Howard L. Hibbard
Being of unsound mind in 1967, I quit college to volunteer for the Army draft in a time of escalation of the Vietnam War. Rising through the ranks, by the age of 22 at my discharge, I had become a paratrooper, platoon leader and company commander. The medals I earned were two Bronze Stars, one was for heroism in ground combat; other medals were for Combat Infantry Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal w/60 device.
Ignoring the outright hostility of the American public after leaving the Army, I returned to finish college, law school and founded my law firm in the San Francisco area in 1979. My attempt to turn my back on my Vietnam experiences and anger at the resentment by American public of Vietnam veterans sacrifice kept me in a state of alienation and isolation. This sense of being isolated from society was maintained by self medication. My first book, Curse of the Coloring Book, seeks to bridge the gap between those who went, suffered and the social responsibility of those who allowed us to go.
After many requests by my friends to write a book about my Vietnam, I started my first draft of To Mock a Coloring Book in 1990. Not willing to be pushed by my peer group, the first draft was completed in 2004. Writing about the war was like digging out a fish lure I had swallowed. My wife on many occasions was convinced that I had lost the last of my few remaining marbles. The hook’s removal proved to be therapeutic process that I intend to share with all veterans of every conflict. I am at a loss to explain, how the writing process is a healing experience. I no longer feel at odds with society.
My passions are cooking, for which I have written a cookbook, exercise and skiing. The skiing ardor is shared by my two daughters who join me every year for our ski trip to Squaw Valley and feasting après-ski. I live with my wife in Daly City, California.
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