Julie Titone shares “Boocoo Dinky Dow: My Short, Crazy Vietnam War,” at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Village Books, 1200 11th St.
The late Grady Myers was an artistic but aimless teenager in 1968, when, desperate for troops, the U.S. Army overlooked his extreme nearsightedness and transformed him into Hoss, an M-60 machine gunner.
His illustrated memoir “Boocoo Dinky Dow: My Short, Crazy Vietnam War,” co-authored by Titone, his ex-wife, is by turns funny and sobering. Myers recounts his military initiation at Fort Lewis, where there could be a fuzzy line between training and torture.
He describes the intensity of Vietnam, where an old man carrying a bundle of sticks posed a moral dilemma, and a young man would weigh the burden of his virginity against the dubious pleasures of riverbank prostitutes. Myers’ explosives-happy comrades in Charlie Company sometimes posed the greatest danger. But in a dramatic ambush, that same bunch of crazy soldiers risked their lives to save his.
Titone is a Washington writer and photographer whose work has appeared in regional, national and international publications. She has made a personal journey of sharing “Boocoo Dinky Dow” with audiences and honoring veterans since Myers died in 2011.
More on the book: shortcrazyvietnam.com.