The Vietnam War memoir has been harder than expected to find. tim o'brien is probably the famous name of the genre, but as it turns out, he is writing fictionalizations. Guns Up! is strong and full-throated in its one way. Enter Tobias Wolff. At first echoing will manchester's (ww2 vet) seemingly distant /dissociated/ even perverse confrontation with the absurdities and hollowness of war, Wolff quickly gets involved in a slightly mournful but at times mordant dissection of military realities. He is no gung-ho hero but neither is he a superior-complex ridden officer. The actual content of some anecdotes is not always jaw-dropping ( one whole story is just about hovels being blown away by rotor downwash) but there is recognition of Vietnamese realities and rule-bending and risk-taking.
Part of the use of war books is that it helps us deal with civilian life frustrations. I got sort of railroaded into $4 or $5 over expenditure at a Tokyo Internet cafe yesterday but if you compare that to being mortared, clearly things fall into better perspective.