- - Wednesday, August 19, 2015


In his otherwise accurate and, I’m pleased to note, very positive review of my latest book, “Last to Die: A Defeated Empire, a Forgotten Mission, and the Last American Killed in World War II,” Joseph C. Goulden writes that I “suffered severe wounds in Vietnam” (“Remembering the last American to die in World War II,” Web, Aug. 16). While it is true that I was seriously injured while serving as an infantryman in the U.S. Army in 1971, during the Vietnam period, my injuries were sustained in West Germany while I was participating in the Reforger exercise.

I was scheduled to deploy to Vietnam following that exercise; I instead spent a year in various Army hospitals before ultimately being reassigned as a journalist at a base in the United States.

These days enough public figures blur the details of their own military service (to the extent that they have any, that is) and military historians like myself should take extra pains to ensure that our own records are accurate.

My injuries were not nearly as historically significant as was the death of Sgt. Anthony J. Marchione, the man at the center of my book and the last American servicemember killed in combat in World War II.


Mason Neck, Va.

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