Voices from Vietnam focus of book signing

WHAT: Vietnam Mailbag: Voices from the War 1968-1972
Book-signing and conversation: Saturday, Sept. 3, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bookworks, 101 W. Beverley St., Downtown Staunton

This particular story began in 1968, when a young college graduate took a job writing for the Wilmington News Journal.  In the newspaper Nancy Lynch invited the men and women serving in the combat zone to correspond with her about their experiences, with the simple instruction “Tell it like it is” … and they did.  Her column, ‘Nancy’s Vietnam Mailbag,’ first appeared on May 20, originally once a week … then twice … then three times, as the volume of mail continued to grow; it ran until December 1972, when the troops were coming home.  When it ended, almost 1,000 letters & excerpts and hundreds of photos from the troops had been printed.

Decades later, Nancy wanted to again tell the stories and remind everyone of the sacrifices of those who seem so often forgotten.  She began to cull through the letters, photographs and memorabilia she had carefully saved in order to create a book that tells first-hand accounts of everything from combat to everyday life in a war zone to the weather in a very different corner of the world.  She also tracked down 12 of the veterans who had corresponded with her ‘back when’ and interviewed them about their memories, how the war had shaped their lives and what they are doing today.  Their voices are once again heard in the full-color, 456-page book Vietnam Mailbag.

The book has garnered praise from veterans and historians, and won the first-prize gold medal for Best Regional Non-Fiction in the Mid-Atlantic states at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards.  A collection of letters, weapons, pictures, and more entitled Vietnam Mailbag: The Exhibit also toured across the country last year.

About the Author: Author and journalist Nancy E. Lynch started her writing career as a staff reporter for The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal and has been a freelance writer for many years.  With the publication of this book she has fulfilled a decades-long desire to “properly salute my guys.”

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