Blue-Eyed Boy
Robert Timberg
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Buy *Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir* by Robert Timbergo nline

Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir
Robert Timberg
The Penguin Press
384 pages
July 2014
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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It is a nightmare we can't even conceive of dreaming. The idea of being burned is as horrible a thing as we can imagine so we never think about. Neither did Marine Lieutenant Robert Timberg, a young soldier sent to Vietnam in January 1967. He was a short-timer--someone with so few days left in his tour that he could actually count the days one by one--and would be coming home. But 13 days from freedom, his vehicle struck a Viet Cong landmine, maiming his face and body irreparably with third-degree burns.

In writing about his wounds and recuperation, the author is graphic and honest. Here he describes a moment in the hospital:

My mouth had contracted to the circumference of a small cigar. Whatever nutrition I was receiving was coming in liquid form, through a straw or vein. The doctor said it was vital that I start taking in solid food, especially protein, so he was going to have to rebuild my mouth. To do so he, he said, he would slice into the sides and create a normal-size opening. For lips, he would pull out some of the rosy mucous membrane from inside my mouth and stitch it to the new openings on each side.
Through it all, Timberg persevered and would go on to become a White House correspondent for The Baltimore Sun. This is an extraordinary tale of a remarkable boy with more courage and determination than any ten normal men. It will make you cry and make your own petty problems disappear completely.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2014

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