Public Information: Coming of Age During the Korean War
Rolf Margenau, author
CANDIDE meets MASH Freshly minted infantryman, twenty-year-old Wylie Cypher, arrives in war torn Korea in 1952. Every indication is that he has limited chances for survival. As an enemy bomber looms overhead, he prays that he can survive a sixteen-month tour of duty without, as his sergeant says, getting his ass shot off. Wylie is recruited to join the staff of a Division Public Information Office (PIO) where he reports on many aspects of the conflict. He uses his infantry training in bloody combat, makes many colorful new friends, learns how to maneuver through the military system, finds love and loss, and grows up in the turmoil of combat and the war’s aftermath. Veterans have hailed the story as accurate, believable, touching, funny, and “the way it really was.” The story is based on the author’s experiences, careful historical research, and the 300 letters he sent his future wife from Korea. He touches on prisoner of war experiences on both sides of the DMZ, the armistice, realistic scenes of combat, the many United Nations forces engaged in the war, and poignant and funny aspects of military service. The second edition of the book includes recently disclosed information, and scenes and observations drawn from the comments of many veteran readers. The book is dedicated to the dwindling number of men and women who risked their lives to preserve democracy in South Korea.