Midwest Book Reviews April 2019 Biography Shelf


Midwest Book Reviews April 2019 Biography Shelf

Midwest Book Reviews April 2019 Biography Shelf includes this review of Good Afternoon Vietnam by Gary Wilhelm.

Good Afternoon Vietnam
Gary L. Wilhelm
Independently Published
9780692999905, $8.00, PB, 108pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A true story of adaptation, survival, and the life perspective war can bring, “Good Afternoon Vietnam: A Civilian in the Vietnam War” is the personal account of a civilian technology engineer who worked with the Marines in DaNang, Vietnam, in 1968 and 1969.

Gary Wilhelm arrived in a blue suit and tie from a military chartered plane and finally found his back way to the USA for a company that resisted ending his work term and allowing him to come home. His stories are a first-person account with several being quite humorous.

Being in an active war zone Gary’s position was working with the computer technology of the time and the US Marine Corp. No one else from his company who had previously gone to Vietnam was available to tell him what he could expect. No one was even there to meet his plane!

Gary’s memories include the night sky being alive with planes circling the base, listening to a bamboo band play American military songs, learning first-hand how difficult holidays are in a war zone, whereas a civilian he was not allowed to carry a weapon. His volunteer position as a substitute English teacher for the South Vietnamese was protected by Marines with shotguns and side-arms.

Critique: Exceptionally well written and inherently fascinating, “Good Afternoon Vietnam: A Civilian in the Vietnam War” is an extraordinary account and one that is very highly recommended for community, college, and university library Vietnam War collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that “Good Afternoon Vietnam” is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Read the review at MBR for yourself online.



Gary Wilhelm is a retired engineer with a master’s degree from South Dakota State University, who did research and development work in America, Asia, and Europe for consumer, commercial, and military products, during a career of several decades. In addition to being a civilian engineer embedded with the Marines during the Vietnam War in 1968 and 1969, he worked developing products ranging from EF Johnson citizens band radio, and the Texas Instruments home computer, communications technology for use within buildings, and with medical devices implanted within the body, to the Howitzer Improvement Program (HIP) for army artillery on the battlefield. He was also a representative on a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) committee. He hosted the USA meeting of the committee at Honeywell.

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