Last Full Measure of Devotion: A Tribute to America's Heroes of the Vietnam War

AuthorHouse, 05/11/2007 - 148 páginas
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There were no marching bands welcoming home returning troops from Vietnam, no ticker-tape parades for its heroes and no celebrations in Time Square. Instead, returning Vets were confronted with a range of reactions, not the least of which were indifference, silent disapproval, criticism, hostility and even contempt, in some quarters, for their lack of cleverness in not avoiding service in a war zone.

Most returning Vietnam warriors were bewildered by the reactions of their fellow countrymen; but, then how could they possibly comprehend the psychological phenomenon which was only beginning to take hold and would later be named the “Vietnam Syndrome”, a phenomenon which, at its extremes, was manifested in a revulsion to all things military? Even those who were proud of the returning servicemen and women were hardly effusive in their praise and greeted them with only muted enthusiasm.

Most of these young veterans of an undeclared war had been shaped and molded in their formative years by the patriotic fervor which seized America during World War II and continued for perhaps a decade and a half after V. J. day. But, American society had profoundly changed in the 1960s with a shift in emphasis away from national goals to more individual ones such as civil rights, sexual liberation, pacifism, academic freedom, consciousness raising and a reaction against the excesses of the “military industrial complex”, ironically named by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The cataclysmic cultural revolution of the 1960s collided violently with the more nationalistic goals of containing the spread of international communism and curbing the expansionist policies of the Soviet Union and Red China. Those who actually fought the Vietnam War became collateral victims of a wrenching cultural war, not of their own making; for the core values of these young men and women had, for the most part, not changed. Just as the World War II generation was imbued with traditional values of patriotism, loyalty to one’s comrades, anti-totalitarianism and democratic freedom, most heroes of the Vietnam War were similarly grounded. The major difference is that while the former were celebrated, the latter were largely forgotten.

Last Full Measure of Devotion calls upon us to revisit this remarkable generation of military heroes and, at long last, accord them the recognition withheld from them for almost four decades. The 22 individual profiles of Vietnam heroes contained between these covers are meant to be representative of the vast majority of Americans who served with honor in that lonely and beleaguered country on the South China Sea, more than thirty-five years ago.

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Donald J. Farinacci is a Vietnam-era veteran of the United States Army.  He served overseas from 1966 to 1969.  He is a practicing attorney by profession with a deep interest in veterans' affairs, which he has been able to pursue as a member of the Military Law Committee of the Nassau County, New York Bar Association and as a long-time volunteer with the national Veterans Administration hospitals volunteer program. It was mainly his work as a veteran's proponent which led him to conclude that there was a great disparity between the way Vietnam veterans were treated upon their return from war and the way veterans of other wars were treated.  This inequity provided the main inspiration for Last Full Measure of Devotion. 

Mr. Farinacci has been published as a legal author in many well-known business and law publications, including The New York Law Journal, The Nassau Lawyer,  Long Island Business News and various legal course books of the National Business Institute.

Last Full Measure of Devotion is the author's second full-length work of non-fiction.  His first published work was the well-received When One Stood Alone -- John J. Sirica's Battle Against the Watergate Conspiracy, published in 2005.  In 2006, When One Stood Alone was excerpted in Ambassador Magazine with a circulation of 30,000 subscribers.

Both of Mr. Farinacci's full-length books have delved into the nature and manifestations of courage---moral courage in the Sirica biography and physical courage in Last Full Measure of Devotion.  This is a theme with which Mr. Farinacci is deeply engaged as a former soldier and as a lawyer.     


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