Book Review: They Were Soldiers: The Sacrifices and Contributions of Our Vietnam Veterans

by Joseph L. Galloway and Marvin J. Wolf

They Were Soldiers: The Sacrifices and Contributions of our Vietnam Veterans, Joseph L. Galloway and Marvin J. Wolf.  Nelson Books

NASHVILLE, TN (April 20, 2020) – Some 2.7 million Americans served in the Vietnam War, and many returned to a highly divided country that shamefully turned its back on them. Many were vilified or had their struggles to reintegrate with society magnified by distorted depictions of veterans as dangerous or broken. Even today, Vietnam veterans have still not received the respect they are owed for their sacrifice and service.

In a groundbreaking new book, They Were Soldiers: The Sacrifices and Contributions of Our Vietnam Veterans (May 12, 2020), distinguished war correspondent Joseph Galloway, the New York Times bestselling author of We Were Soldiers: Once and Young who served four tours in Vietnam, and award-winning author Marvin J. Wolf, who served in Vietnam as an Army combat photographer, reporter, and press chief, bring to life the stories of 48 Vietnam veterans who returned home from the “lost war” to enrich a nation and make astonishing contributions in science, medicine, business, the arts, politics and society.

The 48 profiles featured in They Were Soldiers include men and women, both known and unknown, such as the legendary director, producer and screenwriter Oliver Stone, FedEx founder Frederick Wallace (“Fred”) Smith, 4-Star Generals Colin Powell and Barry McCaffrey, New York Stock Exchange chairman Marshall Carter, Deputy Secretary of State Richard “Dick” Armitage, and Eileen Moore, a former evacuation hospital nurse and current appellate judge who also serves as a mentor in California’s Combat Veterans Court.

Readers will be moved by the stories of these courageous veterans and will develop a greater appreciation for the Vietnam Generation and what they did, and are still doing, for our country. Through these profiles, readers will also better understand the Vietnam War and its impact with renewed and deeper respect for the men and women who were in uniform and will appreciate the sacrifices and fortitude of soldiers who returned from an unpopular war to a less-than-welcoming populace, yet persevered and became successful citizens.

“While the Vietnam War was largely considered to be a lost cause and unnecessary, we seem to forget this was hardly the fault of those who left homes and loved ones behind to fight for objectives that our government chose to pursue,” said Marvin J. Wolf. “Only now, some fifty-five years after the first of our fighting men went off to that war, is it possible to see that America is immeasurably richer, fairer, and better because of the Vietnam generation’s contributions.”

“It is our hope that the American public will learn from the incredible sacrifices told in They Were Soldiers so that there can be a new respect for the young men and women who served,” said Joseph Galloway.

Engrossing and eye-opening, They Were Soldiers is a magnificent tribute that gives long overdue honor and recognition to the soldiers who returned home from the “lost war” to greatly enhance America’s present and future.


Joseph L. Galloway is a native Texan who served four tours as a war correspondent in Vietnam, from the beginning to the end of that war. He went on to cover half a dozen other wars and conflicts during fifty-five years as a reporter. His last combat tour was in 2006 in Iraq. He is the coauthor of the best sellers We Were Soldiers Once—and Young (1992) and We Are Soldiers Still (2008). Hollywood has made two movies—We Were Soldiers (2002) and Shock and Awe (2017)—which feature Galloway as portrayed by actors Barry Pepper and Tommy Lee Jones, respectively. Today, he travels the country doing video interviews of Vietnam veterans for the Vietnam War Fiftieth Commemoration run by the Department of Defense. Galloway and his wife live in Concord, North Carolina.

Marvin J. Wolf is a decorated Vietnam veteran, author, and photojournalist. Wolf first served as a basic training drill instructor, taught hand-to-hand combat to US Army officers and officer candidates, and held every job but platoon leader in a US Army infantry platoon in South Korea. While serving as a First Cavalry Division combat correspondent in Vietnam, he walked away from three helicopter crashes, earned a Bronze Star, three Air Medals and the Purple Heart. At twenty-five, he was awarded a battlefield commission, one of only sixty presented during the Vietnam War. Later, he commanded a Signal Corps company in South Korea. After his military service, he became a self-employed journalist; his byline has appeared in such periodicals as Time, Life, Reader’s Digest, US News and World Report, South China Morning Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many others. He has written eighteen books, including collaborations with former South Vietnam prime minister Nguyen Cao Ky, Native American leader and screen actor Russell Means, and ABC Television founder and chairman Leonard Goldenson; several books of photographs; and a mystery series. His many awards include the Brig. Gen. Robert H. Denig Award from the USMC Combat Correspondents Association, the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, the International Association of Business Communicators, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Wolf lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with his adult daughter.

They Were Soldiers: The Sacrifices and Contributions of Our Vietnam Veterans is written by veterans Joseph Galloway, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Soldiers: Once and Young who served four tours as a war correspondent in Vietnam, and award-winning author Marvin J. Wolf, an Army combat photographer, reporter, and press chief, who bring to life the stories of 48 Vietnam veterans (many well-known and others that deserve to be known, entire list below) who returned home from the “lost war” to enrich a nation and make astonishing contributions in science, medicine, business, the arts, politics and society.


Clovis Jones, Don Ray, James Caccavo, Jan Scruggs, Jay Mancini, John Balaban, Jim Graham, Michael Reagan, Oliver Stone, Paul Longgrear, Quang X. Pham, Russell Balisok, Stuart Steinberg, Ted Gostas, Thinh “Tim” Nguyen,  Frederick W. Smith


Eileen Moore, Hal Kushner, Mike Hepler, Diane Carlson, Evans Phillip Fulkerson, Philip Roby, Grace Liem, Lim Suan, Tzu Galloway, Deryle Perryman, Jeff Fredrick, Karen Offutt,John Padgett


Barry McCaffrey, Charles L. Siler, Charles “Chuck” Hagel, Dwight Livingston, Nasif Majeed, Colin Powell, Lewis Merletti, George Forrest, Marshall Carter, Mary Stout, Max Cleland,  Richard Armitage, Silvestre Reyes


Harold “Ben” Gay, Bruce Beardsley, Eugene “Gene” Deatrick, Guion “Guy” Bluford Jr., Mary Cohoe, Mike Hebert, Scott Ratliff, Viet X. Luong



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