Heartbreaking TaskI just finished a local author’s outstanding book that I could not put down.
George M. Motz has just published an extremely well-written book about his military service during the Vietnam War. A U.S. Army lieutenant, he was assigned to the Charleston Army Depot in South Carolina as an Army Casualty Notification & Survivors Assistance Officer. His main job was to knock on a door and tell a mother or father that a family member, usually a son, had just been killed in Vietnam, and then assist that family for weeks with the arrangements for the wake, funeral service, military burial and paperwork, including insurance checks, etc.
It takes place in the South during the mid-1960s, and most of the KIAs were from black families, and he describes the black-white southern relationships in a very historically accurate way, as I had experienced when I attended The Citadel in Charleston in the late 1940s.
And I must say that I think that George should have been awarded a much higher decoration than the Army Commendation Medal, which he received for his outstanding service helping those families cope with their loss of loved ones. Personally, I would rather serve another combat tour than try to have performed the heartbreaking tasks that George had to do.
Everyone should read this book. And make sure you have some tissues handy, as this old soldier needed.
Peter W. CuthbertWesthampton Beach
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One fine body…