The Education of Corporal John Musgrave: Vietnam and Its Aftermath
Nearly 50 years after the end of the Vietnam War – with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973 – our nation still struggles with the legacy of a conflict that killed more than 58,000 Americans and altered the lives of untold thousands of servicemen affected not only by the stresses of battle but also uncustomary resentment when they returned home.
John Musgrave has been candid about his own experiences and trials, notably as a featured voice in Ken Burns’ 10-part documentary series The Vietnam War and most recently in an acclaimed memoir, The Education of Corporal John Musgrave. In a special Library presentation, he discusses the book and his life during and since the war.
Musgrave enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of Van Horn High School and was injured three times in Vietnam, the last by a near-fatal and permanently disabling sniper’s bullet to his chest. Writing has been essential to his emotional coping; he previously authored the collection Notes to the Man Who Shot Me: Vietnam War Poems. Musgrave also has been prominent in working with younger veterans to help them reintegrate into society and heal.