A Vietnam veteran’s story of war, loss, and a life rebuilt.
Jon Hovde’s journey begins with despair and the struggle to stay alive and ends with hope and the inspiration to live. As a twenty-year-old soldier in Vietnam, Hovde lost an arm and a leg when the armored personnel carrier he was driving hit an antitank mine. He was nearly left for dead when the medic at the scene accidentally took his pulse in the arm that had been severed. For weeks, doctors gave Hovde very little chance of survival.
When he finally returned home, the transition was not easy. He used alcohol and fast cars to cope with both the physical pain of his injuries and the emotional pain caused by uneasy stares from his friends and neighbors. The straightforward words of a highway patrolman finally opened his eyes to his reckless behavior: "Why would a guy like you, who’s survived all you survived, want to come back and kill yourself on our highway?" Hovde went on to marry his high school sweetheart, realize a successful business career, and become a leader of city and state school boards. In 1998, his war story found some closure when he successfully tracked down and was reunited with the nurse who had helped save his life. He was finally able to thank her.
Left for Dead is a gripping memoir that not only recounts Hovde’s remarkable recovery from his injuries but recognizes the efforts of the people who aided him—including the courageous medic who rescued him, a caring army nurse, and army chaplains. Far more than just another tale of combat, Left for Dead will stir emotions in veterans, the families of veterans, and civilians. Hovde’s lack of bitterness and abundance of hope inspires anyone overcoming obstacles.Jon Hovde is a Vietnam veteran who lost two limbs in combat in 1968. He retired from 3M and was president of the Minnesota School Boards Association. He is now a motivational speaker.
Maureen Anderson is host of the syndicated radio program The Career Clinic. She is coauthor with Dick Beardsley of Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race.
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