A HERO'S WELCOME: The Conscience of Sergeant James Daly vs. the United States Army by James & Lee Bergman Daly

A HERO'S WELCOME: The Conscience of Sergeant James Daly vs. the United States Army

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title of this ""as told to"" account of one of the seven POWs whom an army officer accused of collaborating with the enemy in a North Vietnamese prison camp is misleading. Daly is no hero--by his own admission he never fired his gun against the enemy in battle. Nor is the book a study of conscience. Although Daly did try to get out of the army once he started basic training, he neither deserted nor refused any orders, ever. And unbelievably, after five years in POW camps, he actually re-enlisted for a six-year tour of duty in an army he supposedly rejected on both moral and practical grounds. (He instantly regretted his decision but the army didn't want him anyway.) This apologia is interesting mainly for what it tells of the POW life and the Vietnamese people Daly came to know and like--he and his fellow Americans were treated immeasurably better than the prisoners held by the South Vietnamese or the U.S. Army. As for the collaboration charges, the Army investigated but did not prosecute; the case made headlines when one of the accused committed suicide. Alive, intact, with an honorable discharge, the first POW to be given a loan by the Small Business Administration, Daly (he opened a laundromat in New Jersey) should count himself lucky.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1975
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill