First and foremost, it is a privilege and a breath-taking and humbling honor that thousands of veterans of the Vietnam War, WW II, the Korean and Persian Gulf Wars, Grenada and various covert operations have allowed me and my colleagues to bear witness as they laid bare their hearts, souls, anguish, nightmares, courage, strivings, redemption, and perhaps above all, their worthiness; — Mike, Kurt, Dick, LeRoy, Russ, Emmett, et al. Semper Fi.
Special acknowledgement goes to four long-time friends, colleagues and brother sojourners: Vietnam Veterans (VNVs) Steve Tice and Angelo Romeo, and Vietnam Era Veteran (VNE) John Wilson and John Fulton. Steve, Angelo and John have been trusted companions par excellence; many vets have trusted them to walk the walk with them. And John Fulton, former VA National Social Work Director, was my inspiring social work and VA mentor. Also, for reviewing and offering helpful feedback on various chapters: VNVs Stevan Smith, Dave Roberts, Bob Swanson, Jake LaFave, Steve Tice, VNE vets Ed Lord and John Wilson, and Jonathan Shay — colleagues and fellow sojourners. And while I have never met or communicated with him, through reading The Sorrow of War, North Vietnam Army veteran and author Bao Ninh is an inspirational influence.
Other acknowledgements go to the very dedicated yet unsung staff of three VA PTSD programs where I had the privilege of serving in leadership positions between 1977 and 1990. Firstly, Vietnam Veterans Liaison Unit (West Los Angeles VA) staff VNVs Shad Meshad, Bruce Pentland and Raul Espinosa, and current Director Jim Dwyer. Secondly, the Vet Center staff at over 200 storefront locations, especially the original staff (1979-81) at the Venice Vet Center in Los Angeles, to include VNVs Frank Walker and the late Tom Ambrose and VNE veteran Jerry Melynnk; and to the stalwart Regional Manager staff (198285), to include VNVs Shad Meshad (CA), Tom Scarano (CO), Erwin Parson (MD), Husher Harris (MD), Michael Jackson (IL), Gary May (IN), Craig Burnette (TN), Mike Miller (OR), as well as John Parsons (RI), Claudia Dewayne (PA), David Mackey (FL) and so many others; and Vet Center staff VNVs such as Allan Perkal (CA) and Frank Montour (MI). For their continuing national leadership of VNV, Alfonso Batres and staff. Finally, kudos to late VNVs “Uncle Joe” Gelsomino (FL), Jack McKloskey, Tom Ambrose, Keith Gramman, Raymond Clark, Al Trujillo and so many others who gave their all. Semper Fi. Thirdly, the American Lake VA (ALVA) PTST Program staff, Tacoma, WA