Veteran writes of Vietnam experiences

For Sarasota resident Barry A. Popkin, the fact that he returned from the Vietnam War is simply luck.

In addition to surviving 365 days in the jungle, he, unlike most of his squad, was able to make a smooth transition to civilian life and a successful career.

Popkin went to college after returning from Vietnam under the G.I. Bill and spent the next 40 years as a white-collar accountant/operational manager living in New York City.

He raised three children in Connecticut before moving and retiring to Sarasota. He recounts his Vietnam experiences in his books which are available on Amazon.

“Born in New York City, the youngest of six children, we had very little but were rich being born in the shadow of the greatest generation.

My first brother went into the Navy during the Korean War as a pilot on some of the first jets. The next brother went into the Air Force and probably invented a new rank below Private. My sister went into the Navy and was a Lieutenant at Guantanamo Bay. The next two brothers and I were drafted into the Army in succession during Vietnam. They all came back from their service with their stories and this is mine…” writes Popkin in an excerpt from his writings.

Popkin continues in his narrative of the Vietnam War in vivid detail of what he and his fellow soldiers experienced.

“What is not recorded is forgotten. For a year, existence was defined as trying to survive madness – by killing, and saving life, especially our own. May this not be forgotten,” writes Popkin.

In another part of the book, Popkin writes how a claymore mine exploded and turned a recruit who had only been with his unit for two hours into something that “looked like spiced tomato soup.”

Popkin speaks of the need to outgun the enemy.

“Remember, whoever is ducking, is losing and dying. Whoever has superior fire is killing and winning.”

These are just a few snippets of the detailed rendering of combat which Popkin conveys in his book entitled, “My Year in Vietnam.”

Popkin also has authored: “The Heart Leads the Brave WWII;” “Token to Chaos: Bombs, Bullets and Booby Traps;” “Soldiers Under the Radar: Guns, Ghosts and Gold,; “The Ghost of Corporal Devos,” as well as other writings.

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