Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: A Review

Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: The Vietnam War I Fought 

by Johnny F. Pugh


Through Smoke-Teared Eyes certainly brought a tear to my eye, and once I started reading, it was tough to put down. At the same time, it was sometimes hard to continue because of the emotional responses reading this book invoked.  I have always enjoyed military history, especially WWII and the Vietnam War. And, I have read many books on these two topics, both non-fiction and fiction. This book is undoubtedly one of the best works I have read on the war in Vietnam because of the painfully brutal honesty contained within its pages.

Written by Johnny Pugh as a catharsis to deal with the demons of his past war experiences, Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: The Vietnam War I Fought, is a must-read, for anyone who wants to try and understand the enlisted army infantryman’s experience during the war in Vietnam. It crossed my mind that this might be a difficult read for Vietnam veterans who shared similar experiences. But despite that, I think it is a book from which they too, would get a great deal.

Through Smoke-Teared Eyes is authentic and accurate …

Before purchasing this book, I read the review of Through Smoke-Teared Eyes by another Vietnam Veteran who served in the same unit (A Co, 2 Bn, 27th Infantry Regiment) as the author. He stated that while he did not remember Johnny Pugh, the book is factually accurate. This reviewer went on to say that Johnny Pugh even details the conflict where one of his best friends was killed in action. It is clear from that fellow Vietnam veteran’s review this book portrays its story accurately and honestly, and I have read enough Vietnamese war history also to know that this is the case.

While the vast majority of American servicemen served with honor during their time in Vietnam, we all know atrocities were committed on both sides. And, while good officers served in Vietnam, history has shown us that the Vietnam War was grossly mismanaged by too many poorly trained officers, often more concerned with political influence than the welfare of their men.  The effect this had on the enlisted soldier serving during this war is demonstrated in this moving narrative.

Author and Vietnam Veteran, Johnny F. Pugh

smoke-teared eyes
Johnny F. Pugh, Vietnam Veteran
and Author

Johnny Pugh writes with heartfelt honesty, and his prose and poems will keep you riveted throughout the book. His work was published posthumously by his wife, Cristina after Johnny succumbed to cancer linked to his time in Vietnam and Agent Orange. Cristina’s feelings and comments about her husband’s experience are indeed heartfelt and understandable. We owe her a debt of gratitude for making sure that his story became available for us to share. If you have any interest in military history, this book should be in your library. I gave this book a 5 Star review, and it now holds a special place in my library.

While I served in the U.S. Army, I was a little too young for Vietnam. However, I have several great friends who served in Vietnam. One recently passed away due to cancer … probably associated with his multiple tours in Vietnam. That made this book even more emotionally relevant to me as a reader.

Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: The Vietnam War I Fought received the top prize at the 2018 San Francisco Book Festival.

If you also enjoy military action/thrillers, check out my novel, Serpents Underfoot! It is getting great reviews!  Also, check other great posts and book reviews here!

4 thoughts on “Through Smoke-Teared Eyes: A Review”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.