We Were Soldiers Book vs Movie

This episode is very special because I have a guest! My brother Joseph who is an officer in the Army. The layout for this episode is therefore very different from all the other posts I’ve done. It is one which is better listened to, rather than read. However, I do have the transcription of our conversation for those who would like to read our conversation rather than listen to it.

You can read the blog, or you can click on one of the icons below to listen to the podcast version! Click HERE for more listening options!

**Warning: Spoilers for both book and movie!**

We Were Soldiers Once…and Young: Ia Drang-The Battle that Changes the War in Vietnam by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway (1991)

We Were Soldiers directed by Randall Wallace (2002)

Summary

About the battle of Ia Drang which was the first battle between the Vietnam Army and the USA. Written by the Army leader and a reporter who was there.

Thoughts on the book

This was my first time reading a book that detailed a battle. I have read war books, though not many, but they were about a person. So, the war was talked about, but it was from their perspective. I found the book hard to follow at times, though it is well written. I like that they interviewed the leader of the Vietnamese and shared their side and even dedicated the book the Vietnamese soldiers as well as the American.

But again, I did find it dense at times and more technical which as someone who isn’t familiar with military stuff, I found hard to get through.

Movie

Movie was written and directed by Randall Wallace who wrote other movies such as Braveheart and Pearl Harbor. Those two movies aren’t known for being particularly accurate, but I think because Galloway was overseeing things, it helped this adaptation to be closer to the truth.

The movie was filmed in chronological order, which is rare but makes sense to do with movies such as this.

Acting

Mel Gibson gives a solid performance as Lt. Col. Hal Moore. I can’t say I am a bit GIbson fan, but I think he does a good job here.

Sam Elliot is Sgt. Maj. Plumley “Old Iron Jaw”. The role of Plumley is kind of annoying with his tough attitude, but this is basically the kind of role Elliot is known for, so he is well cast.

Greg Kinnear is Maj. Bruce Crandall and he is amazing here. I love Kinnear and enjoyed watching his performance.

Chris Klein is 2nd Lt. Jack Geoghegan. Klien is known for comedies, but here is does well as the “all-American”, innocent guy.

Barry Pepper is cast as Joe Galloway who is the reporter and he gives a great performance.

Madeleine Stowe plays the wife of Hal Moore, Julie Moore. She is strong here and shows the emotions of having your husband deployed.

Keri Russell  is Kleins wife, Barbra Geoghegan, and she is also wonderful in this.

For the rest of this, I have the transcription of the podcast! However, I think listening to our conversation is better than reading it, but it’s up to you.

Laura

Hi, thanks for joining me today we are talking about We Were Soldiers once and young, which is a book written by Lieutenant Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. And the full title is We Were Soldiers once and young he had during the battle that changed the war in Vietnam. And Harold G. Moore was the leader in charge. And Joseph L. Galloway was a reporter there. So, both of them were there. And so, it’s a first-hand account. And the movie We Were Soldiers was directed by Randall Wallace and released in 2002. And today’s podcast is extra special because I have a guest. So, this is my brother, Joe.

Joe

Hello. Yeah, I’m excited to be on the podcast. Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to our discussion.

Laura

And so, I actually had Joe pick the book. And so, he’s the one who chose We Were Soldiers. And what made you choose this one out of all the war books you’ve read.

Joe

So, I wouldn’t say that this is my favorite book, even on the Vietnam War, or my favorite movie, but it’s one of the few that are both good. Like, there’s definitely like said better movies, better books, but these are both. It’s both a book and a movie that I enjoyed watching and reading. And so, I thought it would be a good pick for this podcast.

Laura

And when was the first time you read the book and saw the movie?

Joe

So, I read the book in the movie and saw the movie pretty much around the same time with probably within a month or so of each other. And it was about six years ago. So that was when I’d kind of first gone active duty into the US Army. And I was kind of trying to figure things out, you know, your kind of in this new culture, and you know, you kind of feel weird about a place. And so, this was just one of them, you know, books that I had. That was on our reading list, basically. 

Laura

an officer told you, like, read these books, recommended them. 

