Grunseth wins gold medal for Vietnam War memoir
Green Bay author Annette Grunseth took home a gold medal Saturday at the Military Writers Society of America’s national conference in New Orleans for her memoir, Combat and Campus: Writing Through War.
Grunseth, a former marketing director at Bellin Hospital, was recognized in the category Memoir/Biography.
Her book combines letters home from her older brother Peter, who was deployed to Vietnam in the late ‘60s, with her own experience as a student on UW-Madison campus.
“In my ‘retirement career’ I have become an author,” Grunseth said. “I collected my journalist-brother’s letters from the Vietnam War and added my memoir as a freshman at UW-Madison during the campus protest years along with what happened after Vietnam with PTSD.”
Her brother, Sgt. Peter Langois, chronicles the smells, sights and sounds during some of the darkest days of the Vietnam War from 1968-69, riding armored personnel carriers into rice paddies and engaging in night time sweeps of the jungle.
He would return home to a nation still protesting the war in which his younger sister, Annette, had walked to class behind National Guardsmen marching across the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
Their correspondence and her poetry offer a unique perspective of the war in Vietnam and social change happening at home.
Together, they share what was learned and what was lost.
Each year, The Military Writers Society of America provides recognition awards to noteworthy authors and their works from throughout the U.S.
Published by Elm Grove Press, the book is available from local bookstores including Lion’s Mouth Bookstore in Green Bay and through websites annettegrunseth.com, elmgrovepress.org and Amazon.