cover of book

Unfriendly Fire: A Mother's Memoir
by Peg Mullen
foreword by Albert E. Stone
University of Iowa Press, 1995
Cloth: 978-0-87745-506-6 | Paper: 978-0-87745-507-3 | eISBN: 978-1-58729-161-6
Library of Congress Classification DS559.5.M84 1995
Dewey Decimal Classification 959.704/3373


In 1968 Michael Mullen, a graduate student in biochemistry, was drafted; in 1969 he was sent to Vietnam as a foot soldier in Colonel Norman Schwarzkopf's Charlie Company; and in 1970 he was killed by the same “friendly fire” that destroyed thousands of other lives during the Vietnam War.

Back home on the family farm in Iowa, his parents made his death a crusade to awaken all parents to the insanity of war. C. D. B. Bryan's Friendly Fire and the TV movie of the same name documented these dramatic years, and Peg Mullen became a national symbol of grassroots activism. Now Peg Mullen shifts from symbol to reality as she tells her story in print for the first time.

Outspoken, fearless, and wickedly humorous, Peg Mullen had a duel mission in the years after Michael's death: to penetrate the lies and evasions behind the artillery misfire that killed her oldest son and to publicize the senseless horror of the Vietnam War. Unfriendly Fire draws on the many letters sent to the Mullens after Michael's death; in addition, Michael's own bitter, weary letters home are reprinted. In these the voices of parents, brothers, sisters, comrades, teachers, and Michael himself echo Peg Mullen's call for truth and peace.

    • Foreword
      • Stone, Albert E.
    • Introduction
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter One : 
    • October 16, 1989
    • Chapter Two : 
    • Michael
    • Chapter Three : 
    • Your Son Is Dead
    • Chapter Four : 
    • The Homecoming
    • Chapter Five : 
    • A Silent Message
    • Chapter Six : 
    • The Marines
    • Chapter Seven : 
    • WBZ
    • Chapter Eight : 
    • Private Ed Hall
    • Chapter Nine : 
    • I Go to See the President
    • Chapter Ten : 
    • The Draft
    • Chapter Eleven : 
    • Mothers and Veterans
    • Chapter Twelve : 
    • Friendly Fire
    • Chapter Thirteen : 
    • Gene
    • Chapter Fourteen : 
    • A New War
    • Epilogue : 
    • Michael's Letters Home

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