“Rape and the mutilation of women’s bodies are evidently part of the usual military fare in war. During the Vietnam war, rape was in fact an all too common occurrence …” Source: Karen Stuldreher, Political Science Department, University of Washington, Seattle
For example: “An August 1967 atrocity in which a 13-year-old Vietnamese child was raped by American MI interrogator of the Army’s 196th Infantry Brigade. The soldier was convicted only of indecent acts with a child and assault. He served seven months and sixteen days for his crime.” Source: George Mason University’s History News Network
In addition, there was a rape episode that I wrote about in a short story that was a runner up for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. A Night at the Well of Purity was based on a real event that I witnessed.
General George S. Patton knew what he was talking about when he predicted during World War II, “there would unquestionably be some raping.” Rape and the mutilation of women’s bodies are evidently part of the usual military fare in war. Source: Karen Stuldreher, Political Science Department, University of Washington, Seattle
However, now that so many women serve in the US military, “Rape within the US military has become so widespread that it is estimated that a female solider in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.” Source: The Guardian
Some victims were sexually abused, beaten, tortured, maimed and mutilated.
Then there was falling in love. Several months into my 1966 tour in Vietnam, I went on R&R to Hong Kong, where one young Marine fell in love with the Chinese prostitute he paid to have sex with for the week and deserted to stay with her.
He did not return to Vietnam with us. I’m sure he was caught and spent time in the brig before being sent back to combat.
In fact, while I was in Hong Kong I met another Marine that did the same thing several years earlier, but he was caught and spent time in a federal prison back in the states. Once his prison sentence was served (he said two years), he was sent back to complete his combat tour in Vietnam.
These Marines were not the only ones to desert while serving in Vietnam.
Continued on June 22, 2012 in From Memoir to Novel – the metamorphosis of a manuscript about war as hell – Part 3 or return to Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.
His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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