Falls Church resident Bill Lord’s new book “50 Years After Vietnam” is the irreverent but poignant memoir of a young draftee. Lord and his fellow soldiers were 19 and 20 year-olds fighting on the front lines in 1968. The country that sent them there had erupted in violence after the Tet Offensive and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. As casualties mounted in Vietnam and the anti-war movement grew back home, Americans increasingly directed their anger at the very soldiers who were fighting the war.
“We were orphans out there on the battlefield,” Lord writes. “No one could tell us what we were fighting for and many of our fellow Americans had begun to hate us.” “50 Years After Vietnam” features excerpts from the letters Lord wrote home from the war, which became increasingly cynical and fearful as his time in Vietnam continued.
The book provides a brutally honest assessment of what these young soldiers, who were little more than children at the time, did to survive. Bill Lord had a long career as a television news reporter, foreign correspondent and news manager. For the past 35 years he ran major metropolitan TV newsrooms in Nashville, Seattle, Los Angeles and at WJLA-TV in Washington D.C. topping out as General Manager of WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate, where he had more than 300 employees. He is a recipient of the Peabody Award, the DuPont-Columbia Award and multiple Emmy Awards.
Lord attributes many of the leadership skills he employed over his career to lessons learned as an infantry sergeant in Vietnam.
The book is available on Amazon Books.