The dedication for the first edition read as follows:
For those who bring war without necessity
From those who forevermore
A necessary war, what would that be? doubtfully one waged by the most powerful nation on earth against one of the tiniest and poorest; and for some ten years.
We Americans are always acutely aware of our own casualty counts. We have not, however, shown the same concern regarding the Vietnamese, both civilian and uniformed, killed or wounded or driven insane, in the conflagration. One million, two, three million?
The opinions and emotions the war triggered divided the American citizenry as few things have.
But On The Fault was not written to address any of these matters. It is simply an attempt to afford the willing reader an opportunity to feel what those who fought in that war felt, in the simple hope that America’s involvement in Vietnam would be properly remembered, so that a future gang of reckless fools at the top might be deterred from repeating the horror of a war that need not happen.
Even wars waged with the noblest of causes breed a kind of free-floating hatred – the trickle-down poison that can pollute and saturate even the most high-minded of nations. What of one fought without even the slightest justification?
All that killing and mayhem; where does it go?
Whether all-volunteer or conscripted, isn’t it always the little people who carry water for the rich and the powerful? Are you of draft age? Are you registered with Selective Service? Do you have a child or a grandchild of draft age? Do you ever think about the worthiness of our recent wars – these undeclared, unconstitutional military actions? Or do you care? Beware, there could very well be another draft should our adventurism slide completely out of control.
Ronald J. Wichers was born in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, until drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He was assigned to a rifle company in the 25th Infantry Division serving in Vietnam and, after sustaining several wounds, including the loss of his left arm, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism and the Bronze Star Medal. He later studied theology, at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley California. Mr. Wichers has published three novels and a collection of short stories about his experiences in the Vietnam War.