Vietnam War Humor

"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up,
but a comedy in long-shot."
--Charlie Chaplin

All Cracked Up
by Sergeant Major (Ret) George S. Kulas

A slice of life in Vietnam during the war.

Another Vietnam War Story or Two
by David A. Willson

"I'd been in Vietnam more than a year, first at Tan Son Nhut for about nine months and then at Long Binh for four months. I'd already extended one month and thirteen days and was being heavily encouraged to re-up and extend for another one year tour of duty. The enticements were considerable: cash bonus, rank and of course, the chance to continue serving my country in a foreign war of liberation. To help liberate an oppressed people from the heavy heel of Chinese communism -- that argument was pure bullshit to me. A better argument would have been -- Do you want to stay in a situation where you have power totally out of proportion to your age, experience, training and rank? Or do you want to go home, take off your uniform and be a nobody in a job where you have no autonomy, no power, and are surrounded by people who have absolutely no interest in where you have been for the past two years or in what you have been doing?"

The Assault
by J.E. Colussi

Joe Colussi was with D Company, 725th Maintenance Bn, 25th Infantry Division in DauTieng from March 1968 to March 1969.

Barbie and Ken Experience the War
A Vietnam War short story.

A CIA Hired Wife Bares Her Soul
A Vietnam War Short Story.

Don's Nam
by Franklin D. Rast
"In my role as a Vietnam War literature bibliographer, I have read hundreds of books dealing with the war. Most of the memoirs and novels are junk or the same basic book over again. Rast's book is not junk. There is no other Vietnam War book even a little bit like it. His lively narrative (from an Army lieutenant's point of view) deals with 1969-70, when Nixon was taking his time withdrawing the U.S. from the war. The subject is the extremely hazardous job of convoy commander assigned to the 'Orient Express,' the 534th and 379th Transportation Companies, 7th Transportation Battalion. Rast has written a unique and fascinating book filled with comic absurdity, phantasmagoric scenes and believable characters of all ranks and races. And he includes the Vietnamese, unlike the authors of most Vietnam War memoirs and novels. The insanity of the war has never been better explored and exploded. I highly recommend 'Don's Nam.'" --David A. Willson

General Westmoreland's Houseboy (and VC Spy) Talks
A Vietnam War Short Story.

In the Army Now
by David A. Willson
Another entry from the chronicler of REMF life, this one a sort of prequel to the other two books. Watch with awe and dread as the unnamed narrator slides from reality into a surreal nightmare that seems to envelop everything around him. There isn't any Vietnam action in this book, since it chronicles the early Army days of the anonymous narrator, from basic training to AIT in Indiana, but the threads that will become major narratives in both "The REMF Diary" and "The REMF Returns" are quite visible here.

Once a Newby Always a Newby
by Sergeant Major (Ret) George S. Kulas

As we were leaving the plane, the stewardess announced that she hoped we had a good tour—not a good day, as is usually the custom. I recall thinking to myself that I probably wouldn’t have a good day, or see another pretty blonde like her, for the next 13 months.

REMF Diary
by David A. Willson
"This plotless, characterless debut, which reads as memoir loosely disguised as fiction, is related by a nameless soldier, a 24-year-old self-described loser ("a piece of jetsam on the sea of life") with a menial desk job in Vietnam. The often self-deprecating narrator is also funny, intelligent and cynical." --Publishers Weekly

The Remf Returns
by David A. Willson
The sequel to "REMF Diary" is an account of the last days of an Army clerk's Vietnam tour-of-duty from July 5 through October 23, 1967. Both books claim to be novels, but if you're looking for intense combat scenes or romantic interludes back in Hawaii, you'll be disappointed. The fate of Western democracies is not decided here. The point is comic, although in a way cautionary: this is the tale of a clerk in the rear areas of Saigon and the plush base at Long Binh, and the truth is that it is at least as representative of the enlisted man's Vietnam war as are tales of combat by Larry Heinemann, Gustav Hasford, or John M. Del Vecchio.

A Saigon Party: And Other Vietnam War Short Stories
by Diana J. Dell, USO Vietnam 1970-72
In 1970, two years after her brother Kenny was killed in the Mekong Delta, Diana Dell went to Vietnam as a civilian with USO. For the first six months, she was a program director at the USO Aloha Club at 22nd Replacement Battalion in Cam Ranh Bay, then this humanitarian organization's in-country director of public relations, and also the host of a daily radio show, "USO Showtime," on American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN), the military station in Saigon.

As an eyewitness to the most significant event of the coming-of-age Baby Boom Generation, she claims that she will be telling war stories until her final moment on this earth.

However, Diana’s tales -- some exaggerated, many true -- are not about battles, blood, gore, or angst. They are about participants of the war other than grunts: CIA agents, bar girls, war profiteers, missionaries, donut dollies, strippers, civilian contractors, pilots, cooks, telephone operators, disc jockeys, rock stars, landladies, pedicab drivers, generals, Buddhist monks, movie stars, pickpockets, politicians, prostitutes, prisoners, beggars, nightclub owners, drug counselors, Montagnard tribesmen, foreign correspondents, ambassadors, doctors, humanitarians, celebrity tourists, and other REMFs, civilian as well as military.

Saigon Rumors
A Vietnam War Short Story.

A Shot and a Wound by David A. Willson
"Folks who have read the first two books in my REMF trilogy, "REMF Diary" and "The REMF Returns" have marveled at the risk-free tour of duty that the REMF served in Vietnam. They assume that I and the REMF are the same man, that our tours of duty were the same. Not true. There are similarities, I admit. But unlike the REMF, I never served in Italy. I've never even been to Italy. Also, I never had a fixation on Madame Ky, although I did admire her style and felt my heart race when she appeared in her black go-to-hell jumpsuit."

That Year In Saigon: A Screenplay
The year is 1971 and the place is Saigon. But this isn't your typical Vietnam War script. Rather than immersing us in scenes filled with jungle warfare, blood, and gore, "That Year in Saigon" delves into the lives of three courageous and caring twenty-something American women who work for the USO. Radio personality Debbie Dawson and her friends, black and proud Constance Johnson and Spanish spitfire Katarina "Kat" Martinez, are having the time of their lives while entertaining the troops and keeping the bored GI's out of trouble. They're surrounded by and enjoy the camaraderie of a group of colorful and sometimes loony friends, from a classy Eurasian call girl to a French nun. And their love lives are both fulfilled and complicated by the men of their dreams: Army doctor Brett Miller, "Soul Train" disc jockey Josh Jackson, and general's aide Ricardo Chavez. But as the war winds down and US troops continue to leave at a steady pace, Debbie, Constance, and Kat find themselves confronting secrets and loss amid their laughter.

Based on true events, "That Year in Saigon" reveals a Vietnam rarely seen on film: It's a world of entertainers and orphans, humanitarians and war profiteers, Buddhist monks and strippers, military brass and rear echelon soldiers (REMF's) that acknowledges the poignancy and absurdity of the war without losing a sense of humor. A fresh, romantic comedy-drama filled with memorable characters, snappy dialogue, and biting political commentary, "That Year in Saigon" appeals to baby boomers and younger viewers alike as they follow the ups and downs of three ordinary women witnessing, with eyes, ears, and hearts wide open, the most extraordinary event of their generation -- the Vietnam War in all its lunacy, adventure, sorrow, and heroics.

Very Crazy, G.I.: Strange but True Stories of the Vietnam War
by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson
In this compelling, highly unusual collection of amazing but true stories, U.S. soldiers reveal fantastic, almost unbelievable events that occurred in places ranging from the deadly Central Highlands to the Cong-infested Mekong Delta.

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