History teaches that when incompatible visions of the world collide, young men die. For the generation that fought in Vietnam many did die, and many more were wounded—some physically, some emotionally, some even romantically. The combat scenes in Wounded are vivid and ugly; some show heroism, but they do not glorify armed conflict. On the other hand, war can reveal the human imperative to endure under life-threatening conditions. Such moments demand a counterpoint, a personal connection, and when survival is in the balance, human love triumphs.
Some look back at that tumultuous time with sadness, some with pride, and some, still, in anger. But we are all compelled to look back.
Long Binh,Republic of Vietnam, 1970. Lieutenant Alexander Marwick, unlike his friends attached to combat units, is mired in a backwater of the Vietnam War, serving as an aide-de-camp to an irascible general and salvaging his self-esteem following a failed romance with Cléo, an American Red Cross volunteer. His eagerly anticipated return to the States is interrupted by the arrival of his stepfather, a powerful U.S. senator who comes to Vietnam with an assignment—a clandestine diplomatic mission to find the elusive Le Van Duc, a mysterious and immensely wealthy Vietnamese veteran with contacts in the North Vietnamese Politburo. Finding and then convincing Duc to relay a secret peace proposal is the most audacious of the U. S. government’s efforts to orchestrate an end to the war in Vietnam.
Marwick reluctantly accepts the assignment, which takes him to Duc’s lavish hidden residence near the Golden Triangle in eastern Burma, to the back alleys of Bangkok, to a reunion with Khanh, Duc’s exotic daughter—an intimate friend from Marwick’s college days in Paris—to a convent in Communist-infested Cambodia, and finally to the British hill station of Darjeeling, India.
Once a naive, frivolous junior army officer, Marwick becomes an adroit and resourceful player in a high-stakes and perilous game of international intrigue. In the course of his mission his honor and courage are put to an even more demanding test when he accepts responsibility for an abandoned newborn.
Twenty-two years later, at this child’s college graduation, a reconciliation takes place, and the drama that was Vietnam is finally laid to rest.