Writers Guide

Here are a few tips to get you started.
Start writing on a word processing program such as Word, Pages etc. That way you can easily check spellings and grammar.

If you get stuck with your story, look at some of your old photos of the Nam to nudge your memory, or if you kept a diary or letters from that time read those for help. Or if you have contact with others with whom you served, ask them. Also, if you are going to use their name, ask their permission to do so.
Remember, not all people reading your story understand military acronyms so spell it out to them i.e. SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).

Don't worry if you can't recall dates or Operation names as I can normally find these out via Command Chronologies for you.

Take your time to write and read out aloud what you have written to see how it sounds. Or use a voice program on your PC /Mac to read it out to you. Get a family member or a friend to read it and see if they have any suggestions.

If you are going to use names of others, remember the libel laws. You are not to harm a person’s reputation, tell lies about them or disclose private information. If you think your story could do this, to protect yourself and the project, don't write it. Check out the Libel page on this website. Even though the story does not libel anyone, you may feel it best not to use names. If you have contact with those in the story, ask them if it would be OK to write about them.


You are not to plagiarize, or violate the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark and privacy. I recommend that you seek permission to share the stories of the people your contributions are based on. Remember the laws of Libel: you are not to embarrass, divulge private information, or lie about an individual.

If you are writing about someone who was killed I think it's safest to leave out names if the account is a graphic one and the detail has the potential to shock or upset a family. You can't presume what a family understands or knows about a KIA incident.

You don’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner to write your story. Write it as it happened in the first person (from your view point, i.e. I saw the VC running at me!) Don’t make the paragraphs too long and keep the story on track. If you think it should be two stories then do that. Remember to create a beginning, middle and an end.

Don't use terms that are racist today. Use VC, NVA or Vietnamese to describe the people and not Vietnam war slang - this keeps us all safe!

This is your chance to put into your own words your experiences of the Vietnam War. Many of the Marines on the project have found it very cathartic.

Photo Guide

Photos are a snap shot of time and all those in them are frozen for ever on celluloid.
Scan your photos in at about 300 dpi (dots per square inch).
If they have faded do not worry as I will try to restore them via photoshop.
If they are badly creased or damaged, please do not send.
Send your photos via email as attachments. DO NOT send via post.
If you have a lot of photos, send them over a few emails as there is a limit on bandwidth.
Where you can, number the photos. In this way you can tell me something about them in your email. For example, photo1.jpg  Me outside our hootch at An Hoa.




Copyright Alan Waugh & Respective owners 2014