Violence and turmoil continue to haunt black soldiers returning from Vietnam as they try to normalize their lives. Sometimes relying on the help of each other, and sometimes relying on the skills they’ve gained in combat, most prevail.
In the novella, Something About Ann, a black Vietnam veteran and a Vietnamese woman fall in love in Cleveland, Ohio, not knowing they had crossed paths previously.
In the story, Lucky, a veteran, Raphael “Lucky” Holland, finds his niche as a stick-up artist. His luck runs out when he tries to rob a stranger whose past is darker than Holland’s. In a Sound Decision, veteran Marcus Glover restrains from fighting an antagonizer because of another confrontation that still haunts him.
In the story, The Education of Xavier Warfield, Xavier, a veteran and promising pool hustler, finds the most valuable lessons in life aren’t learned in the pool room when he falls for a lady with a questionable past. With One Exception tells of an encounter that begins on shaky terms between a militant vet, Erving Robinson, and Harland Conrad, a white Vietnam veteran but evolves as Robinson helps Conrad fight his demons.
The Gift finds Myron Turner, a recluse and an empath, is confronted by an older empath when he attempts to ignore his ability to connect with others. Leroy Casper enjoys The Good Life until a past associate barges in, shattering the peace he’s established and causing him to make drastic decisions. In The Tell, Elgin learns that a “tell” applies not only to poker but to life—— too late.
Ralph Gaines in The Best Seat In the House, is down on his luck after a lofty law career and only has a reserved seat in a bar as a symbol of respect. When a bully commandeers the seat, the elderly Gaines snaps, simultaneously solving the seat issue and a personal problem. The Last Time I Saw Willie, is a coming of age account of a young middle-class African-American who learns the importance of dedication and persistence when he meets Willie Stinson, an orphan.
A Good Day To Be A Man shows that confrontation is not necessarily the path to manhood. In Slow Songs, Lieutenant Raymond Williams faces his worst fear in Vietnam, and it has nothing to do with his own welfare.
Written by a Vietnam veteran, Something About Ann is an intense and compelling novel of the aftermath of war, the varying effects soldiers experience as they attempt to reenter a world so very different from the one they left, and the bonds formed that enable these young men to persevere.