Praise for Seeking Quan Am

“I was in Vietnam twice. The first time was in 1967-1968 participating in combat operations with Mark. The second time, by reading Susan’s and Mark’s story, I was transported to Vietnam as part of their group. In spirit, I was there again. Their courage and search for understanding, brought, in no small way, peace to this old trooper’s heart and mind.”

— Captain Robert Alekna, US Army

“Seeking Quan Am opens passageways between different worlds. It connects the lives of war veterans and civilians, Americans and Vietnamese, past and present. It demonstrates a deep commitment to reconciliation and to learning from people we may once have  perceived as inhuman, something our world desperately needs more of today. But this is not to say Dixon and Smith’s memoir offers easy answers. Perhaps its strongest parts are those that expose the contradictions we often don’t see, or choose not to see, both in war and everyday life. Highly recommended.”

— Kevin Basl, Iraq War veteran and co-editor of Warrior Writers: A Collection of Writing and Artwork by Veterans

“Even though I only served with Mark Smith for about eight weeks, that eight weeks was a period in both of our lives that we both will never forget and will forever bind us together as friends. This is Mark’s story of his two tours in Vietnam. For me it is a memorial to those that made the ultimate sacrifice and those that made it home.”

— Marvin Hasenak, Vietnam Veteran, 1968-69

“As a commander, I looked for NCOs to take over a platoon if the leader was either wounded or killed in action. I knew I would get accurate information and update status from Mark so I could make a sound tactical decision. I had total faith and confidence in his ability to make a sound assessment of the tactical situation and recommend what action we can take to complete the mission. Mark was a consummate soldier and respected by all. He would have made an exceptional officer. Your work accurately describes the time that I was with C Company 2/7th.”

— Colonel Robert Meager, US Army

“Unlike many works that reflect on the war experience, Susan Dixon and Mark Smith have created a unique dialogue between peace advocate and war veteran that expands our sensibilities about the complex personal issues involved. It is also the story of their journey to explore beyond memories and ideals to look at the truth of what war really is and what it means to be human in its midst.”

— Kate Dahlstedt, MA; Founder, Soldier’s Heart

“Seeking Quan Am does a great service to veterans by going beyond simply listening to their stories. It does a great service to war resisters and military family members by examining and reexamining thoughts about the war and its impact on soldiers, civilians, Americans and Vietnamese, and sharing this jumbled progression. It does a great service to Americans considering traveling in Vietnam and being open to Vietnamese perspectives.”

— Jan Barry, co-founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, co-founder, 1st Casualty Press

“For more than thirty years, I taught college-level literature and writing classes on the war in Vietnam. My only regret is that students did not get to read, to experience, Seeking Quan Am, a beautifully written, intensely honest book by combat Vietnam veteran, Mark Smith, and Vietnam era civilian, Susan Dixon. Their book will take you back, break your heart, and make you laugh and cry. I recommend it highly, especially for veterans and civilians who continue to suffer from the physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds of war.”

– Fred A. Wilcox, author of Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange and Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam

“I was privileged to travel to Vietnam with both these authors and see the ‘American War’ through their eyes. Despite different perspectives, their laser vision penetrated the fog of war, the souls of the fallen and forgotten, and the personal pathos of a generation supporting and resisting war in Indo-China. Smith and Dixon give us a memorable double helix of stories about an offshore war that spawned a war at home.”

– Charles C. Geisler, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University