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  • Da Capo Press

Our Year of War: Two Brothers, Vietnam, and a Nation Divided

Daniel P. Bolger

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Military history

The gritty and engaging story of two brothers, Chuck and Tom Hagel, who went to war in Vietnam, fought in the same unit, and saved each other's life. One supported the war, the other detested it, but they fought it together.

1968. It was the worst year of America's most divisive war. Flag-draped caskets came home by the thousands. Riots ravaged our cities. Assassins shot our political leaders. Black fought white, young fought old, fathers fought sons. And it was the year that two brothers from Nebraska went to war.

In Vietnam, Chuck and Tom Hagel served side by side in the same rifle platoon. Together they fought in the Tet Offensive, battled snipers in Saigon, chased the enemy through the jungle, and each saved the other's life under fire. Yet, like so many American families, one brother supported the war while the other detested it.

Tom and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel never set out to be heroes, but they epitomized the best, and lived through the worst, of the most tumultuous, amazing, and consequential year in the last half century. Following the brothers' paths from the prairie heartland through a war on the far side of the world and back to a divided America, Our Year of War tells the story of two brothers at war, serving their divided country. It is a story that resonates to this day, an American story.

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