Joe

Yeah, they recommended them to say, though, a list of I think it was maybe 10 to 15 books. I think I read most of them during the time I was in Fort Benning, which was about nine months. And then the movie wasn’t recommended. But obviously, it’s you know, Mel Gibson pretty well known. Pretty common. So yeah, I watched it as well.

Laura

And so, my thoughts on the book as someone who isn’t in the military, and who doesn’t read military stuff, I did find it a bit dense at times. And it’s like written not like a research paper, but sort of like a research paper. Because it’s just documenting the battle and what happened. And so, there were times where I felt like it was hard to follow. And also, I had a hard time keeping interested. I did eventually switch to an audiobook, though. So, I started, I would go back and forth. But the audiobooks can sometimes make it easier to get through a book when it’s audio. Yeah. But this has a really good rating on Goodreads. And so, I was like, man, like, everybody loves this book, like, Am I the only one. But I actually did find other people who also said the same thing. Because I guess that I don’t know, I was like, man, am I dumb or something for like, feeling like, this is a hard book to get through. But there were some other people who also were like, you know, it’s just more technical, in some ways. 

Joe

Yeah, obviously, you know, having been in the military, when I read it, stuff like, that isn’t really something that I noticed. But of course, the author was the commander of the battle the battalion commander, so you get, you know, obviously, it’s a soldier’s perspective on the battle. It’s not a civilian, you know, writing about it, you know, who has that perspective of like, this is all foreign for him. You know, he’d spent, you know, most of his adult life in the military, around military people. And so, for him, a lot of this was second nature.

Laura

Yeah. And I did like how the book, I mean, they interview a lot of soldiers, but they even talked to the Vietnamese people. And so, I like that they had that side, there was a line in the book, I should have highlighted it, but it says something about how, like, when the leader was talking to his men or something and saying that, as they fight for their freedom and whatever, and I guess I don’t always think of like, the bad guys is having that bad because like movies will like to demonize them. Like they’re the enemy. And we’re trying to beat them. And they want evil stuff when really, they’re just fighting for their own freedom, too. And the movie kind of showed that, like, there was one character where it shows his journal and the girl and seeing them as humans to kind of thing.

Joe

Yeah, I would say, a lot of modern books try to do that better. So, I think Black Hawk Down specifically, is another kind of more recent book that they really try to provide perspective, not just like from the American like foxhole if you will, but also like, hey, what was going on the other side of the battle? So yeah, I think this book does a decent job of that. 

Laura

So, the movie was written and directed, well adapted by Randall Wallace. And he also wrote Braveheart and Pearl Harbour, which Braveheart is known as not being very accurate and Pearl Harbour just is not a very good movie. So, this one, actually is a good adaptation, but I am guessing part of that is probably because I know Joseph Galloway was like Their part of the movie production. I don’t know if how more was, but I’m assuming that’s why he did a better job with this adaptation because he had someone kind of overseeing it, I would think.

Joe

Yeah, I mean, potentially, I also think that this battle received a lot of mediations, obviously, we’re kind of younger. So, it’s not something that we were around for. But, you know, in a time when heroes like that term don’t get used, as frequently, it gets used a lot now, but it wasn’t used as frequently back then. Like, within, like mainstream American culture, how Moore was definitely considered a hero within this battle, and like said, it received a lot of media attention once you kind of see a little bit in the movie. They don’t really talk about it in the book. But, you know, definitely caught called into question, hey, what kind of war is this, versus even the Korean War, which was a war, Fatah long, sort of traditional battle lines, where you’re fighting for terrain, and you trying to kind of move through the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam War, the way it was kind of pitched by military leaders, and even politicians were, you know, this is a battle about, you know, wines or grid squares, it’s about the hearts of the Vietnamese people. And that’s why you kind of see in the movie as well, where they get back in their helicopters, and they fly away. So, this wasn’t terrain that the Americans had captured and retained. They just kind of showed up fought this battle. And then they got on their helicopters and flew away.

Laura

Yeah. And the Vietnam War. We got into that, because we wanted to stop Vietnam from becoming a communist country. they became communist anyway. 

