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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Just Another Dead Animal is a memoir by James Morris, a Vietnam War vet who tells his story about how he unwittingly joined a war he never wanted to be a part of. After graduating from high school, James had high hopes while joining Penascola Jr. College. But things don't go according to plan, and he drops out of school and starts working for his father. Now married to his long-term high school sweetheart, James's life turns upside down when one day, the dreaded D-day letter comes, drafting him into the United States Army. Hoping to avoid seeing combat, he signs up as a Navy corpsman, only to be transferred to Vietnam with a marine combat unit. While fighting in Vietnam, James witnesses the harsh realities of war, whose ramifications continue to follow him his entire life.
War is hell, and James Morris's poignant memoir encapsulates that adage perfectly. Just Another Dead Animal follows a young man finding himself forced to fight in a war that benefited no one except for the powers that be and suffering the consequences of the decisions made by those who had little to lose themselves. What makes James's story universal is that there are countless young men and women fighting in wars all over the world right now who would rather be anywhere else than on a battlefield. Just like James, war veterans suffer from PTSD and other related issues that make it difficult for them to get used to normal life after war. A relevant memoir that I highly recommend.