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Daniel Dinges' Historical Fiction: Get Out Of The Way

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As Tom Daniels waits to be seen at the nearest VA hospital in 2006, he flashes back to his two years of service during the Vietnam years. Although he does not support the War in 1968, a “Newsweek” article convinces him that his chances for staying out of combat are good, so he volunteers to be drafted. Just after his first year anniversary in the Army, Tom is ordered to Vietnam, but his Colonel gets his transfer cancelled to keep Tom working as a programmer on base. Tom’s best friend deploys instead. Five months later, after Tom is married, he has a nightmare in which his buddy is wounded in combat. Tom realizes how guilty he feels about his friend shipping out. Suddenly the reverie is over and it’s 2006 again. Tom sees a lone veteran in a wheelchair next to the far wall in the waiting room of the VA Hospital. The vet looks a lot like his long lost buddy.

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