Academic journal article Military Review

NEXT OF KIN: A Brother's Journey to Wartime Vietnam

Academic journal article Military Review

NEXT OF KIN: A Brother's Journey to Wartime Vietnam

Article excerpt

NEXT OF KIN: A Brother's Journey to Wartime Vietnam, Thomas L. Reilly, Brassey's, Dulles, VA, 2003, 288 pages, $24.95.

In one of those rare, first-person accounts that bring history to life, Tom Reilly recounts the tale of a remarkable journey that takes him from his boyhood home in rural Wisconsin to a harrowing trek across Southeast Asia during the height of the Vietnam War. Reilly's story, one of loyalty, brotherhood, and dogged determination, captures and holds the reader's attention.

Reilly's story begins in 1958, when, at the age of seven, he loses both his parents. Although he is raised by his sister, Reilly develops a close bond with his brother Ron, who helps define his young life. The brotherhood the two share guides Reilly through his first years and remains central to his existence until he receives official notification as "Next of Kin" that his brother is a casualty of war: dead as a result of a nonhostile incident in the Long Binh compound north of Saigon. Left with a plethora of unanswered questions, the 19-year old Reilly makes his way to Vietnam in a journey as captivating as it is inspiring. …

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