A Letter From The Publisher: Jul. 13, 1981

Years after the end of the war, the plight of the Viet Nam veteran in this country remains a painful and emotional subject. For the TIME correspondents who worked on this week's revealing cover story it also proved to be the source of a moving assignment. Boston Bureau Chief Barry Hillenbrand, who covered Viet Nam for TIME from 1972 to 1974, discovered that his war experience provided an important link with the veterans he met. Says Hillenbrand: "For months after leaving Indochina, the innocent whoosh of a water heater could trigger the memory...

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