Waiting on DEROS by Adrian Falchion and Floyd Odekirk | Books in Review

Waiting on DEROS: A Soldier’s Story (Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, 208 pp., $12, paper) is a collection of twenty-five true stories written by Adrian Falchion. Nineteen of the stories are those of Vietnam veteran Floyd Odekirk. The rest are from some of Odekirk’s fellow veterans concerning their tours in Vietnam.

These stories are not linear in nature, but add up to a collection of incidents experienced by these veterans. It is evident that the author of the stories did not experience a tour in Vietnam. He attempts to honor the service of these veterans through the telling of these stories. Unfortunately, the stories also attempt to impart moral imperatives that sometimes cannot be found in every war story.

After fifty years, some veterans still search for meaning in what became an important event in their lives. It is hard enough for someone who was there—and more likely impossible for someone who wasn’t—to fully understand the need to do this.

Generally, the stories are wordy and didactic. This makes them lack the verisimilitude that they probably exhibited in their original telling to the author.

—John Lavelle

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