Lonely Soldier

Of all the scores of photos Roxanne and I have collected for our books and articles about the Vietnam War, this one strikes me as especially telling. The photo was taken the day after the Battle of Xom Bung, a struggle where four members of Alpha Company, including Princeton native Dick Wolfe, died in fierce combat.

In the photo, a single soldier is slouching in weariness near the spot where company commander Dutch McAillister was severely wounded. He is looking down and his unfocused gaze suggests his mind is far away. He looks perplexed, sad, and lonely, perhaps thinking of home. We will be thinking about all you guys today.