Hear the harrowing combat stories and the later path to healing of Vietnam veteran Sergeant Paul Reed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at the Allen Public Library. Sgt. Reed is the author of Kontum Diary, that includes a lengthy forward by the late General William Westmoreland. Under the direction of Kevin Thomas, Plano New Horizons Band will begin the program with a medley of patriotic music.
Serving from February 1968 to February 1969, Sgt. Reed participated in horrific military campaigns in which he recalls, “the threat of venomous snakes and death from snipers were constant.” Although he was a recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Parachute Badge and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, like many military men and women at that time, Sgt. Reed was confronted by offensive and rude comments upon returning to the United States.
A Dallas native, Sgt. Reed soon experienced classic symptoms of PTSD—depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, relationship failures, and nightmares. Then his mother returned a box of materials he had captured from a Vietcong soldier and left with her years before. The contents of that box—the writings of that Vietcong soldier—would change his life forever. These writings led to peace, healing, and an unlikely intercontinental friendship, featured in Kontum Diary.
Today, Sgt. Reed mentors and counsels veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Viet Nam. In 2017, he received the Congressional Veteran Commendation, presented to him by former Congressman Sam Johnson.