncing the war. He lost, became an alcoholic, and almost died again. Then he climbed out of that circle of Hell to write this searingly graphic autobiography, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. One last poignant postscript: three years after the enormous success of this book, the author killed himself.

I remember reading this book when it came out.  It is a memorable book that might be even more important today with so many similarly affected soldiers (and civilians).   An article published on July 4, 2010 in the NY Times "Spirit Intact, Soldier Reclaims His Life" tells a similar story, but focuses mostly on the positive.