Attention: Vietnam Veterans
OPEN LETTER FROM:
HENRY MARK HOLZER
Brooklyn Law School
July 21, 2002
After living with the likes of Jane Fonda and the Fake Warriors for the past few years, now that the latter book is well on its way to completion Erika and I are starting research for the next one. Needless to say, we want - need! - to address a lighter subject.
One that has intrigued me for years is the role of humor in desperate situations (like "gallows" humor). Since the end of the Vietnam War, I’ve often heard humorous stories from guys who were there. Indeed, during the POW part of our research for "Aid and Comfort": Jane Fonda in North Vietnam, we came upon some of that kind of humor, which served to rekindle my interest in the subject.
So the working title of this project is Laughing in Vietnam. We’ll obtain a Foreword by an authority on humor in general, and wartime humor in particular.
We’re soliciting your help with the research in two ways. First, any anecdotes you can personally contribute will be welcome. Second, to cast as wide a net as we can, it will be very helpful if you could forward this letter to your email lists, with the request that the recipients re-forward it, and so on down the line.
It’s likely that we won’t be able to use everything we receive, but that shouldn’t be construed to mean that we won’t be grateful for the submission.
Submission of an anecdote constitutes permission to use it, as well as edit it for consistency with the prose style of the book - but no substantive changes will be made.
Attribution is up to the contributor. Requests for anonymity will be respected.
Length should roughly be not less than two nor more than four pages.
We would like to receive all contributions by email to me at
Of course the question is: What’s "humor"? For the purpose of this book, we define it as something said or done that made our troops laugh, given the situation they found themselves in.
It is Erika’s and my opinion that there is great value in showing this aspect of the human spirit, when in desperate situations laughing helps one to survive.
If we obtain enough material, we’ll do the book.
Thanks for your help.