Joe

Right. So obviously, kind of big picture. You know, at the time of the Cold War, it was all about trying to stop the spread of communism. And so, there was a concern of like a domino effect, if you will, which is also why we had kind of gotten into Korea to a degree, although we were also close allies with South Korea, of course. And so, the concern wasn’t so much Vietnam, it was, you know, hey, if Vietnam falls, maybe Cambodia falls, then Thailand falls, then India falls. And so, they wanted to kind of STEM the progress of communism. So that’s why like, within the time period, people, a lot of times, I feel like older generations, they look, the Vietnam War is a failure because they compare it to World War Two, or World War One where we went in, and we obviously defeated the Germans. And it’s not really up for argument, right? Like we came in, those governments collapsed, and we were able to replace them in Vietnam. That wasn’t the case. We abandoned our embassy, withdrew all our troops, the government that we were trying to keep from taking over ultimately took over Vietnam. However, I think in the strategic sense, did we stop the spread of communism from moving beyond the borders? I mean, obviously, Cambodia went communist shortly after the fall. So, you know, yes. And no, I do think though, there was a misperception at the political realm of this theory that you know, the Vietnamese communist leaders were somehow puppets on a string for the Chinese and the Russians, and that wasn’t the case at all. But I mean, it’s just sort of, it’s always easier, you know, in, in retrospect, to say, oh, yeah, hey, that was a mistake. We definitely shouldn’t have gone to Vietnam. But we also went like, what would have happened if we hadn’t gotten like, nobody knows that either. 

Laura

Yeah, and the book. I mean, everybody knows how Vietnam was very controversial, and the soldiers weren’t treated the best. And also, in the book, the Grogan, Hagen, the Chris Klein character. In the book, the wife talks about how on his death certificate, it didn’t say he died in battle, it said, as he died from gunshot wounds, but it didn’t specify that he was in a war and died in battle. And so, at first, when she saw that she was like, wait, like, did he die by friendly fire or something? Like why is it not acknowledging that he died in a battle, like fighting for his country? Like she ended up getting that changed, but kind of adding insult to injury where like, your husband dies, but they’re not even acknowledging that he died? fighting a war? But so, with the book and movie, are there any critiques you have many things from the movie that you think that you didn’t like, or from the book that you wish they would have included? Or?

Joe

So, I mean, it’s always tough when you’re going from book to movie because the book you can cover so much more information. So overall, I thought the movie did a good job. The one thing I didn’t like, as much from the movie I felt there, they kind of overemphasised, like the media aspect of it. So, I’m thinking specifically of the scene near the end of the movie, where you have rushed out, right, right. And they’re like, over there taking photos of like, all these little like, you know, whatever articles, and they’re interviewing people, and then they have the indirect fire that goes off in the distance. They’re all like freaking out thinking. And, again, I think it’s something as a generational like, we don’t, it’s not something that, you know, we know or we experienced. So, we weren’t alive during this period. But there were a lot of younger Americans who, you know, they were dodging the draft, but yet they would go to Vietnam as like pseudo reporters, you know, they would write freelance articles or take freelance photos and they would sell them to news agencies back home. But so, I don’t know, I felt like that depiction of the media. It was just it wasn’t nuanced enough. And it was kind of like, just too in your face, right, too easy of a solution. Like, yeah, we’re there media outlets that showed up? and were like that? Yeah, probably. But I don’t think every single reporter was just some war hawking.

Laura

Yeah. I don’t like Joseph Galloway, obviously was a reporter. But by that time, he had been in it. And when the explosion goes off, they all duck down, but you stay standing. Right? Like, right, experienced this. I learned it. So that comparison was kind of interesting.

