WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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and Vietnam. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Boston Global Forum, a think tank focused on peace initiatives with Vietnam. Michael Morris served as an infantry sergeant from 1967 to 1968. He earned a Purple Heart for being wounded in combat while in the Northern I Corps region during some of the Vietnam War's worst fighting, including the Tet Offensive. A career journalist and editor, he lives in Savannah, Georgia. Their novel is a snapshot in time, but it also offers a vantage point for comparison with today. "The U.S. made a massive effort to rescue the Vietnamese boat people and resettle refugees," said Pirozzolo. "Correspondents made an equally massive effort to get the news to the U.S. accurately. There were no cell phones or laptops. It was a laborious process of getting film shipped to the TV networks and letters delivered to wives and family members." They could use Telex but phone calls were difficult and time-consum- ing. Veterans returning to the States often were confronted by animosity from protesters opposed to the war; Pirozzolo recalls his welcome home as "lukewarm." The Worcester Telegram & Gazette was actively looking to hire veterans, he said, and later Boston University hired him on the strength of his military communications experience. Pirozzolo has returned to Vietnam a half dozen times since then. He has witnessed Vietnam changing in both subtle and significant ways. Women now favor western clothing over traditional dress, and upscale retailers have replaced seedy streets once known for the bars and bar girls who inhabit his book. He helped foster international business rela- tionships that were part of the eventual reconciliation between the two countries. "The U.S. and Vietnam are now allies," said Pirozzolo who acknowledged that writing the book became a very emotional journey. "In 1971, Vietnam was in my rear view mirror," he said. "I moved on." Even though later he arranged media coverage of Vietnam by U.S. and world press, and wrote by-lined articles on Vietnam public policy and trade, writing the novel brought it all back. "That's neither good nor bad for me," he said, "but it was good for the book." 180 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 books "a very emotional journey"

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