Times of Conflict: The Lasting Impact of the Draft During the Vietnam War

There is no doubt that war and conflict create a large ripple of lasting effects on everyone involved. What is the lasting impact of conflict? What are the effects on those touched by war? Tom Weiner has found the importance of learning from the past and telling the stories of those who may not have had the chance to.

Tom’s book, Called to Serve: The Stories of the Men and Women Affected by the Vietnam Draft, came out of a collection of extensive interviews, honoring those touched by the draft during the Vietnam War.

Conducting interviews and writing the book was an unforgettable experience for Tom and he hopes that the book will foster healing and reflection for those that lived through the war and educate those that were not yet born.

How can we learn from Tom’s book and the experience of the Vietnam War? When I mentioned that my family is Israeli and that I myself was discharged from compulsory military service due to attending college in the United States, Tom immediately drew a connection. Humanizing everyone’s story is what’s important and Called to Serve does just that for Americans affected by the Vietnam War draft. The book has even been adapted into a play and a staged reading will take place in May at Smith College’s Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre.

You can find Called to Serve at local bookstores and online at Amazon. For more information, visit Tom’s website at www.calledtoservevietnam.com where there is also a link to Tom’s blog with more stories from his interviews. Click here to listen to the lecture that Tom gave at Smith College about his experience writing Called to Serve.

Tom Weiner is married to Susan Dudek and the father of four ranging in age from 21-42.  He also has three grand-children.   He teaches 6th grade at the Smith College Campus School where he’s been for 37 years.  He is the author of Called to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam Draft. His current book project is about men’s and women’s support groups.  He has been a social justice advocate since the ’60′s with a major focus of his teaching being examining gender roles and issues of race and class.

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