Joe

Yeah. But in terms of positives, one thing I liked from the movie, one scene I liked. So, they were in, it’s the scene with the chapel, you have the young officers in there, and he’s praying, he’s like, you know, a new father, and he’s obviously getting ready to deploy. And how Moore’s character obviously, played by Mel Gibson, you know, walks in and kind of sees them and they have kind of a brief conversation where, this is officers talking, like I’m worried I’m this new father, and I’m, obviously a new officer. And I’m just worried about, like, who am I becoming? Right. And I think as a younger person, that sort of, I don’t want to call it like an existential crisis, but like that sort of search for who you are, and like, what’s your broader purpose? Right, I think is, is something that I resonated with me because I was also a young officer watching this. And it was concerned I had as well, I mean, you meet people who maybe aren’t the best, parents, or aren’t the best leaders. And, you know, you’re like, man, which, you know, how, who am I going to become like, and so, I’ve thought for a long time, I’ve wondered a long time about, Mel Gibson’s comment of, you know, hey, I think being a good officer makes you a better father. And I don’t know if that’s totally true or not, but I think, you know, it’s, it’s something that obviously would be comforting to hear. And that situation,

Laura

And as far as the kind of along those lines, one thing I liked about the book, too, which I get, the movie did a good job showing the perspective of the wives. But I like that the book also shares the stories of some of the kids whose dad had died and how that impacted their lives. And so, I really like those parts, which the book didn’t talk about this, but when I was reading about it, so Joseph Galloway, the reporter photographer, ended up marrying the daughter of Captain Thomas’s masker, the guy who gave up his spot on the helicopter, and he died. So, at some point, Joseph Galloway met the daughter, and they married but the book doesn’t talk about that. So, I don’t know if that happened later. But I thought that was kind of cool. Yeah, yeah. Oh, and also when I was reading about this, so hell, Moore says that he felt the film was 60% accurate, whereas Galloway said he thought it was 80%. accurate. and then also, so they wrote a follow-up book, we are soldiers still have you read that one? Yeah, I guess it was after the movie. And they decided to bring it all out, just like, wrap up whatever final things they had. But when I read or watch movies, or read books about military stuff, and people in war, who either die or become injured in some way, like it always makes me wonder, like, if it’s even worth it, especially because I identify with the wives or the kids, because that’s who I would be in that scenario. And I’m always like, man, if I had a loved one, like, specifically husband, if he like died in the war? I feel like I would have a hard time feeling like it was worth it. I guess it depends on the war. But yeah, I don’t know dealing with all those emotions, which I guess if the person chooses to be military, you sort of know, there’s a chance you might die if there’s a war that happens. And so, I guess, yeah, as you come to peace with it. But then I also think you don’t really everybody has that attitude, where it’s like, won’t happen to me, though. kind of thing. But yeah, and it shows in the movie, Mel Gibson making a will before he leaves like, did you have to make a well before you were deployed?

Joe

So, I didn’t make a will. But yeah, you have the ability to do like, you have an option to do it. And I could have done it. But I mean, my deployment was to Kuwait. So obviously, pretty low threat. Like, especially given the time period, the risk that I was taking was substantially less than, obviously, you know, how more in all of his soldiers going into Vietnam during that time period, especially. 

Laura

Yeah, in some parts in the movie that like, stuck out just in a way that makes you like, oh, like a cringe, I guess, is the part when the guy gets like the phosphorus grenade, which both of these things are talked about in the book, where one guy gets like the flame on his face, and they have to like cut it out of its face. And then obviously, the story with Joseph Galloway, helping the soldier who, like an explosion gets him and like, burns him up. And then Joseph Galloway tries to lift his feet in the skin just comes right off. Like that was one where I watched it. And they tell you in the movie, and in the book, how he was having a baby born that day. And so, when you see that happen, you’re like, oh, Man, like don’t die. But on the other hand, it’s like if I were him, but maybe I would rather die than life, like, with all these injuries and all these Yeah. So again, like, I don’t know, if there was a war or something. Like if my husband illegally draft dogs like, I think I would be all for it. because although I don’t know because of World War Two, I guess it made more sense. I guess that’s the key, though is you want to feel like it makes sense and feels like it was worth dying for.

