One of my favorite primary sources when studying any war is the letters to and from troops in the field. It can reveal so much about life in the field and life on the homefront; about what the troops are missing and what occupies their thoughts; about what sustains those waiting at home and those under fire. Overall they are just one of the most powerful sources available. In the case of the Vietnam War we have the opportunity to see some of the words left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, thanks to the conservation efforts of the National Parks Service. This is helpful to seeing how the war is remembered, and how some have coped with the trauma and loss of war.
- Letters From Vietnam by Bill Adler – A collection of letters from troops in Vietnam grouped by subject.
- Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam by Bernard Edelman-
A collection of letters from troops in Vietnam grouped by subject.
- Letters on the Wall by Michael Sofarelli – This book offers a look into the materials collected at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. All items left there are carefully collected and stored by the National Parks Service.
Shrapnel in the Heart: Letters and Remembrances from the Vietnam Veterans Memorialby Laura Palmer –
This book offers another look into the materials collected at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.
- War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars by Andrew Caroll – This includes letters from the Civil War through the American military involvement in Somalia and Bosnia in the 1990s.