"Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers

Essay by nworb_leinad September 2006

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Walter Dean Myers wrote the book Fallen Angels which is about America's experiences in the Vietnam War as told by the main character, Richie Perry. Perry goes through multiple metamorphoses and witnesses some of his good friends murdered in battle fighting for a cause that no one could agree upon. The book contains 4 other main characters, Lobel, Johnson, Brunner, and Peewee.

The book begins explicating about the experiences of Perry while he is serving in Vietnam. Richie's best friend, Peewee, becomes friends with him when they meet in the barracks. Peewee assists Perry by standing up for him during several disputes. Peewee and Perry wake up the next morning and find out that they are to go on patrol in order to search out and destroy any Vîet Công soldiers that they encounter. The patrol lasts for a few hours and Peewee and Perry are just about to camp, when a mutual friend of Peewee and Perry drops out of formation for a second and steps on a land mine, killing him instantly.

Perry is immensely distressed by this and needs Peewee to help him talk out his feelings of grief for the loss of that friend. Peewee and Perry have a few days to rest, because they have a weekend pass and it grants them 48 hours of freedom. They go to Saigon and have a few drinks engaging in revelry, before they have to report back to their unit, which is stationed in the northern highlands of South Vietnam. When they return, they are pleased that they made good use of their weekend passes in Saigon.

The next day, Peewee and Perry are sent on another patrol, but this time they are sent in by helicopter. They are sent to an area known to have active Vîet...