Joe

Yeah. And that kind of goes back to messaging. Right. So, within the White House at the time, I mean, it’s honestly, it’s similar to Afghanistan today, like, politicians recognize that the country of Afghanistan itself, it’s not a very significant country in comparison to some of the superpowers, or I should say, it’s not as significant a threat as, say, China or Russia or Iran. Or some of these, you know, even North Korea. However, here we are having spent, billions of dollars every year for like, decades trying to maintain some semblance of an allied government in place. And is it really worth it? How do you message that to people? And obviously, if they instituted a draft for that, I don’t think you’d have a lot of Americans who would be willing to risk their lives for a cause of like, oh, well, you’re there to, you know, stem the progress of terrorism? I don’t know. It’s just not, it doesn’t have the same sense of importance as Oh, yeah. Hey, if we don’t take out the Nazis, they’re gonna come after us next. Yeah. Which, after Pearl Harbour that wasn’t just that had real meaning to the American people, because we’d had an attack on our soil.

Laura

But so back to the movie, as we’ve said, it is a really good adaptation. And, like, a lot of the main points did really happen in the war. Like, for example, Moore his wife, ended up passing out the telegrams, right. And how, yeah, like, they didn’t have anyone to tell the wives, their husbands had died. So, they just gave it to the taxi drivers, which, as a taxi driver, I’d be like, what, like, this isn’t my job, or you’re making me do this. So, then she started passing them out. And then with Bruce Crandall, played by Greg Konnar, you had his character who was he wasn’t supposed to be bringing in medical supplies or ammo or something, but he continued doing it anyway. And then he got in trouble with his sergeant. And in the movie, he pulls a gun on the guy because he gets mad at him, like his sergeant, or his commander gets mad, because he’s like, you weren’t supposed to do that. And so, then the Greg can, our character pulls his gun out. And he’s like, you don’t know. I see you again. So that probably didn’t happen. But the other parts were accurate. And then the ending. So, at the end of the battle, they’re able to cause the Vietnamese Army to retreat. Right. And they also show which the book talks about this, too, making a point to show that Helmore was there with his troops’ side by side. And Westmoreland, like his boss, wanted to get a briefing from hell more, but he was like, no, like, my men are here fighting, and I’m not gonna leave. And then, whereas the Vietnamese leader was, like, not in the battle at all, and he was out in his own area, not risking his life, like that comparison with the two leaders.

Joe

Yeah, I mean, I didn’t really see it quite that way. So, it was a larger Vietnamese force. And honestly, one thing to keep in mind is you comparing these different military leaders, like the Vietnamese, this wasn’t just a tour of duty, and then they went home back to their families, like, this is their home, this was their life, you know what I mean? Like they’re out there fighting battles year after year, obviously, it’s not like, like, these are major campaigns, right, that that the Vietnamese are doing. And so, it’s not like it’s a constant thing like you would go, you would conduct your campaign, you would potentially return back to North Vietnam, regroup, and then you would go out and you do it again. So, on the Vietnamese side, like this is a leader who, this isn’t his first battle. It’s not his last battle. And it showed, I mean, a lot of times the quality of leaders in this has mentioned the book as well, there’s like, how more stated the only reason they won that battle was that they had far superior, you know, indirect artillery fire coming in, if it wasn’t for that the quality of the Vietnamese soldier, the quality of leadership from, you know, the Vietnamese, like, leadership was, just as capable, as, you know, the American side. So, yeah, I don’t really see, you know, as being sort of a derogatory spin on via the Vietnamese leaders not being on the ground. But it looks a bit bigger force. and, yeah, I’m not I’m not sure. You know, obviously, at the moment, what would have been the right thing to do for either leader.

Laura

so, like I was saying earlier, Joseph Galloway helps carry the guy whose skin was burned to carry him to a helicopter, and he ended up getting the Bronze Star for that he’s the only civilian who was More than a Bronze Star during the Vietnam War. So that was interesting. Also, the movie was filmed in chronological order, which that’s always that doesn’t always happen, very rare. But it’s fitting for this I think, or movies where the ending where the characters are just like feeling like there’s just been a lot happening. Make sense? They filled it chronologically so that the soldiers that are still alive, the actors can really feel…

Joe

feel the weight of the experience. Yeah, yeah, for sure. 

