A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
In May 1969, I found myself a reluctant guest of the Viet Cong. My first
thoughts—after those castigating myself for the stupidity of having
been nabbed—were about my father, a gentle man, a World War II veteran.
Though intercontinental communications were relatively primitive in those
days, it was only hours before he learned that his son was missing in Viet
It wasn't until after I had been home for some time that I appreciated
the power of worry to destroy. I learned that the physical pain of my ordeal
paled in comparison to the terror my Pop experienced for the few days until
he was notified that I had managed to slip away from my captors. Though he
began to smile again a year after I got home, I'm not sure he ever recovered.
Gould WS. The "Magic" Word. JAMA. 2003;289(15):1899-1900. doi:10.1001/jama.289.15.1899