About the Soulful Veteran

Starting September 23, 2013, a new post will appear each week on this Blog on Mondays at 5:00 am PST.

Soulful
expressing deep, usually sad emotions, emotional, with feeling, deep, moving, meaningful

Veteran
someone who has been a soldier, sailor, etc. in a war; ex-soldier, battle-scarred, hardened

Young men go to war and come back damaged. War also damages non-combatants such as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, lovers, friends and neighbors.

Few are spared mental and/or physical anguish and the suffering caused by war.

I was in boot camp near the end of my first summer of pain in the US Marines when we first heard of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

President Lyndon Johnson used this incident as an excuse to escalate the war in Vietnam that President Kennedy had been ending before he was assassinated.

Did any Americans die in the Tonkin Incident? No

According to the Vietnamese government, more than a million NVA and Viet Cong troops died in the Vietnam War. More than 58 thousand US troops were killed and 153,452 wounded.

Other countries fought alongside the US in this war and also had KIA and WIA troops.

The US estimates that 65,000 North Vietnamese Civilians died between 1960-1975.  The Vietnamese communist government disagrees and claims that the number was two million dead in all of Vietnam.

I believe the Communist numbers are closer to the truth. Consider that during one December 1971 bombing campaign of North Vietnam when Nixon was president, US bombers dropped 40 million pounds of explosives on North Vietnam.

What really started the war?

In 1961, there was a series of covert operations supported by the CIA that conducted coastal raids against North Vietnam. After the coastal attacks began, Hanoi lodged a complaint with the International Control Commission (ICC), which had been established in 1954 to oversee the terms of the Geneva Accords in an effort to avoid wars.

After the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution granting President Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country that was considered in danger of “communist aggression”.

In fact, the Tonkin Gulf Incident never happened.

In 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified.  It concluded that there might not have been any North Vietnamese naval vessels involved in the incident of August 4 that was used as the excuse to start the war.

The report stated, “In truth, Hanoi’s navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged on August 2.”

No attack happened on August 4.

In 1964, I had no political opinions. The Vietnam War changed that.

As a child, my mother and father never voted and politics was not a subject in the house.  My father had a deep distrust of government and believed it was a waste of time to vote since politicians lied to gain votes then would do whatever they wanted to feed their egos and lust for power.

Serving in Vietnam and coming home with a bad case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (and anger) changed my perception of politics.

Who is Lloyd Lofthouse today?  Well, he lives in the belly of a Chinese-American family, and earned a BA in journalism after fighting in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine.

While working days as an English teacher at a high school in California, he enjoyed a second job as a maitre d’ in a multimillion-dollar nightclub.

Later, Lloyd earned an MFA in writing.

He now lives near San Francisco with his wife, with a second home in Shanghai, China.  Lloyd has traveled to China often since his first trip in 1999.

He has also spent a decade researching China, and his first two novels are of China. Lloyd also writes iLook China, a Blog.

Lloyd’s first novel, My Splendid Concubine earned honorable mentions in fiction from the 2008 London Book Festival, 2009 San Francisco Book festival and the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival.

His second novel, Our Hart, won honorable mentions in fiction at the 2009 Nashville Book Festival, the 2009 London Book Festival the 2009 DIY Book Festival, and the 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival, and was a Finalist of the National Best Books 2010 Awards in Historical Fiction.

His short story, A Night at the Well of Purity (based on an event that took place while serving in Vietnam), was named a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.

Lloyd’s novel Running with the Enemy has been awarded honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival; the 2013 New York Book Festival, and was awarded runner-up (second place) in general fiction as the 2013 Beach Book Festival.

– Updated June 23, 2013


8 Responses to “About the Soulful Veteran”

  1. Speaking on behalf of AmVets, we would like to send you the occasional article on our organization.

  2. Do you accept guest blog posts? I enjoy this blog and would love to write a piece your readers would enjoy about some of the financial benefits of being a veteran. My husband just received some loan support and it really helped our family, I would love to share our story. All I ask for is a backlink with anchor text. please contact me through email (abbybramski@gmail.com) if you are at all interesting.

  3. *interested. sorry!

  4. Check out my friend’s website; he’s a WW11 veteran.
    http://www.lwshortstories.com

  5. I came across your blog and thought to write (please bear through the slightly long email).

    Since 2000, The United States has been involved in 10 military operations. Over 2.2 million soldiers have been deployed and over 1 million have come home as veterans. Now, with the War in Iraq official over, record numbers of service men and women will be coming home. Only now, they face a new battle. A personal one, as they transition into civilian life on the home front.

    My name is Casey Miller and like my co-partner, Javier Colon , I have made several long-distance bicycle journeys in my life. While the reasons for undertaking our individual treks were distinct, both Javier and I have come to intimately understand the transformational power that being on a bike for so long–over such long distances–can have on the human spirit.

    For this reason, we have launched The Long Road Home Project, a cross-country bicycle ride that aims to share the power of a transcontinental bicycle journey with three recently returned soldiers and help them with their transition home.

    Starting in Seattle, WA in July 2012, three soldiers will cycle across the United States, arriving in Washington, D.C. four months later. Along the way, we will meet, speak, and stay with hundreds of other veterans, shedding light on the question:

    What can we do as a nation to serve our veterans as they come home?

    To make this important documentary and web-based series a reality, we are asking for your help. Beyond looking for sponsors to raise the $75,000 needed for this film, we are looking for veterans. Veterans who might be interested in going on this ride. Veterans who would like to speak with us as we ride through their cities. And veterans who would like to cheer us on as we cross the nation.

    If you could help us by sharing the link below with your network of fans and readers, we would be entirely grateful.

    http://www.longroadhomeproject.com

    Thank you so much,

    Casey

  6. Dear Lloyd,

    Sorry to interrupt your day, but I have some information you might appreciate. I am a Vietnam veteran, USNR. I have written a novel about the Vietnam War. The title is Abandoned: MIA in Vietnam. If you go to the following website you can read about it and see the reviews, none of which did I solicit or pay for. In my opinion, Richard A. Stratton, a naval aviator and POW (famous for blinking a Morse Code message to the world about torture) wrote the best one.

    I will be happy to send you a FREE digital copy of the novel (PDF, Nook, Word, or Kindle), if you will put an HONEST review on your blog. That means if you hate it, you say so.

    My email address is wbyauthor@bellsouth.net. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,
    Bill Yancey

    • Thank you, but I don’t read e-books. I read tree books, paperbacks or hardcovers. I tried an e-reader and stopped using it. Too much trouble. I also have a stack of books I’ve agreed to read and review so it could take me weeks or months.

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