I Never Dreamed I Would End up Homeless

Isolated, Anxious, and Distrustful, I Fell Out of Sync With Society

In my training to go fight in Vietnam, we lived and breathed these mottos: “Once a Marine, always a Marine” and “Marines never quit.”

Intensive therapy at the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in West Los Angeles helped with my severe PTSD. But it also pulled up everything I had suppressed to the surface, and put me into a kind of limbo. I couldn’t go back to where I was before, but I was also “out of sync” with society.

I can honestly say that the VA saved my life. But even …

More In: Vietnam War

Gaining Ground in the Battle with My Memories of Vietnam

Baseball, Faith, and Helping Others Gave Me Hope and Control Over My Life

In the mid- to late-1980s, I spent a lot of time at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus. I used to watch the sunsets from a sixth floor balcony …

The Town I Loved, the Protestor I Became

My Wonderful 1950s Childhood Inspired Me to Oppose the Vietnam War

If you want a classic portrait of middle Americana in the middle of the 20th century, you had to look no farther than my hometown of Rialto, in inland Southern …

My Uncle’s Years of Living Dangerously

Serving as Translator and Tour Guide for a Veteran Battling Schizophrenia

My 69-year-old uncle Henry gazed into the jaws of the Natural History Museum’s biggest celebrity, Thomas the T. rex, who was frozen in a silent roar.

I asked Henry, “How do …

Orange County Was Not Immune to the 1960s

Photographs and Memories Reveal the Darker Side of a Symbol of Postwar Suburban Order

The Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California bills itself as “the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century,” but until recently it was the Marine Corps Air Station …

Is Memorial Day About Grief, Glory, or Hot Dogs?

To Understand America’s Most Confusing Holiday, You’ve Got to Ponder Why We Get the Day Off in the First Place

Memorial Day is one of America’s most confusing holidays. Depending on the celebrant, it can be a day of grief, glory—or backyard barbecues.

It’s not a bad thing to have such …