Like the Afghan war today and the ten-year war in Iraq, the Vietnam War left no one unchanged, particularly not the nearly eleven hundred Americans who lost multiple limbs and returned home from Vietnam to face a different kind of battle: acceptance.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart goes inside the minds of amputees struggling to heal from the ravages of war and chronicles a journey of love, redemption, and joy, a journey of pain and anger . . . and a journey of hope. Most of all, it is a journey of the human spirit and its triumph over the most impossible odds.

In this riveting first novel, author T. L. Gould draws upon his experience recovering in a military hospital to create a plain-truth, no-holds-barred narrative stark in its simplicity, detail, and humor. From dressing changes and morphine drips to off-site forays into neighborhood bars and brothels, Gould chronicles the precipitous journey to recovery of the men of Ward 2B: how they learned to walk again, to love again, and to triumph over crippling injuries.

A farewell to his family in the summer of 1968 begins what would have been a four-year enlistment in the Navy for eighteen-year-old Jeremy Shoff. It is a third choice for Jeremy: a choice he let others make for him. A few months earlier he had made a verbal commitment to join the Marines, and the jungles of Vietnam were waiting. But somehow—between the 2-S deferment, the ensuing fistfights with his old man, and the lovemaking with his flower-child girlfriend—he gives up on the Marines and is left with no other choice. It is a choice he will regret for the rest of his life.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is a tribute to all the combat-wounded veterans of past and present conflicts.

Winner of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s James Webb Award for distinguished fiction.


John M. Del Vecchio

John M. Del Vecchio

John M. Del Vecchio is the author of four books, including two bestsellers with approximately 1.4 million copies sold, as well as hundreds of articles. He was drafted and sent to Vietnam in 1970, where he served as a combat correspondent in the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). In 1971, he was awarded a Bronze Star for heroism in ground combat. 


  • book: The 13th Valley
  • book: Carry Me Home
  • book: For the Sake of All Living Things
  • book: The Bremer Detail

Charlie Foxtrot Books Authors

EBooks by Charlie Foxtrot Books

ABOUT Charlie Foxtrot Books