Laura

And then also Jon Hamm. I don’t know if you do watch Mad Men.

Joe

Yeah, I’ve

Laura

he’s one of the soldiers. It’s a very small role, but he does survive till the end. 

Joe

Oh, nice. 

Laura

But and with the acting so as we said, there’s Mel Gibson is how more and Sam Elliott is in this, he plays the sergeant major Plumlee. And in the book, his nickname was old iron jaw is just like a really hardened, Terry man, which I like at the beginning of the movie if you remember where his last name was Savage, one of the soldiers who end up as part of the last battalion or something. In the movie, he follows a scout and so they get separated. But at the beginning of the movie, when they’re like, in America still, and the savage guy is just more positive. And he’s like, good morning, Sergeant. And the Sam Elliott character is like, you know what’s so good about this morning or whatever, and then at the end of the movie, he makes some comment to the savage guy being like, I don’t know what he says now, but people who have the attitude where, it’s like, trying to bring the positive people down. And now savage has been through a war. So now he’s like, no, you know why? Whatever. Like, don’t try to just because someone’s feeling positive doesn’t mean you need to make them feel dumb or something. So, I love that part. And then Barry Pepper played Joe Galloway, Keri Russell was Barbara. I’m not sure how to say his name, but like Grogan Hagen, and then Chris Klein, do you remember the election the movie election? Chris Klein was in that? 

Joe

That’s the comedy, right? 

Laura

Yes.t Chris Klein, which was also an American Pie. So, I usually think of him as comedies. like he was in this one. I thought the acting was good. There wasn’t?

Joe

Yeah, definitely. And a lot of wars like I think of platoon specifically, it all the almost overdramatize war. I mean, there’s the famous scene where they kind of pan it in Tropic Thunder where you know, the lead characters getting shot like his whole body is shaking and he’s so there’s really isn’t any of that in this movie which I thought was a nice because it is like a little over melodramatic and over the top.

Laura

Yeah. And sometimes by making it really trying to make it emotional. You ruin it and it makes right make me feel emotional when 

Joe

Yeah, It’s almost comical at that point. 

Laura

which in this movie did have two parts where initially when the wives the Julie Moore the wife, when she’s handing out the telegrams. She hands out the one to the one lady, and they just film it regularly. And I thought that was a really powerful scene. But then what follows it’s a montage of wives crying as they’re given the telegrams. And the montage kind of ruined it for me where I was feeling emotional, and then they start the montage. And I’m like now it’s too over the top. Yeah. And it happened again with Joseph Galloway, the reporter where he like something emotional happens with him. And then what follows is a montage of like, photos he took and things and like, so the montage felt too much. And when movies when I feel like they’re really trying to tug at my heartstrings, it makes it resistant more and be like, yeah, this is too much like, so those two parts, I felt like, were a bit too much, but and also the Chris Klein character, Grogan Hagen, his death was a bit more dramatic in the movie where like, he’s carrying the soldier and then he’s shot and he falls, whereas in the book, he was just he was running to save a soldier or something. But he just shot like, immediately as he was jumping out of the foxhole or something. Okay. So, I made his death a bit more dramatic. But yeah, I wasn’t as bad as other military movies.

