When Joan Diehl’s Air Force husband, Glen, was ordered to Vietnam in 1968, he helped her and their five young children move from Bryan, Texas, to Salina, Kansas. There, she joined other waiting wives in Schilling Manor, named after an Air Force base that had closed. Part of the former base had been converted into residences for families of military personnel serving in South Vietnam. During Glen’s absence, Joan was sustained by this remarkable community.
Once Upon a War is Joan Diehl’s heartfelt memoir of her life in Schilling Manor. Through excerpts from her journal, letters to and from her husband, and newspaper articles, she provides a glimpse of life at home, in the war zone, and on the streets of America, where political turmoil and denigration of the military ran rampant.