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A Combat Surgeon Remembers Vietnam
L. Paul Brief
As a New York City bachelor about to complete his medical training, the last place Paul Brief thought he'd end up was Vietnam. The year was 1969, and Brief, an ambitious if irreverent orthopedic surgeon, was too busy enjoying the fruits of the sexual revolution to consider the possibility of being drafted.
In Hootch 8, Brief details his sudden arrival at a naval hospital outside Danang, along with dozens of his fellow soldier-doctors, following a grueling stint in boot camp, where they're taught not only how to heal, but how to fight.Through Brief's eyes, we witness the brutal realities of wartime medicine, with its endless stench of blood and steady stream of double amputees. Along the way, we're introduced to the cast of characters who become the key to his survival in Nam. Shot through with humor and compassion, Hootch 8 is a surprisingly moving account of one man's transformative encounter with the tragedies and absurdities of war.