Joe

Well, I guess one last thing that I did find interesting from the book and its perspective, I think, that I’ve seen it a couple of books that are written by like firsthand whether it’s generals or other levels of military leaders, where they kind of talk a little bit about, why they think the war didn’t turn out. And one of the common things you’ll hear about the Vietnam War is yeah, the politicians, you know, lost the war when they, you know, decided to get out. Or in this book, one of the things that that Helmore talks about, it’s actually pretty late in the book. He says that general canard felt that America’s refusal to pursue the Vietnamese into Cambodia was where they lost the initiative, and basically, you know, gave the war over to the Vietnamese and I think I don’t agree with that train. Thought at all. It’s something you see in the Korean War as well, something that MacArthur felt we should have, you know, followed the North Koreans in which in China, we should have been allowed to, you know, drop bombs, potentially even like nuclear bombs into northern China. I think this again, kind of talks about, like older generations who are looking at these wars, like World War One or World War Two, which were really wars without borders. And if you were harbouring an enemy, then you were an enemy. And like, you know, they would, they would go after you. And I think, due to the atomic bomb, and kind of the changes in technology, there had to be, at the political level, a willingness on both sides to kind of draw a line and be like, we’re going to keep this war within the confines of this space. And we’re going to follow these rules. Thankfully, we did. I mean, if you look like what would have happened, if we would have actually, you know, bombed deeper into the, you know, Chaldea, into Cambodia, or into China and some of these other places. Now, suddenly, maybe American soil becomes a free game for attacks, right, because there was an attack on American soil, you know, following Pearl Harbour, in terms of the military until the president, obviously, it’s September 11. That was, that was one point that I definitely disagreed with the book and kind of how Moore’s perspective of Hey, we should have been able to, you know, brought in the sphere of this conflict, because I don’t, think that would have been beneficial. And I don’t think it would have ultimately been successful, because you can always go a little further, like, what would have stopped the Vietnamese then going into Thailand or going in, you know, to wherever, whatever other country too, you know, get the that competitive advantage.

Laura

Right. And, in the end, as far as the book or the movie, like, which one did you like better? And then which one, would you be more likely to recommend to people?

Jo

So, I like both of them. Kind of like, as we talked about, at the top of the podcast, I would say, if I was to list out my favorite Vietnamese, my favorite books on the Vietnam War, this book would rank lower than a comparable list of likes, movies about the Vietnam War. So, in that way, I would say maybe that I would recommend the movie before, I’d recommend the book. But like, I think they’re both good. Definitely, both worthy reads or watches, whatever the case may be.

Laura

And I do enjoy books like this because it’s just very straightforward. And so, I like that part where, like, also, I reviewed black Klansmen, which was written by a cop. And so, when it’s written by someone who’s not a writer, sometimes they can be a bit. It’s just straightforward. And so maybe it’s not as entertaining as people would like. there are times where I kind of like that. They’re just seeing it as it is. And they’re not trying to…

Joe

get lost in the progress in their own writing style. 

Laura

Yeah, for sure. However, as I said, the book was a bit hard to get through at times. So ultimately, I’d probably go with the movie. So, I guess it depends on who I was talking to. If it was someone who’s into books like that, then I would say the books obviously, it’s more detailed as a book is, overall, I would recommend the movie over the book because the movie was a good adaptation. And I did enjoy it. Yeah, like I got teary during some of the scenes. Yeah. Especially at the end to have you been to the Vietnam Memorial. The wall?

Joe

Yeah, like briefly, it’s gotten a little overwhelming. Because there are just so many names. 

Laura

Yeah. because 58,000 people died. So, the end when it shows that it’s like, how can he not feel emotional when you think of like all these people that died? Yeah. And in the book, it talks about how at the time, there weren’t even support groups for things like that. And so, the wives and the kids, like, didn’t have anywhere to go. And one child I forget who’s it was the daughter of Thomas C masker. So, the guy gave up his spot on a helicopter. And then because he got out, he was shot. And so, the daughter, she heard that story, and she always like, felt such negative feelings toward the soldier that gave up a spot for because of him, her dad died, right. And she got to meet him like 20 years later. And she was like, you know, he would have done the same thing for my dad their roles been reversed. And so yeah, that daughter, it took like, 25 years, and it was thanks to helping more in Joe Galloway that she got to meet these men her father knew and learn more about her father because her mom never talked about him. Yeah, so it’s good that these days, we have more support groups and places for people to get help when they go through that. But yeah, so they’re both really interesting. But ultimately, I would recommend the movie more. But yeah, I guess that wraps it up unless you have any other final thoughts. 

Joe

No, thanks again for having me. It’s been fun. 

Laura

Yeah. And thanks for coming on and being my first guest and being my guinea pig to test it out having someone else here. But yeah, thanks for listening and I hope you guys enjoyed this. And Tune in next week where a very different book I will be covering the prestige See you then.

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