Written after a lifetime of reflection on the nature of war and the effect of violence and domination on the minds and spirits of those forced to practice it, Walking Point offers a powerful narrative for readers with an interest in the effects of war and violence, American involvement in Vietnam, PTSD, and how trauma can be a catalyst for spiritual transformation. Giving voice to profound insights gained through extreme adversity, Ulander movingly captures the depth of trust and commitment among a group of unwitting warriors who struggle to stay alive and sane in unchartered territory.
CHAPTER 1: Into the Unknown
CHAPTER 2: The Magic Poncho Liner
CHAPTER 3: Initiation
CHAPTER 4: Head On
CHAPTER 5: The Valley of the Shadow
CHAPTER 6: Into the Light
CHAPTER 7: Short Time
CHAPTER 8: No Time
CHAPTER 9: Home"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-03-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Countless memoirs by Vietnam veterans have appeared since the early 1970s, but few noteworthy personal Vietnam accounts have been published in the 21st century—a situation that Ulander rectifies with his first book. This is a captivating, introspective, enlightening look at the author’s nerve-racking one-year tour of duty (1969–1970) with the 173rd Airborne as a drafted Army infantryman. The narrative adheres to the standard war memoir structure: a chronological personal recounting, beginning with basic training, concentrating on what happened in the war zone, and ending with his return home. Ulander makes that format seem new and original at virtually every step—especially his evocations of the many months he spent slogging through the jungle. The main themes include Ulander’s conquest of the physical and emotional burdens of fighting in that war, his and his fellow grunts’ use of marijuana to cope, and the young draftee troops’ bitter resentment of gung-ho lifer officers who often endangered the men’s lives—callously and unnecessarily—and otherwise made their tour unnecessarily miserable. Ulander’s fine memoir should take a place among the best works in the Vietnam War autobiographical canon. (May)