December 24, 1944
The Marine Corps taught me how to kill, but it didn't teach me how to deal with killing.
Vietnam was the first time that Americans of different races had to depend on each other. In the Second World War, they were segregated; it was in Vietnam that American integration happened in the military - and it wasn't easy.
When I first got back from the war, I said, 'I'm gonna write the Great American Novel about the Vietnam War.' So I sat down and wrote 1,700 pages of sheer psychotherapy drivel. It was first person, and there would be pages about wet socks and cold feet.