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Left for Dead

A Second Life after Vietnam

2005
Authors:

Jon Hovde and Maureen Anderson

Left for Dead

A Vietnam veteran’s story of war, loss, and a life rebuilt

Jon Hovde's journey begins with despair and the struggle to stay alive and ends with hope and the inspiration to live. Left for Dead is a gripping memoir that not only recounts Hovde's recovery from injuries sustained in the Vietnam War, but recognizes the people who aided him—including the courageous medic who rescued him, a caring army nurse, and army chaplains.

This Vietnam veteran’s memoir will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration to a new generation of U.S. soldiers suffering casualties in war. Hovde candidly discusses his difficult recovery and the people who helped him.

Reference & Research Book News

Jon Hovde’s journey begins with despair and the struggle to stay alive and ends with hope and the inspiration to live. As a twenty-year-old soldier in Vietnam, Hovde lost an arm and a leg when the armored personnel carrier he was driving hit an antitank mine. He was nearly left for dead when the medic at the scene accidentally took his pulse in the arm that had been severed. For weeks, doctors gave Hovde very little chance of survival.

When he finally returned home, the transition was not easy. He used alcohol and fast cars to cope with both the physical pain of his injuries and the emotional pain caused by uneasy stares from his friends and neighbors. The straightforward words of a highway patrolman finally opened his eyes to his reckless behavior: “Why would a guy like you, who’s survived all you survived, want to come back and kill yourself on our highway?” Hovde went on to marry his high school sweetheart, realize a successful business career, and become a leader of city and state school boards. In 1998, his war story found some closure when he successfully tracked down and was reunited with the nurse who had helped save his life. He was finally able to thank her.

Left for Dead is a gripping memoir that not only recounts Hovde’s remarkable recovery from his injuries but recognizes the efforts of the people who aided him—including the courageous medic who rescued him, a caring army nurse, and army chaplains. Far more than just another tale of combat, Left for Dead will stir emotions in veterans, the families of veterans, and civilians. Hovde’s lack of bitterness and abundance of hope inspires anyone overcoming obstacles.

Awards

Minnesota Book Award winner

Left for Dead

Jon Hovde is a Vietnam veteran who lost two limbs in combat in 1968. He is a retired 3M executive and was president of the Minnesota School Boards Association. He is now a motivational speaker.

Maureen Anderson is host of the syndicated radio program The Career Clinic. She is coauthor with Dick Beardsley of Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race (Minnesota, 2002).

Left for Dead

This Vietnam veteran’s memoir will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration to a new generation of U.S. soldiers suffering casualties in war. Hovde candidly discusses his difficult recovery and the people who helped him.

Reference & Research Book News

Left for Dead is the poignant, often painful narrative of Hovde’s wartime experiences in Vietnam and his struggles to rebuild his life. Brutally honest. The life he’s built since has inspired many.

Grand Forks Herald

A growing number of people across the country count Jon Hovde as one of their heroes. He has brought together a remarkable circle of friends and admirers who have found it easier to deal with adversity by following his example.

Rick Shefchik, St. Paul Pioneer Press

A well-crafted look at his brief Vietnam War tour and an uplifiting recounting of his difficult, but successful, readjustment to life back home.

The VVA Veteran

Jon’s life story will inspire you and it will also make you very aware of the sacrifices that many veterans have made on the personal level.

Military Writers Society of America

Left for Dead

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

1. Death Rolls In
2. The Darkest Night
3. Fifteen Minutes to Life
4. Lucky Guy
5. Moving On
6. Mr. Businessman
7. After the Wall
8. Once a Fighter
9. Making a Difference

Left for Dead

UMP blog excerpt: A second life after Vietnam

11/11/2009
Once was enough.
After you make it through a tour of duty in Vietnam, the last thing you want to do is watch movies about it. Not that I haven't seen a few. Platoon wasn't bad — in terms of what it was like to battle mosquitoes if not the enemy. But I couldn't make it through We Were Soldiers. I just couldn't handle it.
A lot of veterans feel the same way, from what they tell me.
One of them is Len McLean. He finally got around to seeing Forrest Gump in 1998. He rented the video and watched it with his daughter. He was doing okay, he said, until he got to the part where Gary Sinise, as the wounded Lieutenant Dan Taylor, lights into Gump — who had saved his life.
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