Fred Rivera - Raw Man

Lessons From Vietnam

“Nam War”—Read the words backwards and you get “Raw Man,” the title of Fred Rivera’s powerful memoir of his Vietnam experiences. While the last American troops left Saigon in April 1975, the war hasn’t left those brave men and women. It haunts them physically; especially men like Rivera, who suffer from both combat related injuries and the after effects of Agent Orange.

Even more, it haunts them psychologically guilt, depression, addictions, flash-backs, and of course that catch-all diagnosis PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

In an honest and at times heart-wrenching account, Fred Rivera shares it all. From the horror of jungle battle, to the death of his best friend in his arms, to the girl he loved in Saigon, to the ineptitude of junior officers, to pulling pieces of dead bodies from piles, to killing a boy, and eventually to his return to an America that reviled him for his service and then punished him for his opposition to the war and the addictions that he eventually overcame.

A musician—a bass player with a promising career ahead of him when he was drafted—Fred was in effect rescued from the horror by his musical ability. He found a way out of the worst by providing entertainment to the troops. Of course that was in places the U.S.O. didn’t dare to go. You see the worst wasn’t the danger but the guilt. Always back to that, to the guilt of war and the toll it takes.

Click on photo to view Raw Man on or visit author web-site @

Catch Fred's interview with It Matters Radio @

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
  • youtube_icon.jpg
  • feed-icon-28x28.png