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George W. Schwarz Jr.

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Member Since: Before 2003

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APRIL FOOLS
by George W. Schwarz Jr.   

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Category: 

History

Publisher:  PublishAmerica ISBN-10:  1588517284 Type: 
Pages: 

283

Copyright:  Jan 1 2002
Non-Fiction

A new book of the Viet Nam War that introduces a new genre of that war missing from bookshelves until now - the involvement of a large American civilian workforce in South Viet Nam and the vital support roles they contributed.



In 'April Fools' the author's writes of his haunting memories and personal experiences during his tenure in South Viet Nam climaxing with his active role in the evacuations of thousands of refugees from South Viet Nam's coastal cities, the flotsam of the precipitous collapse of South Viet Nam's military forces, weeks prior to the fall of Saigon.



'April Fools' follows the author during his own harrowing evacuation from Saigon, and the frustrations and indifference encountered in refugee camps on his journey across the Pacific until being released in the United States.



A must read for history buffs, 'April Fools' exposes what others chose to forget.

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Missing from America's libraries and book stores is acknowledgement of the participation of a large American civilian workforce in South Viet Nam during the war and their vital contributions in support functions. Armed with contracts from the U.S. Government, American contractors arrived in South Viet Nam as early as 1954 to begin the upgrade of that country's infrastructure. In 1962 an American contractor built a modern communications center on top of a prominent mountain in Da Nang before slipping over into Laos to quietly build remote landing strips in Laos to support a clandestine war being waged.When the commitment to South Viet Nam intensified and influx of U.S. Armed Forces became a flood, American contractors were there constructing entire military bases, airfields, and harbors, and also, to perform the myriad of critical support services throughout the war with many of the employees sharing the same environments as their military counterparts. And when South Viet Nam collapsed in April 1975, many American civilians were still working to support South Viet Nam. Sadly, the American civilians who were killed in the war and those who were captured have never been openly acknowledged by the U.S. Government. I hope the favorable reception of 'April Fools' will encourage other veteran overseas workers who have lived and worked in even harsher environments to write of their experiences so that Americans will come to know and to appreciate their accomplishments.


Excerpt

"Saigon also became the safety valve that allowed those men who fought the war to pursue any desire or to experience pleasures that were previously unknown. Sadly, it was the influx of the '60's-influenced' American military personnel who brought their appetite for drugs with them to South Viet Nam. Once the demand was established, drugs became available in abundance - cheap and deadly. Uncut heroin and synthetic drugs of questionable quality took a heavy toll of those Americans who were introduced to drugs for the first time as well as those who arrived with the habit. In South Viet Nam, if there were commodities from which profits were to be made, entrepreneurs both indigenous and foreign emerged to provide them."



Professional Reviews

Viet Nam Veterans Organization
August 2002 issue of The Viet Nam Veteran magazine "The Veteran"





George W. Schwarz, Jr.’s April Fools: An American Remembers South Vietnam’s Final Days (Publish America, 282 pp., $24.95, paper) is a well-written look at the author’s 1972-75 work in Vietnam as a civilian employee of Alaska Barge & Transport and his return to Vietnam in 1992.



MyShelf.com/Ms Buhrer
(11/25/2002) A revealing chronicle of the participation of civilians prior to and during the Vietnam War from the US' first involvement with the Vietnamese during the closing days of WW II when a team of US Strategic Services advisors arrived in 1945 in Indochina to assist HoChiMing until the chaotic evacuation of the South Vietnamese people and the American civilians when the US was forced to withdraw in 1973.

Civilians acted as advisors; helped build roads and the aged infrastructures; aided in evacuating refugees from battle areas. The civilians suffered casualties rarely reported to the media.



This well written account of the author's experiences had the reader's attention with details never before revealed. The reader is given a clear concise account of when and how and why the US became involved in Vietnam, and of the tragic consequences. This is an account of actions in that conflict which have not been treated before. All previous emphasis has been on the military and political aspects and never with the civilian participation.



This is a book that has an area whose treatment has been long overdue. It is a book which every thinking American should read.







Arlington Heights Post
(10/29/2002) Former Lake Zurich resident George W. Schwarz Jr. recently published the memoir “April Fools.” In the book, Schwarz returns to Saigon after an absence of 17 years to describe the Vietnam War from a rarely heard perspective — that of an American civilian who live in South Vietnam during the War. From the moment his aircraft begins its final approach until he makes an aborted attempt to visit Cam Ranh Bay, haunting memories reveal new revelations of the war. As he tours a city little changed since his departure, Schwarz recalls his first impressions of Saigon, the war, South Vietnam’s collapse, the evacuation of refugees and his own evacuation from Saigon.



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Reader Reviews for "APRIL FOOLS"

Reviewed by William L King 1/2/2003
George,
Haven't read it yet, but just came across this today (1/2/03). Getting a copy on the way home tonight. Via la Viet Nam. Remember me, Curtis King's little brother?? I worked for AB&T in '71, then back from '72-'75. I was also working for AB&T during the fall of RVN and involved in the Refugee sealifts, etc.. I'll touch base with you later after I read it.
Good job in advance. Sounds like one hell of a book.
Bill King
Reviewed by Kathy Bosworth 12/2/2001
My husband served in the 101st Airborne in Nam in 69-70. I am always looking for books on the subject that tell it like it was. Your book is a new approach to an old thorn. We never think of how many civilians were there, usually focus on the military. Looking at all aspects of that war will hopefully make us more determined to learn and never make the same mistakes. Good luck to you. I think you have an excellent story.
Reviewed by Lynn Barry 11/30/2001
My husband served in Viet Nam in the 60s. Thank you for honoring the people who served in this "yes" unrecognized military effort. Outstanding.
Reviewed by Catherine Magel 11/28/2001
I was a civilian who worked on the transcripts of the evacuation at Clark AB, RP. I have been trying to get credit (a ltr or anything to show my children, and I am having a problem) My name was Beverly Castle when I did this work. Can you help me?


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George W. Schwarz Jr.



APRIL FOOLS

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